Boxing lessons for staff at Longsands Academy

Boxing lessons for staff at Longsands Academy in St Neots.

Boxing lessons for staff at Longsands Academy in St Neots. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Five Astrea Academy Trust secondary schools - including Longsands Academy - have been awarded £16,750 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to roll out a year-long sporting programme.

On Friday, January 28, representatives from England Boxing joined Longsands Academy teachers to deliver an intensive boxing instructor training course, incorporating Olympic style boxing techniques in order for them to deliver fun boxing lessons to pupils.

It is hoped the programme will improve the quality of the school's PE offering as well as improve mental wellbeing, resilience, pupil engagement and confidence. the school has appointed 10 sports captains to ensure students have a voice when it comes to provision of sport.

Sebastian Hood, Astrea’s Sport England project lead and head of PE at Longsands Academy, said: “It’s so important for us to listen to our students via our sports captains and surveys.

"It means we can provide specific opportunities to enable them to take part. Our aim is to ensure all our students can perform, participate, and develop a passion for sports and physical activity.

“Our curriculum is based on four concepts – physical, thinking, social and emotional wellbeing, and healthy, active lifestyles. It’s not just about physical skill or attributes, our students who are working towards all these concepts are achieving well.

Friday’s boxing course saw instruction on cover hand wrapping, footwork, straight shots, the outside slip, the duck, hooks and rolls, uppercuts, and the push away, and the teachers were assessed on the day.

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The new sports programme is already seeing results in behaviour and attendance from pupils selected to take part in boxing sessions before school.

Trends from the school’s surveys have also shown that girls in years 10 and 11 wanted more opportunities to exercise and enjoy PE, outside of traditional sports.

Therefore, Longsands has timetabled physical activity that focuses on healthy and active lifestyles, such as yoga and Pilates on a weekly basis.

Sport England research shows that young people’s attitudes to sport and physical activity are shaped heavily by their experiences at school. With this funding, Astrea is giving its teachers the resources and training they need to engage all pupils in physical activity, regardless of sporting ability.

Neil Owen, Principal of Longsands Academy, part of Astrea Academy Trust, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity afforded to us by Sport England. Our PE staff work hard to provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities for our pupils, and I am delighted that this will further enhance the offerings for the young people in our community.”