100 Leicestershire school children visit the University!

Posted by nats2 at Jun 28, 2017 12:15 PM |
100 local primary school children visited the University for a day packed with activities as part of the Leicester Academy Festival!

Leicester Academy Festival - group shot

Thursday 15th June saw 100 Leicestershire primary school children visit the University for the Leicester Academy Festival. The Leicester Academy is the Sport & Active Life service’s coaching and volunteering programme, helping students to gain coaching or officiating qualifications in sport and allowing them to deliver sport sessions in local schools. The Leicester Academy Festival is the culmination of the annual programme, bringing children from local schools to the University to explore the campus, enjoy an array of sport sessions delivered by students and learn about the importance of education.

The day kicked off with a talk from Gold Sports Scholar Shauna Cossens about her history in sport and education. Shauna stressed the importance of creating a healthy balance between working hard in school and reaping the benefits that sport can provide. Next came our very own Question of Sport quiz, with the children testing their sporting knowledge against each other. After a short break the large group was broken up and in teams the children had to navigate their way around the University campus accompanied by student activators. Whether they were trying to find the dinosaur fossil or the building shaped like a Transformer the children demonstrated exceptional teamwork and mapping skills to find their destination. The University’s Chi restaurant was the next stop for our visitors with all children being given a £5 voucher to spend on whatever they liked, chips proved to be most popular if you can believe it!

Leicester Academy festival morning collage

The afternoon saw the arrival of the most anticipated part of the day, the sport sessions. With Volleyball, Basketball, and the less conventional UV Table Tennis and UV Dance on the cards the children were undoubtedly excited. With sessions delivered by an array of student activators we witnessed and exhibition of our sports students’ leadership and communication skills; which they have been refining as part of the Leicester Academy programme. UV Dance proved to be the most popular event on offer, with students clad in luminous headbands rhythmically following the troupe leader’s steps. Basketball brought out the more competitive edge in some students but a heavy emphasis on passing and moving from the activators ensured everyone played a role. Following the sports sessions it was time to say goodbye to our visitors, we hope to see them back at the University as students in the future.

One of the Leicester Academy’s main aims is to encourage more children to aspire to go to university and reach their full potential. This year we had some fantastic results in regards to this, demonstrated by surveys carried out before and after the Festival. When asked ‘Would you like to go to university?’ after the Leicester Academy Festival a massive 90% answered yes, with just 1% of the students responding no. This certainly demonstrated the influence the programme can have as when asked the very same question in schools before the festival just 71% of students answered yes; with a further 14% identifying they would not like to go to university. The programme also aims to promote the benefits of sport and encourage more school children to get active. Again we saw success in this area with 82% of participants stating they liked sports more after taking part in the Festival, whilst a further 76% identified they would play more sports after being involved in the Festival.

Leicester Academy Festival - afternoon collage

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