More than 100 youngsters have signed up to be part of an academy set up to train future sporting coaches and umpires.
Up to 15 children from each of the seven secondary schools in Erewash were put forward by their school to join the academy, which is run by Erewash School Sport Partnership.
The scheme was launched with the aim of equipping secondary school pupils with the skills they would need to umpire and coach children across a range of sports.
The partnership also works to put the pupils in touch with local sports clubs which are looking for volunteers to assist with coaching and officiating.
Pupils who volunteer then collate their hours and are rewarded by the partnership at several points throughout the school year.
Lorraine Stone, Erewash School Sport Partnership leadership and volunteering co-ordinator, said the benefits to joining the academy were endless.
She said: “The scheme helps the youngsters to develop their communication skills, it looks great on their CV and when they go into further education.
“It has a whole range of benefits and can really help with their personal development in terms of their self-confidence and self-esteem.”
Rhian Lilley, Erewash School Sport Partnership development manager, said the academy played a vital role in developing youngsters of all sporting abilities.
She said: “Some of the pupils who take part are not necessarily that sporty but they might have great leadership and organisational qualities.
“It’s great because these people then become role models. They are next generation of volunteers who will keep community sport alive.”
Hannah Batteson, of West Hallam, said she really enjoyed being a part of the partnership’s leadership academy.
The 16-year-old, who attends Kirk Hallam Community Technology and Sports College, said: “I was doing gymnastics when I first became involved in the academy last year, the skills I acquired helped me to lead and really helped build my confidence. This year I’m looking to learn new leadership skills in netball and indoor athletics.
“We’ve been looking at how to train young children, how to talk to them and what activities to do with them and how to umpire.”
Pupils taking part in the academy attend Kirk Hallam Community Technology and Sports College, St John Houghton RC School in Kirk HalIam, Wilsthorpe Community School in Long Eaton, Friesland School in Sandiacre, Ormiston Enterprise Academy, The Long Eaton School and Ormiston Ilkeston Academy.
All pupils who take part in the academy will receive a T-shirt provided by First Grade Clothing Ltd.