School race away with sporting challenge

Thomas Alleyne sixth formers rowed to victory in the inaugural Club 16-19 Dragon Boat Festival. They beat tough opposition from Nobel School in the final. Six Stevenage secondary schools attended the festival which was a culmination of a year-long program

Thomas Alleyne sixth formers rowed to victory in the inaugural Club 16-19 Dragon Boat Festival.

They beat tough opposition from Nobel School in the final.

Six Stevenage secondary schools attended the festival which was a culmination of a year-long programme of activities for 16 to 19 year olds.

There is a massive drop in activity in this age group, so the Stevenage School Sports Partnership has been trying to ignite an interest with regards to increasing participation in sporting activities.


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Club 16-19 was set up by the Stevenage SSP and has attained funding from the Herts Sports Partnership and Sport Stevenage to deliver a Wednesday afternoon programme of various activities for Stevenage youngsters.

The Club 16-19 Challenge is a competition involving many different activities and the overall champions of the Challenge Trophy this year were Thomas Alleyne.

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This is the start of an annual competition for 16 to 19 year olds.

The standard has been set by Thomas Alleyne and the SSP challenges other sixth forms to take up the challenge when they resume in September.

Thomas Alleyne were the winners of the football, rounders, kwik cricket and dragon boat, with Marriotts picking up the ten pin bowling trophy.

* More than 500 youngsters took to the water at Fairlands Valley Lakes.

Children from Years Three-Six enjoyed putting on buoyancy aids and having fun in the sun.

It was a two-day event organised by assistant partnership development manager Gina Kelly in conjunction with the staff at Stevenage's top water sports centre, Fairlands Valley.

The younger children raced in bell boats, and the older ones took on the dragon boats.

Sports leaders from Nobel, Valley, Marriotts, Heathcote and John Henry Newman assisted, making sure the primary children were organised and up for the challenge.

Partnership coaches assisted with the climbing wall and challenge activities while young ambassadors assisted with the chillout area.

Kelly said: "It really was a fun-filled, action packed couple of days.

"Thanks go to all the staff who were involved on such a big event.

"Well done to all the children who took part and congratulations to Longmeadow and Codicote Primary who won the events. It was lovely to see the children trying alternative sports; we are very fortunate to have such fantastic facilities in the town."*

* The annual sports leaders reception was held at the council offices.

A group of sports leaders from every Stevenage secondary school met the town mayor.

The evening was an acknowledgement of the involvement of the sports leaders in community volunteering.

Jill Eaton, partnership development manager, said: "These young people are ambassadors for their schools and show how important it is to give something back to your community.

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