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Aviva Support Schools

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Aviva elevating athletics


22 April 2010

Hundreds of thousands of children are set to benefit from better athletics tuition in schools, as insurance giant Aviva today launched an ‘Elevating Athletics Fund’, pledging to provide practical training and support to every single sports teacher in the UK. With London 2012 just over two years away, leading athletics sponsor Aviva is taking action after new research revealed that over half of the UK’s PE teachers feel they need further training and better facilities to teach athletics effectively.

Backed by World Champion Heptathlete Jessica Ennis, the move is a direct response to a study conducted by Aviva, which revealed that:

  • 52% of teachers feel they need further training to teach athletics effectively

  • 63% of teachers believe their schools lack the facilities to teach athletics effectively

  • Two thirds of teachers admit that in the build up to London 2012, there will be more emphasis on athletics in their schools

  • Nine out of 10 teachers actively plan to use London 2012 to inspire children to get active and participate in sport

  • 93% of teachers take the view that elite sportspeople play an important role in inspiring children to get involved in sport

As part of Aviva’s long term partnership with UK Athletics (UKA) and working in partnership with the Home Country Athletics Federations they have committed to giving every child in the UK the opportunity to get involved in athletics by 2012. Aviva’s Elevating Athletics Fund will provide support in three ways; free places on athletics teaching courses for every school in the UK (over 30,000 schools), detailed curriculum resource packs for all teachers and the chance for schools to win a £10,000 sports grant for facility upgrades. Aviva will also arrange a series of elite athlete visits to schools, to help inspire students.

In addition, the study highlighted that over half of all parents (58%) would like their child to be taught athletics over all other sports, including football. 63% of parents believe that PE classes should be treated as seriously as other academic subjects.

Jessica Ennis, World Heptathlon Champion said: “I will never forget my school PE teachers Mr Eccles and Mr Cockgreves as they gave me such great support and encouragement. It’s really important that we recognise the important role that PE teachers play in getting children involved, and continuing their interest, in sport. I’m proud to be working with Aviva to give teachers the tools they need to teach the basics of athletics in schools and hope that this will help inspire the next generation to develop a passion for athletics”

Heather Smith, Head of Sponsorship at Aviva, commented: “Aviva has been the number one sponsor of UKA for more than a decade. Since our sponsorship began we have helped the Aviva GB&NI prepare for all major championships and helped millions children get involved in grassroots athletics. Continuing our long term investment into athletics at the school level we are proud to be providing practical, ‘hands on’ support to a PE teacher in every school in the UK. We hope to create a long-term legacy for the sport, unearth potential champions of the future and also make sure our investment has a continuous impact where it is needed.”

Ed Warner, Chairman of UKA, commented: “With the launch of the Aviva Elevating Athletics Fund we hope to reach out to every single PE teacher in the UK to raise standards of teaching athletics in schools. The Government’s commitment of getting two million more people into sport or physical activity by 2012 must begin in schools. Aviva have been working hand in hand with UKA for the past 10 years to get more children involved in athletics, after all, running, jumping and throwing are the foundation of all sports and this will have a long term impact. As the school summer term begins, I am delighted that Aviva is supporting UKA in our ambition of putting athletics back on the school agenda and helping to deliver on the UK’s intention to increase mass participation in sport.”

For more information on the Aviva’s sponsorship of athletics please visit:  www.aviva.co.uk/athletics

To find out how to nominate your school to win 10k or to access free Elevating Athletics workshops for teachers follow this link

Download the PDFs below for a sample of the Aviva Elevating Athletics Teaching Resource