Students question UK sports leaders

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Students from a Sandiacre school have spoken to sports leaders across the county about how girls should be encouraged to be more active.

Emma Brooke, 14, Rachel Carter, 13, Georgia Green, 14, and Lucie Gordon-Burgess, 15, from Friesland School hosted a question and answer session at a conference organised by Derbyshire Sport and Sport England.

Around 50 sports leaders from organisations across the county attended the ‘Insight to Action’ event in Clay Cross and heard the girls’ inspirational talk.

They told the audience how they were involved in Erewash School Sport Partnership’s drive to boost girls’ interest in sport, which ties in with Sport England’s national This Girl Can campaign.

The students talked about how they were rallying girls’ participation in the Race For Life event, have pushed for rugby union to be introduced in the girls’ PE curriculum and are engaging with male students to help eradicate any misconceptions they have about female sport and physical activity.

Erewash School Sport Partnership is working with up to 15 girls from each secondary school in the borough in a bid to boost the number of girls taking up sport.

Rhian Lilley, Erewash School Sport Partnership development manager, said everyone at the Derbyshire Sport event was extremely impressed with the students from Friesland.

She said: “The girls were just amazing and it just showed how passionate they are about getting girls involved in sport. They really knew what they were talking about and brought our campaign to life. We are very proud of them and want to thank them for being such great ambassadors.”

Kelly Noble, PE teacher at Friesland School, said she was proud of the students.

She said: “It is a privilege to be involved in such a fantastic campaign and one we at Friesland feel very passionately about. The day gave a real insight into what we can do as a school to make an even greater impact on girls’ participation and achievement.”

The national This Girl Can campaign aims to prove that whatever a woman’s size, ability or previous experience, sport can be a fun and enjoyable part of their lives.

Rhian said: “We just want girls to appreciate the benefits of taking part in physical activity. We have been holding girls’ only sports sessions which have helped.

“There will be assemblies held where girls can learn about the kind of sports they can get involved in at secondary school. We would also like to get primary schools involved too as there can be a big drop off in the number of girls taking part in sport in Years 5 and 6 at primary school.

“We also want to introduce girls to the possibility of a career in sport even if it’s not about playing sport; it could be in sports psychology, sciences or sports journalism.”