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Inspire Legacy Project meetings were being held in my area and so it was perfect timing to get set up with equipment to create a sustainable club.

How did the children react to trying new sports?

They threw themselves into it with massive smiles on their faces! Having roller dance and roller hockey coaches coaching, it meant they had double the chance of succeeding at something new. Attendance was fantastic and I had very positive reviews from fellow PE leaders who got involved and parents.

Did you find that children who didn’t engage with more mainstream sports wanted to get involved with this?

Definitely. I think they felt more on a level playing field unlike some other mainstream sports. I targeted children who hadn’t attended our other sports clubs suspecting this would be the case.

Do you feel this has helped you to get more children involved in sport and physical activity?

Yes. By targeting children who hadn’t already attended a school or community sports club I was able to get more children active. Many of them now tell me they go skating regularly on weekends with their family. I think this time is essential for children when they are growing up, especially in such as rapidly developing technological world where it’s easy to sit passively watching screens all day.

Obviously you started with Roller Hockey and Artistic Skating but you are now linked with other local clubs, can you tell us what types of clubs these are?

With different coaches, support from Herne Bay Arena management and Herne Bay High School’s Director of Sport over the past, we have run the Sidney’s Skate School project six

times in total now. Four times with roller skating (both artistic and roller hockey), once with karate and once with basketball.

What are the advantages of linking with local clubs for a primary school and are there many charges?

There are many advantages: it creates a pathway for children to progress from a school sports club to a community sports club; the children get to know local facilities which they can then use with their family so the whole family gets active; for some children it forms part of transition into their local secondary school as some of the children go on to attend the high school; secondary aged sports leaders have used the clubs to build their experience working with children and fulfil sport and PE course requirements; it broadens the grass roots level for the sport in the local area and it strengthens the local sporting community.

The only charge for any of the clubs has been £1 per session for skate

hire. This is significantly subsidised by Active Life. I give the schools the option to ask parents to pay this or use their Sports Premium funding. All coaches and secondary sports leaders have given their time free of charge.

You had recent success at the Kent School Games Basketball finals. How was that and would you say that having access to these clubs and their coaches had some impact on this?

Yes this year we won the Kent School Games Finals in Basketball. These children only attended Sidney’s Basketball School once. I think it reflects more on all our volunteer coaching and the attitudes of the adults supporting these children in sport in our local community that really makes the difference.

What would you say to other primary schools who were thinking of working with clubs in their community?

If you have a link with a club, make it into something concrete that will help your children thrive in ways they never thought possible. It has made their whole attitude to school a more positive one. If you don’t have a link with a local club, make one. It has been a fantastic way to build a strong sporting community and network between schools and clubs which I hope will continue for years to come.

The Kent & Medway School Sports Magazine 5

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