School sports flourish in town

Chaos reigned at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre for two days as the mini Commonwealth Games took place in the town. More than 700 eight and nine-year-olds were guided around a variety of activities and sports. They were given a 10 minute taste of e

Chaos reigned at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre for two days as the mini Commonwealth Games took place in the town.

More than 700 eight and nine-year-olds were guided around a variety of activities and sports. They were given a 10 minute taste of each one in the hope that they will get hooked and want to come back for more.

The two-day event sees local club coaches giving their time for youngsters in their community as the borough council and the partnership combine to make it a hectic but enjoyable experience for all concerned.

Young leaders from Marriotts Sports College, Heathcote and Nobel secondary schools led the youngsters around the activities which ranged from sailing in the dance studio to gymnastics in the squash courts.

Matt Warren, the Stevenage sports development officer, said: "Yet again the event has been a great success with the smiling faces of the children and shattered looks of the coaches saying it all."

In partnership with the SSCO partnership, Stevenage Cricket Club and the ECB, 16 young leaders from Barclay, Thomas Alleyne, Heathcote and Barnwell schools were put through their paces by sub-county cricket coach Dave Smith to enable them to become Young Cricket Leaders.

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Dave was delighted by their efforts and said: "The youngsters were a mixed ability group who have all demonstrated commitment and determination to develop their cricket skills and will now be able to assist cricket coaches during the summer."

The aim of the training is that the youngsters can now work alongside key local club coaches in primary schools throughout the summer months.

Also some of the young leaders with a cricket background will be in a position to now support the district coaching and also the work of coaches within their own clubs.

Roebuck Primary School popped up as winners of the Stevenage Pop Lacrosse Festival at Marriotts Sports College.

Schools from all over Stevenage competed for the title and young leaders from Marriotts officiated the event.

On a wet yet exciting afternoon, this new sport showed why it has proved so popular within Stevenage schools.

Supported by a grant for PE and school/club links from the Herts Sports Partnership, all partnership schools in Stevenage have received six weeks' tuition and a bag of equipment.

This should ensure that the sport continues in the schools when American coach, Kevin Burke, returns to the States.

It is hoped that youngsters who have enjoyed the opportunity to play in school will continue their involvement at Nobel School on Thursdays (3.45-4.45pm). Children aged nine to 13 are welcome.

Current British judo champion Jodie Carter is going to be running a judo workshop for girls assisted by Stevenage Judo Club.

The session has been organised by Gina Kelly from the partnership.

Gina said: "We are targeting girls who do not do enough sporting activity outside school hours, as well as those who have an interest in martial arts.

"This is an activity which could well appeal to girls who are not motivated by team sports.

"To have a British champion come to Stevenage to work with the young people of the town is very exciting."

The session is being run at Camps Hill on April 26 from 4-5.30pm.