Top gymnast Becky recruited to build schools' links to sport clubs
THE group which oversees sport in Notts wants more link-ups between schools and sports clubs. And it has recruited one of Britain's best gymnasts to help.
At the moment there are around 160 arrangements where schools get pupils to play for clubs outside school hours.
But Sport Nottinghamshire wants this number to increase – and has enlisted gymnast Becky Downie as ambassador of the scheme to boost links between sports.
The former Rushcliffe School student has agreed to promote Sport Nottinghamshire's School-Club links programme. It aims to develop formal links between clubs and schools to encourage children to continue playing sport after school, and also create a pathway towards elite sport.
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Becky, who started out at the age of seven with Bigwood Gymnastics Club, said: "Gymnastics has been such a big part of my life and has given me so many wonderful experiences, but without the encouragement from my school, teachers and my first local club, my story could have been a very different one. School-Club links are a great way to encourage kids to take something they enjoy to the next step. I'm looking forward to supporting this programme and think it could really make a difference."
The School-Club links initiative aims to further sporting opportunities for young people in Notts by working closely with local authorities, schools and clubs, to foster formal partnerships.
Notts Athletics Club, for example, currently has official links with 14 schools in the city, while Nottingham Outlaws Rugby Club works with Trinity School, Hadden Park High, and Nottingham Academy to give pupils greater access to rugby league.
Rob Cook, youth sport manager at Sport Nottinghamshire, said: "Nottinghamshire currently has about 160 active School-Club links but we'd like to have many more. This is why we are encouraging local schools and sports clubs to create formal links, and to tell us about it.
"We're delighted that Becky has agreed to be ambassador for this programme. Becky is someone who has achieved amazing things through hard work, dedication and self-belief, but we'd like to think that she had a little helping hand from her school and her first club.
"We hope her story may help inspire others to formalise these links."
For more details about the scheme visit www.sportnottinghamshire.co.uk. Clubs or schools wanting to establish a link can also e-mail email@example.com.