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Primary schools across Oxfordshire are preparing to round off a turbulent academic year in style by hosting traditional sports days.
Absent since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sports days promote leadership, teamwork and communication skills in pupils through the power of physical activity and team-based challenges.
Marston-based registered training provider Ignite Sport UK is working with several Oxfordshire schools to deliver some of the first COVID-19 secure sports days in the county since the pandemic began.
They include Windrush Valley School, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, New Marston and Radley Church of England Primary School. Activities will include games that are fun and engaging to all pupils with the emphasis on the enjoyment and safety of those taking part.
Hannah Bladen, General Manager of Ignite Sport UK, said the return of sports days in Oxfordshire will provide a welcome boost to pupils whose engagement with physical activity has been limited by the pandemic.
She said: “There is something for everyone on sports day which is what makes it so special. From children to teachers and parents and carers, there is opportunity for everyone to be involved.
“Sports days not only inspire positive change to pupils’ physical health, but also help develop key social skills through interaction and fresh challenges. Everyone is a winner at sports day, there is no pressure on performance or ability.
“Each day, we are witness to the power of sport and its ability to transform lives through our work in schools, with apprentices and online via our adult education services.
“It’s been a particularly difficult year for many people, and we hope sports day will mark another footprint in the return to normality following the pandemic.”
Amid an easing of lockdown restrictions, Ignite Sport UK’s sports days will adhere to the latest Government guidance concerning the pandemic to ensure the safety of pupils and their families is of paramount importance.
Consequently, all members of staff are tested twice weekly and have completed a Level 2 award in Infection Prevention, Mitigation and Management.
Hannah added: “Safety is our highest priority, and no sports day will be delivered without the appropriate measures in place.
“Dependant on Government guidelines, all pupils and staff will be required to take part in their education bubbles. We’ll also distribute hand sanitiser to groups so equipment can be safely wiped down after usage.”