Net gains for sporty pupils

VOLLEYBALL FUN ... the School Games at Boldon School.
VOLLEYBALL FUN ... the School Games at Boldon School.

A VOLLEY good time was had by all as South Tyneside youngsters tried their hand at a new sport.

More than 130 pupils aged between nine and 11 took part in a volleyball festival at Boldon School.

The sporty afternoon was set up as a pilot event, ahead of the sport’s possible inclusion in the Sainsbury’s School Games, which are held all over the borough – and nationwide – for both primary and secondary school pupils.

The taster session proved such a success that volleyball is set to be included in the School Games calendar next year.

The children were guided through the basics of volleyball by young sports leaders from Boldon School, in New Road, Boldon Colliery, who had previously completed an England volleyball leaders award.

The young participants – from West Boldon Primary School, Simonside Primary School, Dunn Street Primary School, St James’ RC Primary School and Hedworth Lane Primary School – were then split into teams for a mini-tournament, with medals awarded for the best performers.

The event was a small part of a year-wide programme of events held in the Sainsbury’s School Games.The games aim to create a legacy from the 2012 London Olympics, inspiring young people to take up sport by creating lots of opportunities to get involved.

They are made up of four levels, starting with pupils competing against their schoolmates in a range of sports, with winners facing other schools in the area and then going on to compete at county and national levels, with the chance to compete at world-class venues such as the Olympic Stadium in London.

Tyne and Wear Sport works with schools in the borough to organise South Tyneside events in the games.

Bryan Levey, Tyne and Wear sport school games organiser for South Tyneside, said: “It was fantastic to see so many children participating in a sport many of them had never tried before. Diversity and new opportunities form a key part of the School Games.

“Based on the success of today’s festival, we hope to include volleyball as a main Level 2 event next year.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris