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Student volunteers sign off for summer in true sporting style

Press release issued: 2 June 2017

Bristol Festival of School Sport is back for 2017 with 14 schools and over 900 pupils joining us for a day of fun filled sport

Record high numbers of student volunteers will be inspiring the next generation of local secondary pupils on Tuesday to find their own sporting fix. The Festival of Sport will be an exciting opportunity for young people aged between 11 and 13 years old to try sports that are not traditionally offered on the national P.E. curriculum such as American Football, Lacrosse, Boxing and Cheerleading, and is also a fantastic chance for students at the University of Bristol to give something back to the community by putting on the event. Over 125 students from the University’s Sports Leadership Programme and athletes from the Performance Sport programme will be in the thick of the action.

The children attending the festival have been selected because they are not particularly engaged in school sport and do not have many opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity in their extra-curricular time.

Recent studies have reinforced the significance of early teenage years in the decision that young people make about the role sport and physical activity will play in their lifestyles. Simply upping opportunities for children to get involved in traditional sports is not working as these only cater for those already engaged in sport. Sport England has identified that whilst traditional competitive sports do not need to be replaced, there needs to be a ‘broader offer that meets more diverse needs.’

The Bristol Festival of School Sport aims to do exactly this; introducing young people to sports they have never tried, and in some cases have never even heard of before, hopefully reigniting an interest in sport and demonstrating the wealth of sporty options available to them.

The students who are volunteering on the day will in return gain valuable employability skills such as teamwork, flexibility and communication to add to their academic records. Their hard work and commitment just after a gruelling exam season will help finish the 2016/17 academic year in style.

Event organiser and student staff member Trinity Handley said, “'Not many students will leave University having organised an event involving over 1000 people and I've learnt a huge amount during my internship at the department of Sport, Exercise and Health. I think it's so important that young people across Bristol set their aspirations high and Bristol students can act as big role models in helping these youngsters rethink their attitudes to sport and get a positive introduction to Higher Education in the process.”