The Umbro Community Sports Project Award 2012 

‘Althorp School Games’ 
Althorp School 
Nominated by: Helen Fagan 
This was an opportunity for small rural primary schools that have small pupil numbers to hold an Olympic-style sports day. 
 
I was fortunate to be given use of Althorp House and their grounds. We held our event on the same day as the real torch came to Althorp House. I had volunteers from clubs, large local companies, senior schools, etc; who all wanted to help make this a once in a lifetime experience for 550 primary school children and create a lasting legacy. 
 
Small schools have small pupil numbers and often find it very difficult to hold competitive sports days due to lack of numbers, grounds and facilities. Many opportunities we all have involves joining with other schools to be able to participate in events. This means we are not recognised as a school individually. We therefore have to reject some opportunities. 
Althorp School
Having worked in the school and having had responsibility of organising many sporting events, I felt there was a need to highlight small schools and the issues we face with sports (year group sizes and low numbers). 
 
The aim of the project was to give every child the chance to compete and learn from outside providers. This also gave the children the competitive edge that we as a small school don’t usually get. With the London Olympics taking place this year, we all wanted to be part of it too. 
 
We measured the success of this by having 10 small schools wanting to take part and others also requesting to be involved. We had lots of help with large local companies and clubs all wanting to be involved as well. To see 550 children smiling and laughing was amazing and I think that was a success in itself. 
 
Planning this event was (done) in my own time whilst a lot of things like; having our own torch relay between the schools, the learning the schools did for their chosen country, the production of facts and artwork; were all done in class time. 
 
We used a local leisure centre called Everyone Active to sort out the events. Daventry Athletics Club came and did training sessions on the day. School sports leaders from Campion School came and ran the events to get their Level One. 
 
Each and every child experienced and took part in disabled and able bodied sporting events. This was a chance of a lifetime to be involved in history. There is press and media footage on ITV and BBC news as well as coverage in the Chronicle and Echo and Daventry Express newspapers. 
 
Three schools won the trophies, great relationships were formed with other small schools and with outside providers who are continuing to help in other projects. This has highlighted small schools and put them on the map now. We have a lot to offer, inspiring children on to bigger and greater things in the future. 
 
We have been fortunate to have formed brilliant relationships with companies that helped us that day and they are involving themselves with other projects and so bringing our small schools even more opportunities. 
 
The London 2012 Olympics was all about inspiring and creating a lasting legacy. I think we have been able to give 550 children the tools to think towards their futures and see that we all have the opportunity to achieve, regardless of disability, colour or size of the school. 
 
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