Sports fun in the sun
Preston schoolchildren take part in Healthy Schools’ Project led by UCLan students
A group of Preston schoolchildren celebrated the end of their exams week with a day of sports fun at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The Year 6 pupils from St Peter’s CE Primary School, in Fulwood, attended a sunny UCLan Sports Arena for a special Healthy Schools’ Project session organised and run by University students.
The 10 and 11-year-olds played cricket, took part in a variety of teamwork activities and spent the afternoon orienteering.
Eleven-year-old Praise was among the participants. He said: “I really enjoyed the skiing challenge because we got to race against other people but at the same time it was all about teamwork. It was good fun but it also made us think about planning and problem solving.”
"This year’s Healthy Schools’ Project has been absolutely fantastic. Our good links with local schools means we are providing more sporting and active opportunities than ever before."
Darryl McNicholl, a second year sports studies student, led one of the sessions. He said: “This event was all about getting the children together for physical activity, getting them out in glorious weather and getting them to engage in teamwork and leadership because it’s probably one of the last times when they’ll be together.
“We’ve been doing these events all year with a variety of age groups and it’s been great. A lot of us on the course want to work as sports teachers in the future so it gives us a great insight into what that entails. We’ve also learnt so much about what engages them and what makes them work well together.”
Throughout the 2017/18 academic year, more than 900 youngsters from across Preston and South Ribble have taken part in similar sports sessions or events. In addition to using the state-of-the-art facilities at the Sports Arena, the UCLan students have also taught the school pupils in the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre and within local schools.
It is the third year running that St Peter’s has attended one of these sessions. Gareth Allen, Year 6 teacher and Assistant Headteacher, said: “The children have just completed their SATs so it’s been great to bring them out for a fun day where fitness and teamwork have been very important. It’s been an opportunity for them to try a new sport or physical activity and we know from previous feedback that it’s one of the highlights of the Year 6 calendar.”
UCLan Lecturer Chris Gunn oversees the Healthy Schools’ Project. He added: “This year’s Healthy Schools’ Project has been absolutely fantastic. Our good links with local schools means we are providing more sporting and active opportunities than ever before.
“Throughout the year, our students have worked with a very diverse range of school children, gaining significant teaching and planning experience, improving numerous skills and developing their employability in the process. We also know from feedback from partner schools that their pupils have enjoyed the various activities provided within a safe, supportive and developmental environment.”