In a county where the nearest swimming pool, athletics track, indoor court or stadium can be up to 25 miles away, finding coaches and clubs to support the provision of physical education, broaden the sports on offer and nurture talented students can be a real challenge for teachers and parents.
Another barrier in rural areas is that clubs with junior sections are often few and far between.
School clubs links are formal channels between sports clubs and schools and are an excellent way of building player pathways, helping young people bridge the gap between school sport and the community clubs.
Where good clubs exist, the SSP works hard in partnership with district councils to find additional funding to bring coaches from the clubs into schools to help signpost keen students to the club, creating clear pathways between them and promoting life-long participation in sport.
Highfields SSCo Jayne Allen says, “The youngsters really look up to our year 13 student Emma Erskine [who won two silver medals at the Kickboxing World championships] because she’s shown you can become a world champion from a Matlock club like Jesters Martial Arts Club”.
By working with England hockey, we have been able to utilize the excellent skills of Matlock Baileans and County coach Helen Greer, based at Anthony Gell.
Helen has seen a big uptake of primary school children playing club level hockey for the junior section of the club, Matlock Monkeys.
300 children have played Tri-golf during curriculum time and in after-school clubs thanks to our links with Ashbourne, Matlock and Stanedge golf Clubs, in partnership with the The Golf Foundation. one of our small village schools even made the national Tri-golf finals.
In cricket the jointly funded ‘Chance to Shine’ programme in partnership with the myriad of local clubs has create opportunities for coaching in our primary and secondaries.
At Hope Valley College the SSP funds a part-time cycling coach. teacher and mountain biker Ian Pollard’s weekly coaching session uses the on site cycle track and each month he runs a Saturday morning community cycling club.
Highfields SSCo Jayne Allen says: “Local clubs are very important. We do a lot of work with Matlock golf, cricket, football and rugby clubs. That in turn bolsters their junior sections.”
“So there’s a continuous pathway that extends from us to them and keeps them involved. In the past these students could have gone through the whole of their school career not discovering their talent.”
The Partnership will:
- Develop strong links and pathways between schools and local clubs and increase the number of young people moving from school to a club environment.
- Add value to coaching provision in schools by working in partnership with national governing bodies of sport and local clubs and communities to leverage additional and match funding.
- Support young people to develop their leadership skills so that they are confident to continue developing in their role as performer, leader, coach or official.