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Students identified to represent the Academy as Young Leaders


A piece by Wesport, October 2017


The West of England Summer School Games Inclusive Water Sports 2017


The Event

The first Summer School Games Inclusive Water Sports event was run by Wesport in 2015. The day of the event consists of rowing, canoeing and sailing along with a number of challenges out of the water. At least 50% of the children the schools bring must have SEND with the remainder of participants being children who have never represented the school at any sport. We have a good mixture of Mainstream and Special Schools in attendance and in 2017 over 80% of the children taking part had SEND. The 120 children who took part in 2017 all attended 6 training sessions on the water leading up to the final event.

In previous years all of the volunteers running the event were adults, provided by All Aboard Water Sports who were hosting the event. We decided that we would like to identify and train a group of Young Leaders to run the 2017 event.

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The Sailing Event 2017



Identifying the Young Leaders

It would be nice to say that we went through a rigorous process in identifying the group of Young Leaders who would support our Inclusive Water Sports event. The reality is we found an excellent group of young people almost by accident.

Earlier in the year things were going well in the build up to our Spring School Games and then a week before the games a school providing 20 Young Leaders pulled out of the event. After a mild panic and quite a few phone calls Miss Rachel Pearson a teacher at Merchants Academy saved the day. She was able to bring 20 students who were part of the Academy’s CSLA Level 2 Programme to cover the gaps. In the end they supported the delivery of four sports. The Young Leaders were particularly effective in working with participants with SEND taking part in our T Ball event. I asked Rachel if her students would be interested in receiving some training and taking on leadership roles at our Inclusive Water Sports event. She immediately said yes and plans were put into place.

14 Young Leaders attended a training day at All Aboard Water Sports where they were introduced to the sports that form the components of the event as well as learning how to operate the specialist equipment needed when working with young people with a range of disabilities.


The Day of the Event

The Young Leaders were integral to the success of the day and received praise from teachers, coaches and older volunteers. They were given responsibilities which included team organisation and managing individual events. They were constantly smiling and were a credit to themselves and their school.

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Provided by Andy Blackburn

Senior Project Manager at Wesport


Well done

Congratulations to all the Sports Leaders for their hard word and achievements throughout 2017 so far. Please have a look at the photo gallery below, showing their journey through each stage of their certification and events they have volunteered at already.

Page Gallery



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