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School offers multi-sports with Manchester United

A high school in Salford has become a thriving community hub for multi-sports over the past nine months with the help of a partnership with Manchester United Foundation.

| by Katie Newton

The Swinton High School offers multi-sports with Manchester United

As a partner school of Manchester United Foundation, The Swinton High School has been involved in the Premier League 4 Sport initiative to inspire students to try Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth sports with aim of keeping fit, making new friends and learning a new skill.

Premier League 4 Sport co-ordinator Justin Davies has witnessed first-hand the impact the programme has had on the students involved: “Too often I see kids who have no interested in sport simply because they haven’t found an activity that suits them. This programme allows us to engage young people with a variety of sports and the response has been tremendous - they’re not only exercising and having fun, but developing their teamwork skills and confidence too.”

He continued, “As a result of taking part students have developed their leadership skills by getting involved in the coaching and volunteering side of their sport. To see a young person engage with a sport for the first time and then become so proficient they are able to coach it is an incredibly rewarding aspect of my work.”

Recent sessions saw students participate in a variety of activities including table tennis, boxing and basketball.

Student Lauren Griffiths, aged 12, thoroughly enjoyed the session: “It keeps you active and the coaches are really good.”

Whilst 14-year-old student Kieron Ward said that the sessions had helped him in a number of ways: “It has helped me with teamwork and my ability to play different sports. The sessions offer things to do after school; it’s better than staying at home.”

Head of PE at The Swinton High, Paul Lane, believes the school’s involvement in Premier League 4 Sport has been incredibly successful since it began earlier this year: “The programme has greatly contributed to sports specifically targeted in the PE Department Development Plan and has also improved the school to community sport club links”

Paul also added, “With the help of the Premier League 4 Sport programme, we are now able to offer an extra-curricular club every day, both during dinner and after school, which can be accessed by any student regardless of their gender or ability. This is a highly significant and valuable achievement.”