Wednesday 15 July 2015
A VICTORIAN primary school in Sheffield has taken a leap into the 21st century thanks to Lottery-funded play equipment being installed in the playground.
Westways school in Crookes was built nearly 150 years ago and is housed in three separate Victorian buildings surrounded by hard concrete, where children have been playing for decades.
But that has all changed thanks to funds from Sport England which has given the school a £30k slice of £18 million Lottery-funding to help school children get more active.
The money has been spent on colorful soft surface basketball and football pitches.
The equipment has already had the thumbs up from pupils, with teachers seeing children who were never active before now taking part in sport as a result of it being installed.
Head teacher Melany Holmes said: “This is just so great. It really has transformed the school and how the children play. Before they just had the hard concrete surface to play on, as we have no green areas at all. But now I have seen children who just used to sit during break times getting to their feet and playing on the equipment. Thank you to Sport England for giving us this lifeline.”
The new multi-sport play areas have now been installed in Warwick and Mona playgrounds and the equipment is already being used within the curriculum and out of hours to encourage our children to become more active.
The funding is part of a Government drive to get more children active by improving outdoor spaces for PE and sporting activities. The Lottery funded scheme is run by Sport England, which priorities schools with limited outside space and a strong commitment to PE and sport.
The schools receive an average of £30,000 each, like in Westways, to help them vastly improve their sports provision. The funding will make sure they have better equipment and facilities – like turning a concrete playground into a quality space for PE and sporting activities.
Sport England Director of Community Sport Mike Diaper said: “Westways Primary School’s two new outdoor multi-use games areas will really enhance the sporting facilities available to its children. Thanks to National Lottery funding, these new games area will be a real asset to the school.
“We know that for many children let alone many people, having access to quality facilities is an important part of creating a sporting habit for life. That’s why we’re confident that these new additions to Westways will help encourage more pupils to be active now and in the future.”
Cllr Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “It is wonderful to see the children getting so much joy and pleasure out of this equipment. All children should have the same chance to enjoy sport and play time and it is great to see the pupils making the most of this opportunity.”
Cllr Isobel Bowler, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Westways school governor who was instrumental in getting the equipment for the school added: “The state of the playground has been a concern ever since I became a governor and although we have done as much as we could manage this, the injection of capital from Sport England has made a big impact. The school has a real focus on physical activity and this new facility is making a real difference to the children every day. It is really rewarding to see them now so all actively engaged and enjoying themselves.”
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