6 March 2021
Families of girls from King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham are donating boxes full of items designed to keep youngsters from local primary schools physically and mentally active during and after lockdown. Each box includes a tennis ball, skipping rope plus card for practising origami, wool for finger crocheting and a stress-busting ball. The initiative was the idea of the school’s Director of Sport Sarah Blanks and the Principal Kirsty von Malaisé after the boxes proved a huge success with KEHS girls themselves.
The PE care boxes were packaged up by the Sports department and initially delivered to all KEHS pupils to keep them active and improve their wellbeing. The girls’ parents were then asked to donate the cost of their box back to the school so that further boxes and sports equipment such as netballs, skipping ropes, tennis balls and footballs could be distributed to local primary schools. The families gave generously and scores of boxes were initially delivered to Year 5 and 6 youngsters at Topcliffe School in Castle Vale, with many more to follow.
“I’m delighted that our families are enabling so many youngsters who may be struggling in the strange circumstances of the pandemic, to stay active and engaged,” said Mrs von Malaisé. “Our own pupils have found the boxes really helpful for keeping themselves fit, calm and motivated while they’re working from home. It was great that their parents showed such generosity towards other children too. The boxes are intended to help, not just during lockdown itself, but in its aftermath and it has been lovely to hear how warmly they have been received. It’s given everyone a big boost to receive the boxes in what’s turned out to be the middle of this long lockdown.”
“Our PE staff filmed themselves doing challenges with a tennis ball and skipping rope, and sent them to our girls to do over half term, if they wished,” added KEHS Director of Sport Sarah Blanks, the former England hockey captain. “Many then completed the challenges they were set and enjoyed some informal competition. We’ve been running full Joe Wickes-style lessons as part of our curriculum but the idea of the boxes was to ensure all girls had something they could do on their own and in a small space at weekends and during holidays.
All the Year 5 and 6 pupils at Topcliffe School have received boxes so far and we’re about to distribute dozens more boxes and equipment to schools including Chad Vale in Edgbaston and Tiverton Academy in Selly Oak. We chose these schools as we’ve already done useful outreach work with Chad Vale and Topcliffe and we saw how committed they and Tiverton Academy are to giving their children sporting opportunities. Physical exercise is crucial to boosting everyone’s mood, concentration and mental health, especially amid the current worry and uncertainty. It’s great that we’ve had a very positive response from the schools involved and good to know so many more youngsters are having the chance to get active.”