25 July 2022
The initiative was part of both the St Swithun’s partnership programme and its Path-to-Paris 2024 scheme to give young people the opportunity to experience all of the sports which feature in the Olympics before the 2024 Paris games.
70 year 6 children from Oliver’s Battery and All Saints primary schools were welcomed to the 45-acre St Swithun’s site where they tried archery, gymnastics, touch rugby, basketball, athletics and tennis under the leadership of St Swithun’s staff and students.
Carly Redfern, Headmistress of Oliver’s Battery said “the activities included sports that some of our pupils hadn’t had the opportunity to experience before and St Swithun’s pupils led the activities fantastically well. Every child came away with a sense of achievement and enthused about their experiences to the other children in school the next day.”
Under its partnership programme, St Swithun’s has been sharing its sports and performing arts facilities and its fleet of minibuses with local schools and community organisations for a number of years. Simon Mayes, head of partnerships said “We are really pleased that our programme is now back up to full capacity following the pandemic, delivering weekly drama, sport, art and reading enrichment sessions to 220 pupils from our partner primary schools. 70 St Swithun’s students and staff are involved in delivering these sessions, and it is fantastic to have such strong partnerships with Mrs Redfern at Oliver’s Battery in addition to all of our other primary school partners”.
Science in a Suitcase, the portable science resource developed by the St Swithun’s science department, is in much demand by science co-ordinators in primary schools and is regularly out on loan. St Swithun’s also runs a swimming programme that provides weekly tuition to primary school pupils, many of whom begin as non-swimmers. Over 120 primary school pupils benefit from this programme, with facilities, tuition and transport provided either in part or in full by St Swithun’s.