A first taste of Athletics…
Sportshall provides a highly enjoyable way for young people to try running, jumping and throwing activities as they take their first step into athletics.
The programme emphasises the importance of team competition and fair play and the fact that taking part and trying your hardest is more important than winning. Above all, Sportshall is an activity that can bring together children from across the globe in competition and friendship. Over the years, millions of youngsters have been introduced to athletics through Sportshall Skills, Awards and, most enjoyable of all, some of the noisiest sports Competitions that the world has ever seen.
Sportshall's exciting mix of skills, awards and competition appeals to children of all ages and abilities.
The Sportshall Pathway starts from Year 1 with the teaching of basic skills using the Sportshall Infant Programme. By year 3 children can progress using the UKA Sportshall Awards which offer a means for children to monitor their progress all the way through to Year 9.
By Year 5, children can take part in team-based Sportshall competition as part of the School Games programme. A comprehensive competition structure now exists enabling intra-school and inter-school Primary and Secondary Sportshall competition at Levels 1 – 3. The advent of the Sportshall Virtual Competition allows schools to compete using the Awards and posting their scores online. With the ongoing support of UK Athletics, Sportshall has developed into the number 1 programme within the School Games competition framework.
At club level, the Sportshall UK Championships provide the competitive focus for many young athletes between October and March. Each county stages a local programme of competition and trials to select teams with the majority providing regular competition for athletics clubs via a county league. The Championships conclude with the UK Final held in Birmingham in April each year.
Many current and former GB Team members started in the Sportshall programme including , Mark Lewis-Francis, Kelly Sotherton, Denise Lewis, Jade Johnson and Andy Pozzi. Former GB Team member Catherine Merry said “It’s such a fun and exciting way to do athletics”.
For more information on how to get involved please visit the Sportshall website.
Quotes from organisers and participants:
“What a fantastic day. The buzz and excitement around the whole event was amazing,”
“All credit to the athletes involved - when they were performing they really pushed themselves to succeed, and when they were not taking part they were raising the roof with the noise they were making for their team mates.”
Gareth Short, School Games Project Officer at Lincolnshire Sports Partnership.
All Ability Sportshall Athletics Competition, North Devon
This event was designed to give students with special educational needs or a disability the chance to experience and compete in a new sport.
“The young people had a fantastic day. They surprised themselves and also the organisers with what they could achieve. It was truly inspiring to see that they were so keen to take part in all the activities. The volunteers recommended awards to those who made the greatest effort. To see their faces full of joy and pride when they were presented with their prizes was especially memorable.’
Tammy Snowsill, North Devon School Games Organiser
“Although we didn’t win everyone tried their best which was good. It was a good day and I enjoyed it.”
Lily, 12 from Hurlingham