One hundred and twenty pupils, aged 7-8 years old, recently came together to participate in BH Live’s annual City Games hosted at Portsmouth’s Mountbatten Leisure Centre.
Now in its second year, the City Games is a joint initiative funded by the charitable social enterprise and supported by Portsmouth College and Portsmouth School Sports Partnership.
The aim is to encourage young people to try out different sports such as basketball, multi-skills (running, jumping and throwing), junior gym, tennis and dance. Competitors are rewarded for displaying positive sporting behaviors such as passion, determination, honesty, teamwork and respect.
The City Games is a one-day event bringing together pupils from Wimborne Junior School, The Flying Bull Academy, Meon Junior School, St Judes C of E Primary School, Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, Newbridge Junior School, Fernhurst Junior School and Isambard Brunel Junior School.
It is free for schools to attend and prizes include a trophy and family activity sessions such as Clip ‘n Climb and swimming.
BH Live’s Community Sports Development Manager and City Games organiser, Lizzie Butcher, explains how she hopes this event could have an impact on the future health and wellbeing of the City. She says “Being more active and engaged in sport has lots of great benefits on a person’s physical, social and mental wellbeing. And if children are motivated to participate in regular activity from a young age they are more likely to carry on into adult life.
We know however that not everybody gets the opportunity to try a sport or take part. And some can become disengaged if they are not selected to be in clubs or teams. So by working together with local schools we are reaching out to youngsters, of all abilities, and reengaging them with sport – showing them what great fun it can be to take part – which will hopefully initiate continued interest and future participation.”
Madeleine Campbell, Portsmouth School Sport Partnership Manager and School Games organiser, supports the City Games initiative as it helps to engage children with different activities. She explains how it also supports the national School Games programme which enables children to compete at the correct level and potentially represent their school and/or district in a variety of sports. She says: “BH Live’s City Games complements the School Games programme as it enables children to try a variety of new activities and gives them information on where to go if they would like to develop new skills in a community setting. By involving local community groups, to lead the activities, barriers to participation have been broken down.”
Katie Harrison, Teacher of Sport at Portsmouth College added: “It is always a pleasure to work with the local community and be involved in another successful event. It was a fantastic opportunity and experience for our Portsmouth College Sports Leaders to enhance their leadership skills by delivering activities to 120 young people. The Leaders were exceptional. Many of them are considering a career in coaching or teaching young people. Events like the City Games really help them to gain confidence in their delivery, as well as opportunities to work with, and learn from successful professionals within the industry.”