Top Link will build sporting bridges

27th June 1997 at 01:00
A scheme to improve links between physical education in primary and secondary schools was launched this week by Tony Banks, almost in his back garden.

Brampton School in East Ham, next door to the new Sports Minister's Newham constituency, hosted the unveiling of the Youth Sport Trust's latest addition to its National Junior Sports Programme.

The scheme, which is called Top Link, will use the leadership skills of secondary school pupils to organise mini-sporting festivals for their feeder primaries to boost interest in sport.

Sue Campbell, chief executive of the YST, said the scheme would build on existing initiatives such as the Community Sports Leader Award and Junior Sports Leader Award run by the Central Council of Physical Recreation.

Secondary schools running leadership projects will be asked to organise a festival day for their feeder schools. Pupils submitting the best proposals will be invited to a three-day residential camp at Loughborough University next Easter when they will learn all aspects of sports leadership administration, officiating and coaching, as well as practising their favourite sport. Their teachers will also be invited to a one-day professional development conference on key stage 2 and 3 links.

Caroline Price, head of PE at Brampton, an 11 to 16 comprehensive with around 1,550 pupils, said her senior pupils were keen to take part in Top Link. "They are ready for something like that."

The project, sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance for three years, is part of the Sports Council funded National Junior Sports Programme which consists of Top Play, Top Sport and Top Club.

Details of Top Link from Sara Sturnham, the project manager, YST, Rutland Building, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU. Telephone 01509 228293.

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