Sir Steve Redgrave, five times Olympic Gold Medallist, was in the centre of London today for a School Sports Day with a difference. More than a hundred children from across the capital gathered to demonstrate some of the sports they have been enjoying at school, as part of Matalan Sporting Promise, including Street Cheer, Jump Rope, Ultimate Frisbee, Dodgeball and Parkour.
Children from St Mary's and Marlborough primary schools, Langdon Park secondary school, Stepney Green College and Westminster Academy were joined by a number of leading UK stars of Parkour, Ultimate Frisbee and Jump Rope. These included French free running founder Sébastien Foucan, Si Hill and Liam Kelly, who are representing Great Britain at this summer's Ultimate Frisbee World Championships in Japan and Beci and Rachel Dale, who are part of 'GET TRICKY', an elite group of international performers showcasing Jump Rope at the 2012 London Olympics.
Sir Steve Redgrave said:
Matalan Sporting Promise is all about encouraging children to take part in a variety of activities - not just the traditional sports - so it was fantastic for them to demonstrate what they've learned at Trafalgar Square today. Sport is such an important part of children's wellbeing, so it's vital we continue to support the teachers who are running PE lessons across the country.
Matalan Sporting Promise supports sport and PE activity in schools, working in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust with 3,500 schools already benefitting from the programme.
There are two parts to the programme - Matalan TOP Sport, which is designed for primary education, providing training and resources for teachers with 3,600 teachers trained as part of this already. The second part of the programme; Matalan yoUR Activity, concentrates on secondary schools and young people who may not want to take up traditional mainstream sports. The aspiration is for the programme to be in more than 10,000 schools by the end of 2013 and to reach as many schools across the UK over the next few years. There are currently more than 260 schools involved in London.
Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of the Youth Sport Trust said: "We are really pleased to be celebrating the huge success of Matalan Sporting Promise and the impact it has had on young people across the nation. We know that sport changes lives and through our partnership with Matalan, we can reach thousands of young people and encourage them to get involved in sport, in a fun and energetic way."
Matthew Needham, a PE teacher at Marlborough Primary School, Isleworth, was there to oversee the day's activity. He said: "Matalan Sporting Promise is a fun and exciting way to engage young people in a whole range of sports and physical activity. It is very important that sport is made as appealing as possible to our pupils so that it encourages them to become far more fit and active."
Janet Hogan-Dawkins, Matalan Store Manager in Dalston said: "Matalan is committed to getting more young people taking part in more sport and I'm delighted to see the Matalan Sporting Promise programme working so well here in London. We really want to strengthen our relationships with the local schools and it's not just for the children either, their parents will receive great offers in their local store!"
More information on Matalan Sporting Promise is available in Matalan stores and online. Matalan and the Youth Sport Trust are now planning the 2013 programme and teachers and parents who would like to register their interest in having Matalan Sporting Promise at their school should visit www.sportingpromise.co.uk.