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Children’s Minister and Olympic Athletes Encourage Girls into Sport

Children’s Minister and Olympic Athletes Encourage Girls into Sport

Edward Timpson MP celebrates women in sport at United Learning’s X-Elle event at Lambeth Academy

The X-Elle event was led by four-time Olympic ski racer Chemmy Alcott and supported by Team GB hockey star Alex Danson, in their roles as Sports Ambassadors for United Learning; the group of academies, state and independent schools to which Lambeth Academy belongs.

The elite athletes held activities sessions and confidence workshops for girls from Lambeth Academy as well as those from three other United Learning schools: Paddington Academy, Walthamstow Academy and Wye School. The event was the last of five X-Elle days across the country encouraging girls to be more active and developing important life-skills through sport. The programme is part of United Learning’s contribution to the national priority of inspiring girls into sport, and has been supported by Women in Sport.

The girls who took part in the X-Elle event have been empowered to lead the development of girls’ PE and sport in their schools, so that even more students can benefit from the programme.

The Minister said of the event:

“As part of our plan for education, we want to get all young people into the habit of playing and enjoying sport. In doing so, it’s important that girls have the same chances to get involved.

“Ambitious women like Chemmy Alcott and Alex Danson are excellent role models for young people, and show what can be achieved through dedication, discipline and determination.

“Whether you have the potential to represent your country or enjoy playing with your friends – sport is a great way to develop confidence and life-skills.”

Shaun Dowling, Head of Sport for United Learning, said:

“The research is clear about the barriers that exist to girls’ participation in exercise and school sport. This is our attempt to do something about it.

“Working with our Sport Ambassadors and our national partners we want to inspire our girls to take the lead; to make a difference; to transform their experience of PE and school sport; and to take the skills they have learned in the process into all aspects of their lives.”

Jan Shadick, Headteacher at Lambeth Academy, said:

“For girls here at Lambeth Academy today provided an opportunity to learn with others and be given some excellent guidance from our visitors. What they have learnt will not only be relevant to the sports field but will be something that will help them in the classroom and in the future.

“The girls have all thoroughly enjoyed the sessions with our Sports Ambassadors and I am sure that they will carry this confidence back to their classes and continue to be positive role models for sport in our school.”

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