Girls Active Awards 2019 - Best Squad

YST Girls Active Awards 2019 - Best Squad
The best squad award recognises a group which has demonstrated collective leadership, has made a demonstratable impact, has taken an innovative approach and has gone above and beyond what is asked.

There are five nominees in this category. One nominee will be revealed each week from Monday 30 September through to Monday 28 October. The winner will be announced at the start of November. The nominees are listed below.

Hatton Girls Active

The Hatton Girls Active team from Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in Wellingborough have been shortlisted for the Girls Active Best Group/GLAMS (Girls Leadership and Marketing Squad) Award in the 2019 Girls Active Awards.

Comprised of students who previously had negative perceptions of PE and Sport, the group are incredibly passionate about the positive impact that sport can have on young people’s lives.

The group developed a questionnaire for girls identified as inactive to complete about their likes and dislikes, analysed the results and used them to inform how they would plan a weekly club open to the invited ‘VIP’ girls.

“The club has been hugely successful, with numbers growing weekly from 7 initially up to 30 and there is a real buzz around the young students who want to attend” says Mrs Smyth, the teacher who nominated them.

“The leaders created the invites and have promoted the club using the Instagram account they have created” she adds, and the team are already developing their ideas for a stand at the Academy Health Fair along with plans to deliver girls only assemblies to all year groups.

On being shortlisted the team told us:

"We have all really enjoyed being part of the Girls Active Programme, it has been really fun working with younger girls and helping them to improve and enjoy PE. It has also given us the opportunity to develop our leadership skills and confidence. We are really proud to have been shortlisted for the award, thank you."

Great Marlow

Great Marlow School in Buckinghamshire were shortlisted for their GLAMS team nomination in the Girls Active Awards.

The GLAM leaders from years 8-10 have been involved in many activities, lead a Girls Active Takeover Club every Wednesday that runs throughout the year, designing and planning sessions which always include two options for different sports and activities.

The squads’ aim for the club is to encourage and promote positivity, confidence and self-belief for girls, as well as making the activities fun. Promoting activities around school, leading assemblies and promoting their club all helps to ensure consistently high numbers.

“The growth in the girls who have been part of the club has been amazing to see” says Mis Russell, the squads PE Teacher who nominated them for the award.

“The students who were under-confident at the beginning of the programme have stepped up this year to become leaders and have taken the club to a whole new level.”

The team have collectively led the initiative, delegating jobs to suit leaders with different skills sets as well as got involved in workshops with the Youth Sport Trust and threw themselves into filming with Women in Sport as part of the Girls Active Awards promotional activity. 

LGA’s GLAM Squad

Lord Grey Academy in Milton Keynes has its very own Girls Leadership and Marketing Squad (GLAMS) who have been shortlisted for the Girls Active Team Award.

The team consists of a group of 8 girls who are PE ambassadors and role models in the school. They have planned, created and delivered a series of extra-curricular clubs based on the requests from the disengaged students through data analysis and student voice.

The group, from years 9-11, meet weekly to plan, feedback and monitor the progress of their club and each member has a different role to help with the organisation and delivery of the club.

“It has been fantastic for developing their leadership skills and has earned admiration from other students in the school” says Miss Webb, Teacher of Physical Education at Lord Grey Academy.

The LGA GLAMS have a wall of fame display promoting their talents and supporting the This Girl Can ethos, encouraging all to get involved regardless of ability.

“This year the squad decided to run a multi-UV sports club after school and successfully won a bid from Girls Active to gain funding for all the UV lights, sports equipment, face paint and glow sticks to be able to run the club” adds Miss Webb.

Every Tuesday the UV sports session has been rotating across sports such as dodgeball, volleyball, netball, just dance and football.

The squad also designed their own reward scheme, meaning that girls were entered for a gift voucher if they attended all the sessions. This club saw a huge increase in participation, particularly with targeted pupils the squad wanted to engage such as BAME/SEN and disengaged students who previously had never attended any other sporting clubs. Numbers have reached over 45 and the feedback has been outstanding.

As the sports take part in the dark with just the UV lights, it has eradicated self-consciousness that some girls experience in PE and heightened the fun factor. The added extra of face paints, UV LED glow sticks and voucher reward scheme has enticed students that have never taken part in clubs before.

The squad have already won an award in the local area – The Milton Keynes School Partnership award for Innovative Club of the Year 2019 and are thrilled to have been shorted for a Girls Active Award.

Amira, Ava & Malaika

Amira, Ava & Malaika from School 21 in Stratford, East London, have been shortlisted for the Girls Active Team Award.

Not only have this trio worked hard to improve sport within their school, they have been inspirational within their own community as well as further afield, sharing their barriers, experiences and motivations with the Telegraph as part of the Youth Sport Trust’s national campaign.

The team set up a social netball club for girls and women aged 14+, attracting players from across Newham, no matter the skill range, ethnicity or religion. Their aim was to encourage women to stay active and empower them to enjoy sport.

The team have also continued to grow the schools ‘Muscles and Mascara’ incentive, constantly being great advocates and motivating others to take part. They set up the school’s first girls-only fitness session, which has been targeted towards Year 10 girls who rarely take part in exercise, proving a great success over the past academic year.

School 21’s PE team told us: “The students created "Muscles and Mascara"- a girls only club to promote physical activity. After 10 stamps of attendance, students receive a "muscles and mascara" t shirt which they can wear in lessons and at clubs. It has turned into a whole brand, which has supported with the momentum of the project. This has now branched out to motivational posters, clubs across two schools and in the community and increased participation by girls in sport.”

Pittville Sports Ambassadors 

The Pittville Sports Ambassadors from Pittville School in Cheltenham, have been shortlisted for the Girls Active Team Award.

As the only secondary school in Cheltenham without a sports hall, the team had their work cut out to engage more girls with activities on offer.

Through both research and personal experiences, the girls realised that one of the main barriers for girls’ engagement in PE and physical activity at Pittville was lack of confidence and self-esteem. This proved a motivator for many of the girls to apply to become a Sports Ambassador in the first place.

The team introduced participation matches that run alongside house matches, created a ‘buddies’ group where they have been buddies with some Year 7/8 students that lack in confidence and set up a lunch time club to work on physical activities in areas they feel comfortable.

On being involved in Girls Active the team told us:

Jess J: “It’s really boosted my confidence around the school”

Mia: “We have helped promote extra-curricular activity around the school”

Eloise: “It’s made people enjoy doing sport more than they used to”

Jess D: “I’m really proud of what we have achieved this year and the whole attitude to sport has completely turned around.”

Charlotte: “I feel like we have helped other people to enjoy physical activity and has helped me enjoy sports much more than I used to.”

Amber: I’ve noticed the atmosphere has changed into a positive environment.”

Vickie: “PE kit issues have reduced due to our introduction of the new rule” (Going home in PE kit if have PE last lesson)

Bernadette: “We worked together to create a logo for our t-shirts. We each got to choose our colour of t-shirt, this represented our individuality alongside being part of a great team.”

Rachel: “We wrote a letter to the local council to push for greater facilities at our school. This was not only great for developing my formal vocabulary, but made me feel like I have been part of the process and that my actions could make a huge difference.”

Mrs Crowe, the schools Sports Ambassador Lead who nominated the team said: “The girls are an absolute pleasure to work with. They are honest, reliable, understanding and genuinely want to make a difference. They have so many ideas.

“Pittville Sports Ambassadors are unique in their mix of backgrounds, interests and previous attitudes to PE and sports, but one thing they do have in common is their positive outlook on life. They are really deserving of this recognition.”

Return to the Girls Active Awards page