Packed sporting calendar for BMAT children

A PACKED calendar of sporting sessions and competitions is giving BMAT children a wealth of opportunities to thrive.

The Trust, which has four primary schools in Harlow, has invested in the sporting development of its youngest pupils, with dedicated PE staff appointed to the schools.

Every Friday, events are held for pupils from all of Harlow’s primary schools and are attended by those from BMAT’s Cooks Spinney, Freshwaters, Little Parndon and Roydon.

Pupils take part in competitions against other Harlow schools, including table tennis, futsal and the Change for Life Festival for less active children.

In the latest competitions, Cooks Spinney teams came first and second in badminton, with Freshwaters making it to the semi-finals. Cooks Spinney will represent Harlow in the county finals in January.

In dodgeball, five of the eight finalists were BMAT teams, with Little Parndon winning the event, Cooks Spinney finishing third and Freshwaters fourth. Little Parndon will represent Harlow in the dodgeball county finals in January.

Phil Dawes, BMAT director of PE, said: “The calendar provided for our primary school pupils in Harlow is developing all the time. We have full-time PE co-ordinators and apprentices at our primary schools who are off timetable each Friday to enable our pupils to get to the various competitions. If there are no competitions, we host BMAT events to help children to practise for the larger Harlow events.

“The co-ordinators make sure PE lessons prepare pupils in the appropriate sporting event ahead of the next competition. We also have a full-on programme of extra-curricular clubs for our pupils to attend. Our primary provision in Harlow is phenomenal.”

Sport clubs are held every day at each of the primary schools, including judo, archery, dance, boccia, tag rugby, cross country, netball, swimming, tri golf and rounders.

Mr Dawes said: “Primary school PE sessions are traditionally taken by class teachers, rather than PE instructors or teachers. At BMAT, that is not the case as we committed to getting all children specialist PE teachers and full-time co-ordinators. That gives them good quality lessons as well as lots of after-school and lunch clubs.

“It is about getting children active; getting them in really good habits for the future. We are trying to capture their attention young and to find out what engages them; to work out what is going to keep them fit and healthy long-term.

“We are also able to spot talent early and to discover future stars.”

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