School children get active in sports festival

Nearly 200 schoolchildren competed in a multi-sports festival aimed at getting young people more active.

Pupils from Hangleton Primary School, Goldstone Primary School, St Andrew’s C of E Primary School and The Bilingual School took part in the Community Games event hosted by Legal & General and the charity SportInspired.

More than 180 children took part in athletics, dodge ball, karate, rugby, tennis and street dance at Withdean Sports Centre in Brighton on Tuesday, July 3.

Also helping were 25 pupils from Blatchington Mill School in Hove who volunteered as young leaders.

The event, now in its second year in Brighton, aims not only to get more young people active but also help them develop confidence, life skills and improve their mental wellbeing.

Millie Downes, from SportInspired, said: “The aim of the event is for every child to find a sport they fall in love with to encourage them to continue it and be active so they lead healthier and happier lives.

“It’s about boosting their confidence so they can transfer this confidence to other areas of life when they won’t even realise their learning. There is plenty of research that links being active to improving mental wellbeing too.”

She said the event couldn’t happen without the teachers, young leaders, coaches and the Legal & General employees who give up their time to volunteer.

Young leader Daisy Hook, 14, who dances as a hobby said: “I think sport is a good way to boost confidence because when people are cheering you on it is going to encourage you to do more.”

 Lisa Ford, from Legal & General, said: “It’s great to see the kids come together and use sport as a way to introduce themselves to each other and have some fun.”

 Rebecca Thompson, also from Legal & General, added: “I always loved sport when I was younger so it’s nice to support something that I would have appreciated as a way of giving something back.”

 Teacher from Hangleton Primary, Alice Vincent, said: “This makes a big difference especially for kids whose parents might not be able to take their children to sports clubs due to work commitment or financial resources.”

 Nicky Mihalop from Legal and General, who helps organise the day, said: “This event gets the children active, introduces them to new sports but also other children and adults. They all love it and it is great seeing the sense of team spirit.

“It’s also great to see the enthusiasm from our colleagues to get involved. As a Hove employer I think it’s hugely important for us to give back to the community we’re based in and this event is one of the things we do to do just that.”