Cool kit draws girls into sport

1st December 2006 at 00:00
Banishing the dreaded gym skirt and big knickers has helped a secondary school teacher win a coveted all-Wales coaching award.

Tracy Davies said PE attendance among girls at Blackwood comprehensive, Caerphilly, has improved significantly following a relaxation of kit-related rules.

And last week the 33-year-oldpicked up the secondary school teacher coach prize at the annual Sports Council for Wales coach of the year awards in Cardiff.

Ms Davies, who collected her prize on crutches after dislocating her ankle, said: "Girls were opting out of sessions because of having to wear the traditional gear.

"Now, within reason, pupils can wear what they like - the important thing is for everyone to feel happy and comfortable."

Ms Davies, a netball player and gymnast, has introduced a broad range of PE options to the school including rounders, dance, fitness clubs and cross-country running.

Rather than focus heavily on sport at a competitive level (high-flying pupils are steered towards clubs), her aim is to encourage pupils to be active to promote health and fitness and well-being.

"Pupils will only do sport if they enjoy it," she said. "There's no point forcing them to take part."

Satu Haikala, who took the primary teacher coach award for her work at Nantmel school in Llandrindod Wells, Powys, offers her pupils a wide range of sports, and more than half of her key stage 2 pupils voluntarily take part in PE sessions out-of-hours.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today