Lower school scoops sporting award for inclusive PE sessions

Sporting success at Castle Lower School.
Sporting success at Castle Lower School.

A lower school has become the first primary to win a council-led sports award.

Castle Lower School was crowned Sporting School of the Year at Monday’s Bedford Sports Awards.

Before this week the annual accolade has only been won by secondary schools.

Acting headteacher Polly Ross said: “We are extremely proud to be the first lower school to receive this award.

“It is reflection of the high standards of achievement in PE and the level of engagement of the children combined with the inclusive nature of the way sport exists at Castle Lower.”

No-one is excluded from sport at the school where activities are chosen so that children with special needs can take part.

There’s also a sensory circuit unit where youngsters with autism go twice a day for physical activity, which increased their readiness for learning.

The playground has been refurbished and there’s a climbing ‘trim trail’ for pupils.

Children are awarded PE values for attributes such as determination and passion, which are presented weekly during a Friday celebration assembly.

The accolade is a double celebration for the school, which in July was awarded a distinction in the AfPE quality mark for PE and sport - it was just one of nine schools across the country to achieve this standard.

PE co-ordinator Nicola Mason said the recognition is the result of four years’ work to transform the sports provision.

They have a 100 per cent attendance record for lunchtime and after-school sports clubs.

Ms Mason said: “It is the icing on the cake.”

Brickhill Lower School received a Sporting School Commendation Award from the council.

Here is a full list of this year’s winners in the Bedford Sports Awards:

2015 Sports Club of the Year

Bedford Cricket Club

The Bedford Cricket Club have been increasing their memberships over the past few seasons after financial support from Sport England and Bedford Borough. This support has enabled their coaches and volunteers to produce successful teams. The first men’s team won their Saturday league for the third season in a row, the girls team won the U13 Lady Taverners Trophy for the second year in a row and the juniors have won many titles including U15 Regional Champions, U14 winners and U12 runners up in the County Championships. The club welcome 200 juniors to training and matches, whilst also finding time to host community groups and schools at the cricket ground.

2015 Rising Star Award

Rahul Sheemar, Cricket

At the age of 14 Rahul, has represented Bedfordshire Young Cricketers U11, U12, U13, U14 and 15, EPP select XI, Essex Academy, Bedford Cricket Club 1XI as well as Bedford School 1st XI. He captained the 2015 U14 county side for Bedfordshire Young Cricketers and is already respected as a role model and leader within his age group. He was the youngest player at 14 to play in the Bedford School 1st XI. Rahul trains very hard alongside doing his academic studies, throughout the winter he will be travelling over 500 miles a week to commit to his preparation for 2016. Rahul has agreed a two year deal with Essex Academy. He is committed to Bedfordshire County and is likely to represent them at development and 2nd XI.

Rising Star Special Commendation Award

The Salvation Army, Bedford

The Salvation Army has constructed the MUGA on the derelict woolpack site in Bedford. The MUGA is floodlit and open for the community to use. During a 12 week duration there has been over 180 attendances from over 8 different nationalities for football sessions. The site offers hours of usage be it for coaching of sport for refugees or even the wider community on a weekly basis. The venue welcomes all cultures and diverse local groups to make use of the facilities in an area with very few open spaces or affordable resources..” The Salvation Army supports the local community by offering free facility use, providing support and organisation for “Cage Games Week”, “Cage Tennis”, “Cage Football” and “Cage Futsal.”

2015 Sporting School of the Year

Castle Lower School

In 2015 all Year 1 pupils from Castle Lower School attended at least two competitions. The school are delighted to see pupils with special needs achieving successes in County competitions in Boccia and Kurling. The school have been working hard to provide extracurricular clubs for all pupils and from Year 2 upwards 100% of pupils take part in them. The dedication to improvements at the school has led to major changes to support the developing needs of pupils from increased floor markings and the addition of a trim trail to a new room dedicated to sensory circuits. The school also work with local clubs and inspirational ex athletes to encourage children to work towards their goals. AfPE have recognised Castle Lower School with a Quality Mark of Distinction.

Sporting School Special Commendation Award

Brickhill Lower School

2015 was a very successful year, which saw the school crowned District Champions in Quad-kids Athletics, Cricket and Tennis for year 3 and 4. They went on to represent Bedford Borough at the Level 3 School Games Finals In addition they attended all the KS1 and KS2 competitions including Goalball and Outdoor and Adventurous Activities .All pupils participate in 2 hours timetabled PE each week, 42% of pupils also participate in extra-curricular clubs, which include cricket; football and cheer-leading. The school also uses innovative ways to engage pupils in physical activities through the provision of a ‘Change for Life club’ and giving opportunities to act as sports reporters at events. The school has also developed partnerships with some local clubs to provide sporting links and to support delivery of their sport within the school.

2015 Junior Sports Personality of the Year

Julie Rogers, Athletics

Julie trains 6 days a week at Bedford Athletic Stadium, which she balances with her ‘A’ level studies at Bedford Modern School. She also frequently travels to Loughborough in order to access specialist facilities with British Athletics. In addition to being a member of the British Athletics Talent Development Squad and the Girls4Gold programme in 2015 she progressed onto the British Athletics Futures Scheme and has been nominated by British Athletics to the Talented Athletes Support Scholarship programme. Performance-wise in 2015 Julie competed for GB at the World Junior Games in Holland, winning Bronze in the U23 Age-group. She also won bronze at the England Disability Age Group Championships. She is currently ranked 1st in the UK for the 100m in her T42 classification.

2015 Young Sports Volunteer of the Year

Temitope Fisayo, Walking Football

Tope, is a highly valued, enthusiastic and consistent volunteer at a project to support people with dementia to experience a wide range of sporting activities. He has helped to develop the project to enable over 90 people with dementia and their carers to enjoy the activities they might not otherwise be able to do. Tope is a true sportsman, capable with great team spirit and has encouraged many with dementia to try new activities and uses his spare school time to help at weekly walking football sessions.

2015 Sports Team of the Year

Star Club Juniors, Rowing

The Star Club Junior squad have had a successful year performing at the National Junior Sculling Event and finishing 4th, making the final at the National Schools Regatta, winning the Boys Singles at the Marlow Regatta and supporting squad members who competed at the British Championships in the J15 event, finishing 4th after a photo finish and making the final at this competition in the WJ16 event. Star Club Junior squad are partnered with 6 local schools , setting up extracurricular activities and are always striving to identify new talent in the sport. The squad have an excellent coach and 9 reliable and enthusiastic volunteers to keep moral up and development progressive.

2015 Sports Administrator/Club Person of the Year

Tony Ogborn, Sailing

Tony has been a member of Priory Sailing Club for over twenty years, holding positions of office for much of this time. Currently serving Membership Secretary he instructs, coaches, manages memberships and maintains buildings and equipment, no job is too much trouble for Tony. He is a volunteer and has had a significant impact on the range of activities that the club run, as well as a positive impact on the clubs members with his commitment and enthusiasm. Tony has been a cornerstone in the clubs development by securing grants from various sources that have provided a clubhouse and subsequent extension.

2015 Sports Coach of the Year

Grace Blacklock, Acrobatic Gymnastics

Grace is a Level 4 Gymnastics Coach and has been selected by British Gymnastics to be part of the Coaches Performance pathway for up and coming coaches who want to have gymnasts in the GB Squad. She is a dedicated Sports and Dance teacher and commits numerous hours each week to preparing and organising coaching sessions, making leotards and running classes at Trust Gymnastics Club based at Sharnbrook Upper School. The club continues to grow and now has 17 competing teams in total, despite operating in a dance studio without specialist equipment, sprung floor, hoists or an enormous team of coaches.

2015 Disability Sports Award

Peter Smart, Sprint Kayaking

At the National Sprint Regatta Peter obtained two golds and one silver plus the overall Paddle-Ability National Award for the second year. Peter has achieved great results against paddlers without disability, with many personal best times at 200m and 500m, gaining more race experience. He is very committed, with an intense coaching regime and physio sessions which has maximised his speed and potential in this sport. Encouragement is given to other club paddlers to try various techniques with a genuine interest in supporting others too.

2015 Adult Sports Personality of the Year

Dee Paterson, Canoeing and Kayaking

After 18 months of trying the event, Dee was one of three selected in the Great Britain Team for the Freestyle World Championships in Canada where she finished 11th. In the British Championships Dee came second behind a 4 times World Champion and she aspires to continue to improve and challenge for future medals. By training daily and analysing her performances Dee is an excellent athlete, and yet she still finds time to help with community coaching and mentoring

2015 Outstanding Achiever of the Year

Bethany Dix, Netball and Dodgeball

This year Bethany was selected for the U18 England Netball ‘Nets’ squad and travelled to play in the World Championships. England won gold in the Final and Bethany was recognised and awarded the Player of the Tournament. Bethany also competes in the England Dodgeball Team, trains with the Regional Netball Academy and is a part of the Mavericks Youth Netball squad who play in the National Performance League. She is a fantastic role model to aspiring young athletes and works tirelessly to juggle her National sporting commitments, fundraising, volunteering and education.