Local team helps sporting pupils flourish after hours

5th November 2004 at 00:00
Dayncourt school has been described as one of the best examples of a sports college in the country by the Youth Sport Trust.

The Nottinghamshire school, which serves a former mining community in Radcliffe-on-Trent, has a partnership with several nearby secondaries and primaries.

Every pupil does a minimum of two hours a week of sport and PE - in keeping with government guidelines - and extra-curricular activities are offered involving local sports clubs.

Older pupils coach younger children in basketball and gymnastics, developing leadership qualities and encouraging them to keep participating in sport.

Pupils can even take up fencing, historically the preserve of independent schools.

Denise Lewis, Olympic gold medallist, recently presented Rania Ramadan, a student at Dayncourt, with a national award for her work promoting girls'

football.

Dan Philpotts, the school's development manager, said: "We are trying to engage everybody in school sport and PE and to firm up the pathway from primary school through to secondary school and then into clubs and local communities.

"One of the big issues is the drop-out rate from sport after people leave school. We are trying to address the health and social aspects as well as improving professional athletes to bring back medals ultimately."

The school hopes to attract additional funding to double the pound;400,000 it has already spent, including the creation of a multi-purpose floodlit all-weather pitch. Pupils currently use "soggy and boggy" turf or they have to go to nearby playing fields for an all-weather surface.

David Bell, chief inspector of schools, singled out Dayncourt as an example of good practice.

"Staff work with local primary schools to identify pupils with a talent for PE before they arrive at Dayncourt," he said.

"The school takes account not just of pupils who are talented performers but also those who show a talent in coaching and leading others."

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