Children in Allerdale and Copeland are receiving free sports coaching through the Story Homes sports programme.
The scheme, funded by house builder Story Homes and delivered by Cumbria Sports and Physical Activity Alliance Foundation (SPAAF) aims to encourage youngsters to keep active, learn new skills and enjoy sports.
Westfield and St. Michael’s schools in Workington, Monkwray School in Whitehaven and Montreal School in Cleator Moor were all selected to receive the free sports coaching after applying to Story Homes. The schools have enjoyed weekly sessions since the start of the school term in September, each having a dedicated coach to look after them throughout the school year.
Mrs. Anne Tait, Head Teacher of St. Michael’s School in Workington said of the coaching: “We are a small school with a limited budget so the sport coaching is a great opportunity to support the children through physical activity and raise self esteem.
“The children get changed quickly in anticipation of the lesson and have responded particularly well to having a male coach as we only have one other male role model working in the school. Our children are enjoying the lessons and we hope that the coaching will not only improve sport skills but will also enhance concentration, listening skills and improve balance and coordination which in turn will improve writing skills.
The school sports programme was set up by Story Homes and SPAAF in 2012 and delivered sports coaching in a number of Carlisle schools. Thanks to positive feedback and the overall success of the scheme, Story Homes decided to roll it out in both Allerdale and Copeland for 2014/15.
Fred Story, Chairman of Story Homes said: “The programme is now in its third year and we decided to expand the scheme further as feedback has shown that it has really helped to encourage children to take part in sport. Teachers are learning new sports skills too and confirming that in some cases, behaviour in class has improved as a result of the coaching.
“I’m very proud that the scheme is meeting its objectives and proud that as a business, we can encourage teamwork and self confidence in the pupils through funding sport in schools. I hope that we can continue to deliver and build upon this success in the future.”
Story Homes is delivering the sports coaching in nine schools in total. As well as two schools in Allerdale and two in Copeland, five schools in Carlisle are benefiting. These are; Newtown School, Pennine Way School, Brook Street School, St. Bede’s School and Robert Ferguson School.
For more information about Story Homes community activities visit The Story Difference.