School sport is booming

PUBLISHED: 11:35 03 May 2007 | UPDATED: 11:49 06 May 2010

Netball

Netball

Nearly 1000 youngsters at Stevenage primary and secondary schools have been active in festivals and activity programmes over recent weeks. There have been many opportunities for youngsters to compete and be involved in a variety of things ranging from kar

Karate has been encouraged in Stevenage schools recently

Nearly 1000 youngsters at Stevenage primary and secondary schools have been active in festivals and activity programmes over recent weeks.

There have been many opportunities for youngsters to compete and be involved in a variety of things ranging from karate taster sessions through to raft building.

* Youngsters were invited to attend a two-day partnership activity programme (Active 8) over Easter which involved a day at Marriotts Gym Centre and a day at Fairlands Sailing Centre.

Young Leaders from Marriotts, Nobel and Barnwell supported the youngsters alongside the coaches from the two clubs.

The programme was designed to build self-esteem in youngsters.

* The John Henry Newman School hosted the annual Stevenage Primary Schools' Netball Festival with around 300 youngsters taking part.

Young netball leaders from the school umpired the games and were given their awards following their involvement in the festival.

Jo Mackin, head of PE at JHN and the school sports co-ordinator, said: "It was great to see so many girls playing netball and the primary and secondary youngsters working together."

The winning teams were Ashtree in the small schools' festival and Peartree Spring Juniors in the large schools' festival.

* Newly accredited Stevenage Hockey Club organised the first primary schools' hockey festival with support from young leaders at Nobel School.

There were 12 teams taking part on a glorious sunny evening for some great hockey with youngsters picking up new skills quickly.

The winning team was Woolenwick Junior School who narrowly beat Graveley in the final.

* A new athletics club is up and running for youngsters in the town.

The club is aimed at all primary children aged between seven and 11 and runs at Ridlins from 4-5.30pm.

Qualified coaches from Stevenage and North Herts AC work with the children to develop their running, throwing and jumping skills.

If your child would like to experience the thrill of athletics at a national stadium, just take them along and join in the fun.

* Thirty youngsters found when they attended a free taster session in karate.

Stevenage Karate Club linked up with the school sports partnership to provide the JKA karate opportunity to Stevenage children.

Sensei Darren Welsh led the training session and inspired the primary children.

Steve Deal from Stevenage Karate Club said: "It was a total success and hopefully we will secure some new students."

If you are interested in taking up karate classes, they are at Nobel on Mondays (6.30pm), Poplars Community Centre on Thursdays (7pm) and LA Fitness on Sundays (10.45am).

* Easter was an exciting time for two sixth form students from Stevenage schools as they were selected to go to Loughborough University which is renowned for its excellence in PE.

The residential course which lasted three days inspires young sports leaders and coaches to get further qualifications and stay involved in sport.

Marcus McKechnie from Heathcote School said: "It was the best week of my life. I met Kelly Holmes and some fantastic people who love sport as much as me."

Glen Begley from Nobel also attended and was equally impressed with the course and now wants to study sport at university.

The pair were selected due to their involvement in community sport and their passion to get other young people doing sport in Stevenage.

They are both involved in athletics, and Marcus runs an athletics club at Knebworth Primary School and is also involved in coaching football.

Gina Kelly, sports co-ordinator for Heathcote, said: "I'm very proud of all my sports leaders who give up their time to work with younger children. They are good role models and stepping into sport is a fantastic thing to do.


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