31 Mar

The Sussex Junior Player Series for young golfers is back this summer as a great way for boys and girls aged 5 and over to start playing golf in a fun and relaxed environment with beginner friendly rules for everyone to enjoy. There are separate prizes for all three age groups (Reception - Year 2, Year 3 - Year 5 and Year 6+). 11 courses are involved in the programme and it's £8 to play in each event. Every player will receive a certificate. Adults are welcome to help but this is not essential. There is no dress code and equipment can be provided to those that need it.

Ofsted is planning a new focus on physical development in early years settings, with deputy director of early education Gill Jones claiming that nurseries and pre-schools are not adequately physically challenging. Ms Jones also questioned whether the early learning goal for ‘moving and handling’ was challenging enough. Speaking at Action for Children’s Munch ’n’ Move event at the Kia Oval last week, Ms Jones said inspectors are not routinely seeing children in early years settings being physically active and getting out of breath. To make children more physically active, practitioners need to encourage children to take more ‘safe risks’, she said.

A six-month rapid pilot has launched in Greater Manchester schools to deliver mental health and emotional wellbeing support to children in response to rising mental health struggles in young people. One in ten children currently experience a mental health difficulty. The programme is a new collaboration between national children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust (YST), Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, the Alliance for Learning Teaching School (part of Bright Futures Educational Trust), 42nd Street and Place2Be.

The first Mental Health Action Plan for Elite Sport has been unveiled. It has been developed with mental health and sports organisations to improve awareness and training in top-level sport. A new mental health strategy will be implemented across all elite sports to promote good mental wellbeing and give athletes and national governing bodies better information about accessing sports and clinical psychologists.

Children from disadvantaged families are at greater risk of being overweight compared to those from more affluent backgrounds, a new study has found, but this hasn’t always been the case. Childhood weight and height data from the last 65 years shows that youngsters born after the Second World War exhibited the opposite physical traits, with underprivileged children being shorter and lighter than their larger, socially-higher counterparts.

Loughborough University’s Dr Jo Harris has authored a paper on behalf of the PE Expert Group on the case for Physical Education (PE) becoming a core subject in the National Curriculum. The paper presents the case for PE becoming a core subject in England alongside English, Mathematics and Science. Core subjects are generally considered to lay the foundation for learning in other subjects and, as a result, are generally advantaged in terms of their status, preparation for teaching, and their time and resource allocation in schools.

30 Mar

Shelley Primary School, Broadbridge Heath are this year’s netball champions after their A team completed a full set of wins in Division A of the league. Their final match was against fourth placed Plaistow/Kirdford A so they were heavy favourites to jump the final hurdle in front of them. However the villagers put up a great fight only going down 9-6 and taking a bonus point by virtue of getting 50% or more of their opponent’s winning score. Shelley’s success has been a real team effort with Tyler Muttick and Eleanor Smith demonstrating great super defensive skills, Charla Flint providing some dynamic centre play and up front on the final night Fenton Howard and Madeleine Way sunk in the goals. Shelley now look forward to representing Central Sussex in the Sussex School Games at K2 Crawley in June.

Fixtures for the Horsham District primary schools inclusive football festival have just been issued. The event is taking place in Horsham Park on Wednesday 18th April, 12.30-2.30pm and 17 teams will be involved across the two age categories of years 3+4 and years 5+6. The event is designed for boys and girls who don't normally get in the school team or play in a junior club side. Five pitches will be in action and lots of fun is expected.

25 Mar

Northolmes Junior School went sports wheelchair crazy last week after hiring HDSD's supply of eight of them for a full week. PE Coordinator Fiona Williams expressed her delight at how well it all went, "We had a brilliant week. Having seen the children’s reaction at the HDSD Paralympic Event in September, I wanted to give the opportunity to all our students but with a message beyond fun. The ethos behind it was to develop thinking about others, tolerance, resilience and perseverance - after hearing the inspirational life story from Lizzie Williams, wheelchair athlete, on the road to Tokyo 2020."

24 Mar

Division B of the Horsham District Primary Schools Netball League was concluded last week at Collyer’s with the St Andrew’s, Nuthurst B team taking the title by a narrow one point margin. St Andrew’s started the final meeting as strong favourites to come through but nerves were in early evidence for them against bottom team All Saints B in a game which they scraped through 2-1, belying the points in the table chasm which lay between the two. Main chasing rival All Saints A had less trouble in their opener against Slinfold coming through 8-4 to stay in touch.

On Friday it was the turn of the Year 6’s to engage football cup battle in Horsham Park and a close affair it turned out to be. In the end it was Southwater A who came away with the title, winning one and losing one in the second round group, similar to the other two sides but gaining the all important bonus point available from losing with 50% or more of the opposing team’s score.

All Stars Cricket is an initiative from the England and Wales Cricket Board aimed at providing children aged 5 to 8 with a great first experience in cricket. It was successfully piloted last year and will be running again this year with sessions starting in May 2018 across 37 clubs in Sussex, including a number in the Horsham District such as Horsham, Henfield, Storrington and West Chiltington/Thakeham clubs.

The Sussex Cricket Foundation's #DIScoverABILITY Day is back for 2018! They're inviting friends to The 1st Central County Ground on the 11th May (10am-2pm) to have some fun and discover their cricketing ability. This years activities include: Cricket Skills Challenge, inflatables, Lord’s Taverners table cricket, Sid the Shark’s Big Hit, Kwik Cricket Zone, and the Sharkz Cafe will be open for refreshments. For more information call Aroop Tanna 07500 025449.

England Golf is working to get more girls aged 5-18 years playing golf through a new initiative: Girls Golf Rocks. Local golf clubs Cottesmore and Slinfold are going to be part of this drive and are starting off by offering free taster sessions. Cottesmore is running on Friday 6th May, 10am-12noon and Slinfold on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th April, both 1-3pm. No experience is necessary and neither is equipment, just turn up in what you feel comfortable in.

Latest figures from Sport England's Active Lives Adult Survey show 27.7 million people – 61.8% of the 16+ population in England – are active. That means they meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines and do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week – gaining health benefits including a reduced risk of dementia, depression, diabetes, and improved mental wellbeing. At the other end of the scale, 11.5m people (25.7%) are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week. The results, which are based on a sample of almost 200,000 survey respondents, show that activity levels in England are stable.

Girls were more active when they ate breakfast daily as part of a study into whether breakfast frequency affects physical activity. Researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Bedfordshire conducted the research among 27 adolescent girls who ate a standard breakfast on seven consecutive days.

22 Mar

There's plenty going on at the Horsham and Shipley Community Project and they've just issued their second newsletter - HCSP Chatter - to capture the fun. Men's Shed, diary dates, maintenance days, vets football, petanque, walking football, People's FA Cup...it's all going on and covered.

18 Mar

The Department for Transport has launched a call for evidence on ways to make cycling and walking safer while supporting the government's ambition to increase cycling and walking. The aim of this call for evidence is to support an open and comprehensive review of how the issues that cyclists and pedestrians face, or perceive, when using our road infrastructure can be addressed.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is urging the nation to turn from spectator to sportsperson this summer, as new figures show that the average Brit spends nearly 30 hours more watching sport than getting active every year. Statistics released by the BHF show that people spend an estimated 122 hours watching and listening to sport each year; the equivalent of six billion hours across the UK and 81 entire football matches per person. This is compared to an average of 95 hours a year per person, or five billion hours across the UK taking part in sporting activities.

Sustrans Big Pedal 2018, which runs from Monday 23 April to Friday 4 May, will see pupils, parents and teachers across the UK leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters for their journeys to and from school. The challenge is free to enter and schools can sign up to the Big Pedal 2018 by visitingwww.bigpedal.org.uk. There are daily prizes to be won including bike stunt shows and scooters from lead sponsor, Micro Scooters.

The Youth Sport Trust has teamed up with Sophie Radcliffe, adventure athlete and blogger, on a new programme which aims to boost confidence and self-belief among teenage girls. TrailBlazers is aimed at helping young girls develop the confidence and skills to navigate their own path and live courageously. By using the transformative power of adventure, active challenges and the inspiration of a relatable role model to tackle the alarming decline in mental health and physical activity among secondary school-aged girls, and advise them how social media can be used for good and to inspire one another.

ukactive has launched a new consultation that will help to shape the future of children’s physical activity across the UK. The consultation will focus on developing opportunities in three key areas: the organisations and institutions that children and young people experience, the physical environment that children and young people grow up in and the social environment that children interact with.

A plan to lower obesity levels by reducing calories in many foods has been announced. Public Health England (PHE) wants to cut the number of calories in common foods by 20% over the next six years. PHE has challenged the food industry to cut the number of calories by 20% by 2024 in 13 food categories. These significantly contribute to children’s calorie intake and include ready meals, pizzas, savoury snacks and ‘on-the-go’ deals.

Next Friday (23rd March) it'll be year 6's taking the stage in Horsham Park for their age group cup. Let's hope the snow and the rain abates before then or else there's a good chance the ducks and swans from the park pond will be making their debuts on the three pitches lined up to accommodate nine teams from six schools. After the confusing fixture schedule that Friday's year 5 event relied on teachers and coaches will be relieved to learn that a much simpler format will be used for this lower number of teams, with three first phase groups of three teams being played and placings informing three second phase groups of three teams. May the best team win!

Year 2 children (six and seven year olds) are also going to be strutting their football stuff in a festival in Horsham Park this Friday. Three schools are lined up to let their little ones loose - Heron Way, Holbrook and Leechpool - and much fun will be had. Mud, fun and goals are going to be givens. As well as matches there'll be a group warm-up and a penalty shoot-out intermission.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 28th March year 3 and 4 children from four schools will gather at Millais School for a High Fives Netball Festival. The event has been switched from the originally earmarked venue of Collyer's because of a re-arranged college netball fixture, however a Collyer's student organising group will still be taking a lead. Much fun is going to be had.

Division B of the Horsham Primary Schools is set to be the next tier to complete its season at Collyer's on Wednesday. St Andrew's, Nuthurst B lie in pole position and are heavy favourites to stay there given they are set to play the third and fourth placed teams, Slinfold and All Saints B in their remaining matches. All Saints A lie in wait to pounce though if the Nutties metaphorically drop the ball.

17 Mar

Achieving the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts will recognise clubs or providers who have reached and maintained excellent safeguarding standards. It will empower parents and carers to make informed decisions when selecting a club or provider for their child. The code has been developed through close consultation between us, representatives from martial arts governing bodies and those with years of expertise in safeguarding. Support was also provided by the Child Protection in Sport Unit

The next generation of England’s sporting heroes are winning on and off the pitch according to the latest research into dual career athletes. An increasing number of talented youngsters are proving it is possible to combine high-performance sport with academic excellence. And the results of a year-long study explode the myth that playing sport at the highest level is a natural barrier to topping the class.

Sport England has extended its partnership with Mind as we work to make sport and physical activity more accessible for people with mental health problems. The Get Set to Go programme, which they run alongside the mental health charity, is being expanded through £1.5 million of National Lottery funding. Get Set to Go has opened doors to activities like football, badminton, walking and ultimate frisbee to over 3,500 people with mental health problems – together with group and one-to-one peer support. Now, as it moves into its next phase, a refined version of the programme is being launched in 10 areas across England.

Division D was the first of the netball tiers to produce its final statement of accounts this week after completing its final meeting, and Shelley B, as expected, finished in top spot as a result of winning all its matches. Well done too to Heron Way for accumulating five wins against all other opponents bar the winners.

Heron Way School won the Year 5 Open Football Cup on Friday in a wet and muddy Horsham Park in fine style, a run of four straight wins seeing them through to the title, including a 3-0 triumph in the final against a powerful Southwater A team. 14 teams contested the event over four pitches that were well marshalled by work experience, young leader staff and HDSD stalwart Paul Taylor. The pitches had to be moved from their normal spot adjacent to the Superbowl to the central area of the the park to exploit about the only playable part of it. Thankfully everyone managed to negotiate the puddles and swamps to get to and from 'Football Island'.

10 Mar

The Horsham Primary Schools Table Tennis League Division B returned to action at Collyer's this week after last week's snow interruption and it was a bumper week of matches with the organisers sticking to their plan to get three rounds of games in despite re-arranging the final meeting to Friday 27th April. The chasing pack at the top of the table were hoping for Southwater B to get nervous but the surprise leaders did not waver in their skills and belief, and so stayed top.

Southwater Junior Academy won the Year 4 Open Football Cup in a rainy and muddy Horsham Park on Friday with their A team beating Leechpool in a one-sided final after both had qualified as top team in each of their qualifying groups. Third place was shared between Greenway A and Southwater B after the play-off game between the two finished in a draw. Well done to all 10 teams for completing the tournament in such poor conditions.

Southwater Junior Academy has won the Central School Sports Partnership Area Primary School Indoor Cricket Competition, run recently at The Weald School in Billingshurst by the Sussex Cricket Foundation. They defeated Shelley in a best of three matches final 2-1. Shelley won the first 255-243, Southwater won the second 248-217 then Southwater won the decider 245-222. Southwater now go on to represent the area in the County Final on Wednesday 28th March at The Aldridge Cricket Centre, Falmer.

Re-established last year in the local schools' calendar of events the Horsham District Schools Dance Festival returned last week on Wednesday and Thursday at The Hawth Theatre in Crawley in an expanded format that included all year groups spanning from 4 to 18 year olds. This extra ambition, led by organiser Paula Kitchener, was rewarded with success in two evenings that incorporated a total of 18 performances from 17 schools and colleges, 347 individual dancers and a total of 901 audience seats sold.

8 Mar

Sport England has teamed up with Sport Relief to encourage employers to support their staff in becoming more active. The two organisations are asking employers to encourage their staff to get active for 15 minutes a day. It’s all part of the Sport Relief’s ‘Billion Steps Challenge’, which will see the nation uniting to walk one billion steps a day, between 17- 23 March. The challenge has been backed by Minister for Sport, Tracey Crouch.

7 Mar

11 teams from 8 schools arrived at Collyers Sixth Form College on Tuesday 6th March to take part in the Horsham District Primary School’s Year 3 and 4 Tag Rugby Festival. The event was organised by sports leaders from Collyers who sorted out the fixtures, set up the pitches and refereed the games and they did a brilliant job as everything ran smoothly and finished on time. Special mention must go to Anthony whose communication and organisation throughout the process was excellent.

5 Mar

Free football kit and equipment is being made available to primary schools across England and Wales, as the Premier League Primary Stars Kit and Equipment Scheme opened for applications on Tuesday 20 February. The Premier League Primary Stars programme is a national curriculum-linked education initiative, designed to inspire children to learn, engage and be active. Using the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs, the programme provides ways for teachers to inspire girls and boys aged 5-11 in the classroom, the playground and on the sports field.

It's warmed up and the snow has melted. What a relief to just be able to describe the weather as miserable again. We can take that and rejoice in getting the football going again. The Year 4 Open Cup is lined up this Friday in Horsham Park with 10 teams from seven schools aiming for glory. May the best team win.

3 Mar

The annual Horsham District Primary Schools Swimming Gala was contested on Wednesday at Pavilions in the Park. The B event was lively, being contested by seven teams from five schools by teams that consisted of teams purely made up of non-club swimmers. Shelley A won two of the eight races and Northolmes A won the 4 x 25m freestyle relay but it was Southwater who powered home to win the overall team trophy with a haul of five wins. Well done to them.

A new report using data from Sport England’s Active Lives Survey looks at the link between physical activity or volunteering and mental wellbeing. Taking part in physical activity and volunteering in sport are positively linked with mental wellbeing, individual development and social and community development.

More than seven in ten millennials – those born between the early 80s and mid 90s – are set to be overweight or obese between the ages of 35-44, according to estimates by Cancer Research UK. This compares to around five in ten baby boomers – those born between 1945-55 – who were overweight or obese at the same age.

The British public thinks it is more important secondary school children have PE lessons than study history, according to a study by YouGov. The survey asked British adults which subjects they felt were the most important to study in schools, and physical education ranked more highly than many other subjects, including history and religious education.

2 Mar

St Andrew's School, Nuthurst is in the box seat to bring the primary schools netball Div B title home this season after a enjoying an excellent second Phase 2 meeting at Collyers this week. With bitter cold weather outside matches were brought inside and first up for the Nutties was a much improved Slinfold team. An excellent match finished 6-4 to St Andrew's and then it was their turn to take on title rivals All Saints A, another close one finishing 3-1 in their favour. All Saints A had to be satisfied with a 10-0 punishing of their B string and the evening was wrapped up by Slinfold getting over their nut allergy and sealing a difficult night for All Saints B with a 12-1 big win.

The Collyer's sports field may be covered in white flaky stuff at the moment but come Tuesday it's going to be covered in a different way as over one hundred seven to nine year olds converge on the college to contest a tag rugby festival. Eight schools and 11 teams are set to have great fun across four pitches. Teams have been split into two groups and Collyer's students are lined up to officiate under the direction of HDSD's tag rugby aficionado Paul Taylor. It's predicted that the snow will clear on Sunday, nicely in time for these boys and girls to do their thing.