Awards recognising the outstanding level of sport before and during the pandemic lockdown have been presented to Upton Junior School in Broadstairs.
The honours recognise sports provision to all and ages and all abilities during the autumn and spring terms and for the school’s work during the lockdown period into this summer.
Head of School Darci Arthur said: “This is a great testament to our commitment and desire to embrace sport for all.
“We consistently deliver a balanced and broad programme of activities to the highest standard for all of our children who are encouraged to take part at whatever level suits their ability level. It is a fine example of the team spirit at Upton that central to everything we do.”
The award from the national School Games team and the Youth Sport Trust is highly regarded and valued nationwide and to be eligible schools must meet a rigid criteria of provision.
Upton traditionally offers children the opportunity to become involved with around 40 different after-school sports clubs across the school year and competes in over 50 different sports events outside of school hours. Sporting events happen across 20 weekends each year and can involve travelling across the county.
And during the ongoing lockdown the sports coaches Callum Noble and Jordan Maclaurin ensure no-one misses out by regularly providing structured activities via online streaming for boys and girls.
These include fitness videos, sports challenges and lockdown sports clubs for the children as well as participation in the virtual Viking Games with Upton’s partner Viking Academy Trust schools, Ramsgate Arts Primary and Chilton Primary.
Jordan said: “We are incredibly proud to be given this recognition – it would not be possible without the hard work and dedication to sport by our pupils. We provide the opportunities but the desire and enthusiasm by our boys and girls who push themselves and accept challenges highlights the strength of sports at Upton. They are a credit to the school.”
Callum added: “This is an important award for us all. We cannot wait for ‘team Upton’ to be back together again so that we can continue to take part in School Games events as well as enabling all children to be physically active whether this is from PE lessons to representing the school in a team.”
As well as traditional games like netball, soccer, rugby and athletics, Upton provides for lesser known sports including lacrosse, squash, archery, handball, go-karting, table tennis and orienteering. With a swimming pool onsite, pupils are also able to swim for free as part of their PE lessons.
The criteria for the award includes: showing outstanding provision for school sports and enabling all children to be physically active whether as part of PE lessons or representing a school team; enabling all children to take part in at least two sporting events whether that be as part of a school team or class v class or house v house(sports days and the Viking Games) ; giving all children the opportunity should they wish too, take part in school sports events whether through the school games format or Thanet Passport in at least two inter-school sporting events.
As well as in-house sport, Upton boys and girls regularly compete in district, county and regional competitions as teams and individuals. Upton also runs a community sport programme that offers competition and involvement to schools using its facilities. It has a major involvement in the ongoing development of primary sports across the district and works alongside the highly-regarded Thanet Passport Association that oversees sports opportunities for children.
*The School Games, which is funded by Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a government led programme designed to keep competitive sport at the heart of schools and provide more young people with the opportunity to compete and achieve their personal best.