Over 900 school pupils will be trying their hand at a range of alternative sporting activities today [6 June], as the University of Bristol looks to inspire a life-long love of sport and exercise.
The youngsters, aged 11 to 13 and from 14 schools across Bristol, will join more than 100 University of Bristol students for a day of sporting fun at the Coombe Dingle Sports Complex.
There will be 14 different activities on offer ranging from frisbee, lacrosse and boxing to American football, team building sessions and even orienteering.
If that isn’t enough excitement, the school pupils will also be treated to lunch break demonstrations from both the University of Bristol Judo Squad and the Bristol Jets cheerleading squad.
The day’s been devised to get pupils interested in a sport which they might not ordinarily get the chance to try, ultimately encouraging a more active lifestyle.
The day will culminate in an afternoon closing ceremony to bring the day to a close and celebrate all involved.
Volunteers include a variety of students, including elite-level athletes from the University of Bristol’s performance sport programme and performance sport clubs – schemes designed to give professional coaching support while helping students balance the demands of studying and training.
Trinity Handley, event organiser from the University of Bristol, said: “University of Bristol students have a fantastic opportunity to act as role models in helping these youngsters rethink their attitudes to sport, while also giving them a positive introduction to Higher Education during the process.”
The day is part of the Bristol Festival of School Sports and follows on from a hugely successful day for 850 primary school children which was held in March.
The project was first established in 2008. Since then almost 10,000 school pupils from 21 Bristol secondary schools have taken part.
Sport Development Officer Robbie Fox added: “The festival aims to inspire the pupils with a variety of dynamic sports which they might ordinarily not get the chance to try. Recent University of Bristol studies have showed that children do less exercise as they get older and research from Sport England shows that there’s a drop in participation among secondary school students, therefore it’s crucial to spark an interest in sport at this stage in young people’s lives.
"The Bristol Festival of School Sport aims to introduce young people to activities that they have never tried before, and in some cases have never even heard of before, hopefully reigniting an interest in sport and demonstrating the wealth of sporting options available to them."