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Leon Baptiste encourages Ipswich schoolchildren

Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, Leon Baptiste, joined schoolchildren, on Wednesday 26th June, at Northgate Sports Centre in Ipswich, to celebrate the start of this year’s Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week – Britain’s biggest school sport event.

The pupils from Westbourne and Copleston School Sport hubs are amongst an estimated three million young people from schools across England and Wales who have signed-up to take part in National School Sport Week 2013, a unique initiative delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, which takes place from 24 – 28 June. National School Sport Week is a week-long sporting celebration for schools across Britain, inspired by the power of sport.

Ipswich-1They were joined by Leon Baptiste and Lloyds TSB Local Hero, Joshua Bain, Athletics, as the students staged a day of Olympic themed activity.

Speaking at Northgate Sports Centre, Youth Sport Trust ambassador, Leon Baptiste, said: “It has been fantastic to spend the day with pupils from Ipswich and South Suffolk schools today and see the legacy of London 2012 for myself. These pupils have been truly inspired by the Games and National School Sport Week and are eager to continue the celebrations and try out new sports. With Lloyds TSB’s partnership of Join In this summer, those sporting pathways are easier to follow and will hopefully encourage more pupils to join out of school sport clubs.”

“By helping pupils discover more sport and providing the opportunities both in and out of school to have a go and stay active, Lloyds TSB is helping a new generation to become active and potentially be the future stars of Team GB and ParalympicsGB.”

2013 is the fifth year of Lloyds TSB’s partnership of the week, which is one of a number of initiatives organised by the Youth Sport Trust to offer young people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to experience a wide range of sports and activities. This year Lloyds TSB is providing even more opportunities for young people to enjoy sport through also supporting Join In, an initiative encouraging local sports clubs and community groups to open their doors to visitors and volunteers.

In 2012, 64% of pupils wanted to play more sport afterwards as a result of National School Sport Week and 85% of participating children enjoyed National School Sport Week so much that they wanted to participate again in 2013.

Recent research from Lloyds TSB revealed that over 3 million (79%) of the 3.8 million pupils in England and Wales who participated in last year’s week are now playing more sport than before with 1.8 million (49%) physically joining a new club or team outside school and 2.1 million (55%) joining a new club or team in school.

Whilst the research shows that pupils both wanted to play more sport and then went on to join sports clubs, there are opportunities to further increase the number of pupils who play sport outside school through developing stronger club links and making schools more aware of their local sports clubs. By supporting Join In, Lloyds TSB is able to help provide clear pathways for pupils to play sport and strengthen school club links.

Dave Lee-Allan, Deputy Head, Westbourne Academy said “We’ve been participating in Lloyds TSB National School Sports Week for four years and this year’s event was a huge success for our local schools and enjoyed by teachers and students alike across Ipswich. As well as the great results the week has had on encouraging pupils to achieve their personal best in athletics we’ve also witnessed first-hand the knock-on effect it’s had on behaviour and learning. Our students have been thrilled to meet Leon Baptiste and Joshua Bains today and they will be really inspired to continue playing sport for some time.”

Since 2009, more than 21,000 schools and almost nine million pupils across the UK have taken part in National School Sport Week. Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week 2013 will take place from 24 – 28 June and will encourage schools to build upon the inspiration of London 2012. To find out more visit: www.schoolsportweek.org.
Through partnering with Join In as well as National School Sport Week, Lloyds TSB is able to help bring all aspects of the Ipswich community together to embrace the London 2012 legacy, linking school pupils (National School Sport Week), future sports stars (Local Heroes) and members of the public through community sport.

The Join In Summer kicks off on 27 July and runs through to 9 September. More than 6,500 events have already been registered, and the numbers are growing fast. To find out more or register your club’s event visit: www.joininuk.org .

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