Students get active to mark National School Sport Week

Written by: Emma Lee-Potter | Published:
Get active: Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft works with students at Chobham Academy (Image: Youth Sport Trust)

A group of year 9 pupils from an east London school got the chance to dance with an award-winning singer and play volleyball with a Paralympic star last week.

The students from Chobham Academy in Newham were helping to launch the Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week, which took place from June 20 to 24.

First of all they took part in a dance session led by former Pussycat Dolls star Kimberly Wyatt in the school theatre.

They then joined double Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft in a series of challenges linked to boccia, goalball, sitting volleyball and athletics.

More than 4,500 schools registered for this year’s National School Sport Week, an event that encourages young people to be more physically active. This year’s focus was on inclusive sport and celebrating the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil.

Ms Wyatt and Ms Cockroft, who are both ambassadors for the Youth Sport Trust, were keen to show the students that sport is for everyone.

“I struggled at school and wasn’t into mainstream sport but I found my love and passion for physical activity through dance and want to share that,” said Ms Wyatt. “This event at Chobham Academy was about giving students a range of activities to try out so they can each find what they love.”

Ms Cockroft said that winning two gold medals at London 2012 had been “the most amazing experience of my life”.

She added: “I want to build excitement among young people about the Rio Games and inspire them to use National School Sport Week as a launch pad to taking part in more sport and physical activity, whatever their age or ability.”

The 120 year 9 boys and girls, who were supported on the day by 20 sixth formers, were clearly inspired by the sessions.

Get active: Dancer Kimberly Wyatt with students at Chobham Academy

“They were really excited to try something a bit different,” said Charlotte Barras, head of PE at Chobham.

“As a PE teacher I try and give them as many opportunities as possible. I’m a firm believer that there is a sport for everyone – it’s just a case of finding it. Newham is a deprived area and opportunities like these help the students to strive and achieve higher.”

“It’s been absolutely fantastic and inspirational for the students,” said Lvone Robinson, the school’s head of dance.

“Getting them engaged and moving and for our students to see the link between sport, health and fitness and performance has been incredible.”

Get active: Students at Chobham Academy try out sitting volleyball as part of National School Sport Week

The Youth Sport Trust is a charity that believes every child has a right to be physically active through PE and school sport.

“National School Sport Week is an incredible opportunity to celebrate the important place of PE and sport in our schools and excite young people about PE and sport in this Olympic and Paralympic year,” said chief executive Ali Oliver. “We know that healthy, active children perform better across all areas of school life and this week is the perfect time to encourage all young people to be more physically active.”

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