Team Upton selected for national Get Set community fitness campaign

Upton pupils Get Set for the national scheme

Upton Junior School in Broadstairs is a leading light in a special Get Set Beacons campaign across the UK.

It is one of 40 schools nationwide – and one of only four in the south east – selected by Get Set, the education programme from Team GB and ParalympicsGB.

Team Upton has already met with its fellow Get Set Beacons in Birmingham to discuss ways to get their community active as part of the year-long programme designed to empower schools and youth organisations to build local links to encourage active lifestyles for young people.

Deputy Head of School Dave Walker said: “Our original bid was to involve children and their families in sport together, building on our Community Sport programme that we already have in place.

“We were able to reference our sustained impact on sports participation at Upton, the impact we have with events we run in Thanet, and the fact that we have been a National Primary School for Sport in the past.

“Once our application was chosen I attended the launch event on behalf of Team Upton during which we examined the barriers to participation from different areas of Great Britain and discussed ways forward.”

Head of School Darci Arthur said: “We are proud of our sports heritage at Upton and the way we work with the community.

“We are looking forward to being actively involved in supporting the excellent Get Set Beacons initiative during the next year.”

The campaign has offered access to funding, training and materials to help get communities active.

Jan Paterson, CEO, British Olympic Foundation said: “Now in its 10th year, Get Set is celebrating the positive social impact its programmes and activities have had on the lives of young people across the UK prior to and since the hugely successful London 2012.

“We are extremely excited about Get Set Beacons which will bring together schools and their communities, by promoting active lifestyles and community cohesion opportunities for young people to be advocates for.”

The scheme to deliver community projects with the biggest impact is supported by sessions from organisations including Activity Alliance, England Athletics, Get Set partner UK Anti-Doping and from campaign partner ukactive.

It is hoped that by building sustainable relationship between schools and venues, the Beacons campaign will help create active networks that will benefit children and communities for years to come.

Jack Shakespeare, Head of ukactive Kids, said: “Physical activity has a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest challenges we face as a nation. From addressing social isolation to childhood obesity, physical activity is the golden thread which can improve the physical and mental wellbeing of our communities.

“Get Set Beacons is a fantastic example of harnessing the true power of physical activity. ukactive is delighted to be working with Team GB and ParalympicsGB to develop long-lasting relationships between community leisure centres and schools to give children and young people better access to a range of fun activities.”

The campaign aims to help people find opportunities within their own surroundings that they didn’t know were available before, and to help them discover new sports and hobbies to establish lifelong healthy habits.

Report Peter Barnett