River Park staff help children to lead healthy lives

As part of the nationwide Adopt a School scheme, staff from River Park Leisure Centre have been encouraging children from a number of primary schools in the Winchester district to participate in more physical activity and lead healthier lifestyles.

Over the past six weeks, instructors from the leisure centre have been visiting three primary schools in some of the most deprived parts of the city to provide pupils with physical activities. Over 90 children aged between 10 and 11 at Stanmore, Winnall and All Saints Primary Schools have been treated to the additional 60 minute sports sessions once a week for the past six weeks.

On Friday 14 December it was the turn of the school children to visit River Park Leisure Centre to take part in activities such as trampolining and circuit training.

Angela Horkan, a Primary Link teacher at Stanmore Primary School, said:

“The children have benefited hugely from this scheme. It has given them an amazing opportunity to use the facilities at River Park Leisure Centre and try new activities for the first time. This scheme shows that, when given the opportunity, children love to participate in sports.”

Ruth O’Shea, a teacher at All Saints Primary School, added:

“The children have loved every minute of this scheme. For many of them, this is the first time they have been able to try activities such as trampolining and they are understandably excited by the opportunity they have been given”

At the end of the visit, the children were each presented with a prize pack as a reward for their efforts throughout the scheme. The packs contained, amongst many other things, details of local clubs and activities to enable the children to continue participating in healthy activities.

Cllr Patricia Stallard, Portfolio holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport, said:

“The Adopt a School scheme is proving a huge success and has highlighted Winchester City Council’s commitment towards working with young people in the district to promote healthy living.”

James Smee, Centre Manager at River Park Leisure Centre, added:

“We are pleased to be part of the Adopt a School scheme. It has enabled us to work with schools to encourage their pupils to participate in more physical activity and learn the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.”

Meadowside Leisure Centre in Whiteley has also been taking part in the Adopt a School scheme; providing similar activities and opportunities for children at Whitely Primary School.