Tackling some of the most significant and pressing issues young people face today, was at the heart of the Youth Sport Trust 2018 National Conference.
With a theme of ‘Sport Changing Lives for Good’, the charity’s conference was a flagship opportunity for school leaders and school sport professionals to learn how to maximise the benefits of PE, school sport and physical activity for all young people.
The event kicked off with an awards dinner on 27 February preceding the conference to highlight the outstanding achievements of schools and young people.
The conference, held on Wednesday 28 February at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, brought together leading practitioners and those working with young people in a bid to support teachers in nurturing and developing the wellbeing of their students.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Minister Nadhim Zahawi, announced at the Conference that the doubled Primary PE and Sport Premium funding will remain in place at £320million for the 2018/19 academic year.
The agenda provided practical learning for attendees as well as an opportunity to network with peers and leading suppliers in the world of PE, school sport and physical activity.
Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:
I am extremely proud of all our partnership work so far in giving the nation’s young people a platform for future success, but it is vital that we are prepared for the challenges ahead. This year are campaigning for PE to be repositioned on the curriculum.
We want to ensure PE evolves so it remains relevant and engaging for all children and young people, and particularly focusses on outcomes which drive emotional wellbeing and the development of life skills, as well as physical health. In doing this the research tells us young people’s performance in the classroom should also benefit.
We are thrilled by the key announcement from Minister Nadhim Zahawi that the doubled Primary PE and Sport Premium will be maintained. There is so much potential for what schools can achieve with this extra funding – it presents the best chance we have in a generation to really transform PE and harness its potential to improve children’s wellbeing.
The keynote speech from John Ratey MD, an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, looked at how physical activity boosts brain power and helps reduce stress, anxiety and maintain creativity.
Workshops highlighted how to create a broad and balanced curriculum to ensure a positive impact on pupil outcomes, as well as the importance of a community approach to health and sport by discussing the social determinants of health and the deep-rooted barriers to social mobility.
Sessions for those in secondary education looked at how to achieve excellence in examination PE with advice from the exam boards and leading practitioners as well as focussing on increasing emotional wellbeing outcomes of secondary aged pupils.
Primary specific sessions looked at how the evidence linking emotional and physical well-being with good academic outcomes is significant and growing. Attendees heard how primary schools are using this evidence base to drive '30 Active Minutes' interventions that tackle childhood obesity and make students 'fit to learn and fit for life.
Dame Katherine Grainger closed the conference with a speech around the links between education in schools, grassroots, and elite sport as well as the challenges facing elite sport and how she is tackling them as chair of UK Sport.
YST 2018 Award winners
Campbell CARE Award - Clare Mount Wirral Specialist Sports College (Wirral)
Beckwith CARE Award - Fatima Hussein from Captial City Academy (Brent)
Outstanding Secondary School Award – Great Marlow School (Buckinghamshire)
Outstanding Primary School – Bure Park School (North Oxfordshire)
Outstanding SEND School – West Lea School (London)
Outstanding Innovation Partner – The Movement Assessment Tool (Sheffield Hallam University)
Youth Sport Award Outstanding Achievement Award – Jack Laverty from John Spence School (Tyne & Wear)