School Sport Survey: Offering more than just sport opportunities

Sports:

Rugby , Football

Location:

Tonyrefail

The 2013 School Sport Survey results provided a huge amount of intel about the types of physical activity young people want to be taking part in and how they prefer sessions to be delivered.

 

Right across Wales we hear stories of how Teachers, Young Ambassadors and in this case 5x60 Officers are using this information to match sports opportunities with the needs and wants of young children.

 

And right across Wales we are also starting to hear stories of how the changes being brought about by the School Sport Survey results are causing huge benefits both on and off the playing fields.

Leon Bansal, RCT County Borough Council & Tonyrefail Comprehensive School

"Sport often acts as an escape if a pupil is struggling at school or is having personal difficulties. It takes your mind off it."

That's according to Leon Bansal - a 5 x 60 Officer at Tonyrefail Comprehensive School who is motivating and encouraging pupils to take part in extra-curricular sport.

He says sport is also a huge incentive for pupils to behave at school:

"I work with teachers and I will explain to pupils that if bad behaviour continues, they won't be able to take part in the 5 x 60 clubs. It makes a huge difference. Teachers often tell me that it's having a positive impact.

"If the kids are enjoying sport, they are more likely to attend school too - because there is something to look forward to in their day."

And the good news is that more pupils are taking part than ever before. Leon arrived in post in 2013 - just as the school received the findings of Sport Wales' School Sport Survey:

"Like most schools, the survey showed that girls participation was the lowest. I really wanted to get more girls involved so I started football sessions at lunchtime for Year 7s. They really bought into it and I still have a core group coming along now they have moved up into Year 8.

"Lots of them just want to play at lunchtime or after school but some want to take it further. So we've taken them to tournaments where they've performed brilliantly.

"20 of the current Year 7s have never played for a team before so together with the Community Sport Officer Scott Woodford, I'm trying to set up a team in Tonyrefail so they can continue playing and improving."

Of course, the boys are not forgotten. Leon has introduced mixed basketball and, with Scott, is setting up a link with local club Tonyrefail Tigers:

"Tonyrefail is a football and rugby sort of town so I thought it would be good to offer something different. We run a lunchtime club at the school, an after school club at the Leisure Centre and then hopefully some of them will go on to play with the Tonyrefail Tigers too."

"The school is great at supporting me which helps my work have a real impact in the School"

Leon is a firm believer that the sessions are having an impact on health and wellbeing:

"There are some kids who come along and if they didn't do that one hour exercise with us, they wouldn't do anything.

"We also see self-confidence improving, especially in our Nurture Special Educational Needs group. In sport, you have to communicate and work with others so it brings them out of their shell. It's lovely to see such a change."

He is now set to start a Leadership programme, training up pupils as Sports Leaders. And he is hoping he will be able to recruit some volunteers to assist with lunchtime and after school clubs. It certainly sounds as if he could do with a helping hand.

The biennial School Sport Survey will go live again in 2015.  We want to see the many positive things that have been born from the 2013 results continuing to develop.  This will not happen without as many children as possible completing the survey again providing us with their much needed insight.

 

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For more information on how to get involved in the 2015 survey, check out the School Sport Survey webpage