In a quest to get local residents more active, pupils from Afon
Taf High School have opened the school doors to bring new sport and
leisure activities to the area, all as part of a community pilot
project delivered in collaboration with Sport Wales and Merthyr
Recognising a lack of sports facilities in the area and
concerned about the future health of their local community, the
High School's Young Ambassadors and Young Leaders (who have pledged
a commitment to improving sports opportunities for others as part
of their role), set about creating new ways of getting the people
of Merthyr fit and active.
A full programme of leisure classes and sports club training
sessions are now available of an evening within the schools grounds
for both pupils and the local public. The young role models
created the new opportunities by taking ownership of the Sport
Wales 5x60 programme at their school, which traditionally increases
the choice of PE activities available to school pupils.
Afon Taf High School Head of PE, Sian Carter comments:
"This project will not only increase the opportunities for our
pupils to become involved in more physical activity outside of
school, but has also provided members of the local community, young
and old with a range of exciting new leisure and sport
"Through the Sport Wales 5x60 programme we have already been
able to engage more girls at the school in sport, offering
activities such as dance and fitness alongside traditional PE; we
are hoping that this programme will now help encourage more local
women into sport.
"The project is also providing huge development opportunities to
our Young Ambassador and Young Leader pupils, who have been heavily
involved in the planning of activities, offering the schools
facilities for hire to local clubs and leisure providers, and who
will also deliver some of the sessions themselves."
Harry Baberis one of thoseYoung Ambassadorswho will be heavily
involved in the project. Hecomments:
"Since becoming a Young Ambassador I have had several
opportunities to increase the profile of sport across my school and
community. I also recently applied to become a Community Chest
panel member, which will give me an opportunity to encourage
community clubs to develop and expand by using the facilities we
have in Afon Taf during the evenings."
Presently the High School is offering a range of sporting and
leisure activities including rugby, football, cricket, circuits and
fitness classes until 8.30pm every evening. It is hoped that
this list will also continue to grow with the possibility of
Community Chest grants being awarded to clubs and community groups
looking to develop in the area.
Getting every child hooked on sport for life and creating
thriving community clubs are key elements of the Sport Wales
vision. It is hoped that projects such as this one being
piloted at Afon Taf High School will help to realise this
Sport Wales Senior Officer Angela Farr said:
"Projects such as this one between Sport Wales, Afon Taf High
School and Merthyr Sports Development play a pivotal role in
ensuring that each child has the opportunity to develop their love
of sport outside of school within their preferred activities.
It also provides an excellent facility for all members of the local
community to become involved and maintain a healthy lifestyle."
For more information about the sports club and leisure
facilities at Afon Taf High School please visit
www.afontaf.merthyr.sch.uk For more information about Community
Chest grants please contact Merthyr Sports Development on 01685