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19 June 23
An initiative run by Berwick Academy to re-ignite the passion of physical activity and sport in young girls has won a national award.
The Academy has won the Youth Sports Trust Impact Award – which celebrates the impact achieved by schools and their sporting partners for young people.
Berwick Academy project involved supporting and training 30 girls who were disengaged in sport, through their Professional Level 1 Bowls qualification resulting in them having the skills and knowledge to successfully lead Indoor bowls activity sessions to six local primary schools.
Franki Clark Head of PE, School and Community Service with Active Northumberland said:
“We talked to the girls to find out where their interests and aspirations lay and to find out what was currently discouraging them from taking part in sport. We found out they were keen to develop leadership and mentoring skills in a new sport.
“By talking to the girls and finding out exactly what they wanted to achieve we were able to lay on an activity they were engaged in which kept them motivated and gave them a real sense of ownership, empowerment and confidence.”
The school teamed up with Active Northumberland, School Games and Bowls Scotland to deliver regular indoor carpet bowling coaching sessions at the new Berwick Sports Centre.
They also spent several sessions working with Team GB boxing coach Amanda Coulson to develop their leadership skills through The Youth Sports Trust Girls Active programme,
Stephen Wilkinson. Head of PE from Berwick Academy said:
"We know the impact of sport goes well beyond the physical benefits. It can develop confidence, teamwork, friendships and is great for mental health too.
“By taking this completely fresh approach to delivering sport we have been able to inspire a group of girls who were disengaged with physical activity, to really connect and have fun and reap the many wider benefits of sport.
“Colleagues in our partnership schools have told us how much their girls have enjoyed taking part and want to be part of future initiatives with us. What’s more the interaction through sport, of different aged pupils from local schools has helped to ease the worry associated with transitioning to new schools.”
This initiative has been so successful and transformational that the school has changed its sports curriculum to ensure that future girls' groups will be able to continue this legacy in the coming years if they so wish.