No matter when you start exercising, it’s a positive. But did you know that getting active earlier gives you a better start in life and makes it even easier to keep up healthy habits in adulthood? St James School in Exeter, which is part of th[ED1] e Ted Wragg Trust knows the importance that physical activity has on the wellbeing of young people. That’s why they’ve joined forces with us to kick-start a programme of over 45 extra-curricular activities to help its students get fit, learn new skills, and flex their creative muscles too.
With our funding, the school has been able to create an attractive and jam-packed programme, by rallying the help of local organisations and investing in sports equipment. With support from businesses like Mother Truckers in the local community, there’s an activity to suit any student; from skating to ultimate frisbee, creative writing, kick-boxing, golf, and yoga. Phew!
There’s been a big focus on bikes too, with Exeter cycling charity ‘Ride On’ helping to support some of the most vulnerable students. By teaching students how to fix their bikes, students gain the confidence to ride around the city, increasing their fitness and sense of freedom. The school’s investment and the generosity of shop ‘Saddles and Paddles’ on Exeter Quay has also meant that a fleet of eight bikes is now available for students to use. And cycling has even helped create connections! A student refugee from Afghanistan has found his footing in the bike workshop, and fellow students and teachers have been able to connect with him in a much deeper way through this shared activity.
But the theme of inclusion doesn’t just stop at the saddle. With the wellbeing of pupils in the catchment area worrying below the national average, it’s hoped these activities are a big stride towards tackling this. And with over 90% of students signed up onto the programme, the numbers speak for themselves! The school has worked hard to make these activities as accessible as possible, even extending the school day on a Wednesday and coordinating the buses to leave later.
Along with the school, we’ll be working closely with Sparx and Plymouth University to monitor the impact of the programme to better grow and develop it. Watch this space!