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Aviva Elevating Athletics

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Christine Ohuruogu Aviva Elevating athletics


27 July 2010

Earlier this year, Aviva, in partnership with UKA, launched the Elevating Athletics Fund, pledging to provide practical training and support to every single sports teacher in the UK. As part of the scheme a nationwide competition was staged, for one school to win £10,000 fund for their school and 10 runners-up to win an elite athlete school visit, to help inspire the next generation of athletics stars.

The Summer Term saw an Aviva education team travel the length and breadth of the country visiting a few of the schools who were fortunate to have won a visit from an elite athlete to help inspire the students.

The visits kicked off last month with All Saints Primary School in Cardiff who welcomed local hero and 400m hurdle specialist Dai Green. Dai enlisted to take a few PE classes and to show the kids what it takes to be one of the top hurdlers in the world.

All Saints Primary School Cardiff - Dai Green

400m hurdle athlete, Dai Greene said of his visit to the school, ”We need to make sure that teachers know how to teach athletics, because they can only teach kids what they know themselves, so anything I can do to improve their knowledge is great. “

All Saints Primary School pupil Jacob Guy, 9, said, “He (Dai) taught us how to run, throw and  jump properly and said if we kept working hard then we could be athletes too. I would love to be an athlete in the future because I really enjoy playing lots of different sports.”

Head teacher, Angela Satterly at the All Saints Primary said, “It has been a fantastic day for the school and one of the most memorable ever, I’m delighted for the kids and hopefully it will help inspire them all.”

On Monday the 14th June, not one, but two schools got the star studded treatment, the Archbishop Holgate School in York which met 400m athlete Richard Strachan, whilst the Lindsworth School in Birmingham had the pleasure of Heptathlete Louise Hazel for the day. Both took over PE classes for the morning to help hone the skills of all the kids taking part and show them the right technique in running and javelin.

Archbishop Holgate School York – Richard Strachan

400m athlete, Richard Strachan said of his visit to Archbishop Holgate School, “The children were so enthusiastic about taking part and getting involved. It’s great for me to see kids getting involved with the sport and hopefully I’ve been able to pass on a bit of knowledge.”

Archbishop Holgate’s School pupil, Cameron Simpson, 13, said of the day, “We have been running with Richard and practicing the different drills that will help improve us. It was inspirational as well because we also learnt how a professional prepares and that can only be a good thing.”

Head of PE at Archbishop Holgate School, Matt Halifax said, “It was a fantastic day and for the children to have the chance to get advice off someone like Richard is invaluable. “We’ve got a few athletes here who we have got high hopes for in the future and I’m hoping that both the teachers and children will learn from this.”

Lindsworth School Birmingham - Louise Hazel

Heptathlete Louise Hazel said of her visit to Lindsworth, “I went along to teach the basics and those skills can be taken across into all sports and it wasn’t only for the pupils the teachers were involved as well”

Lindsworth School head teacher and head of PE Heath Mason said, “It was absolutely fantastic and Louise was great, we do a lot of multi-sports at the school and the lessons given by Louise will be invaluable going forward.”

Next stop on the Elevating Athletics School visit tour was on Tuesday 15th June in Southampton with Olympic gold medal winner and athletics icon Sally Gunnell. Sally visited the children at Shamblehurst Primary School to help inspire a range of kids from Reception class, all the way through year 7, giving them all the chance to learn the basics of long jump, hurdles and javelin.

Shamblehurst Primary School Southampton - Sally Gunnell

Olympic Gold Medal winner Sally Gunnell said of her visit to the school, “We are trying to give kids that opportunity to participate in athletics because how do you know about it until you have the chance to try it. There wasn’t anything like this when I was young but I was lucky and I had a very enthusiastic teacher at school who loved athletics”

Shamblehurst Primary School PE subject leader Hannah Halbauer said, “It was absolutely fantastic and all the children have been really inspired and really motivated and now want to get involved,” “Sally gave a PE lesson to 50 children and she did all sorts of things with them from hurdles, javelin – just all the different aspects of athletics.”

On Wednesday June 16th, the West Country got the Elevating Athletics treatment as 2004 Olympic Gold medal winner Darren Campbell visited the Kingdown Community School near Bristol. The specialist sports school got a day to remember as Darren put the kids through their paces and taught them a few tips and tricks to getting the best out of themselves on the athletics track

Kingdown Community School Bristol  - Darren Campbell

Darren Campbell said of his visit to Kingdown Community School, “It was a great day – the kids were fantastic and hopefully they will go away with a few little tips that will benefit them and that they can utilise. We did a bit of sprint training with them and showing them different techniques, which they all looked to have picked it up really well.”

Kingdown Community School PE teacher Craig Hillier said, ““We watched the sessions as well and as PE teachers we can always learn from watching other things and take it into the classroom. We’re really fortunate to have this opportunity and the kids have just embraced it and have been so excited by it all.”

Kingdown School pupil Daniel Bowman,16, mentioned: “It was brilliant talking to Darren about my sprinting and he gave me lots of tips about how to avoid injury. It was brilliant to get that specialist help because we don’t normally get that sort of opportunity and I am sure it will help me in the future.”

Thursday 17th June, on a bright and sunny summer day we headed north to Scotland to visit Colgrain Primary school in Helensburgh - just north of Glasgow. On the day we were joined by local heroine Lee McConnell, 4 x 400 relay star who took over all the PE classes for the day and hosted an assembly to help inspired kids to get into athletics.

Colgrain Primary School Glasgow – Lee McConnell

Colgrain Primary SchoolHead teacher Johanna McClelland said, “Having Lee at the school was wonderful; she was fantastic with all the children and has a real talent with children. There were a few children who couldn’t wait to join an athletics club after her visit and it was also very inspiring for our staff as well.”

Lee McConnell mentioned, “The children at Colgrain were very impressive and just so well behaved and eager to learn, hopefully me being at Colgrain Primary has encouraged some children to get involved in athletics.”