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By Craig Vickers & Jess Simons | 07 February 2024 | TAGS: School Games

Greater Manchester is certainly moving in the right direction in celebrating School Games successes across the borough. Two GM case studies have been shortlisted for the Youth Sport Trust Impact Awards. Our own GM Moving active partnership School Games leads, Jess Simons and Craig Vickers, put together a case story around the impact their project work with Alternative Provision (AP), Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) educational sites.  Now that case study has been recognised by the Awards and shortlisted for the ‘positive experiences for targeted young people’ category.

“Like any major urban area, Greater Manchester has complex issues around education and youth engagement related to broader social issues,” said Craig. “This includes pockets of high deprivation and occurrences of criminal and anti-social behaviour. Pupils in our AP/PRU/SEMH experience issues like these that are strongly linked to areas of low socio-economic status. The project we’ve been working on has given these young people a sense of pride and belonging, a sense of achievement, has enhanced their self-esteem, self-discovery and confidence, while raising their aspirations.”

The project is a key aim for GM Moving’s School Games provision, and the case study shortlisted was the culmination of 12 months of dedicated work, involving 36 contacts across 9 boroughs, with 6 partner organisations involved.

Breaking new ground

Summer 2023 saw the Greater Manchester School Games' first alternative provision and pupil referral unit multi-sport event (see video below). The multi-sport event saw 70 pupils attend from 10 settings and was a great success. As well as the positive impact the games had on the pupils in attendance, it also succeeded in raising the profile of the specific schools involved and creating partnerships between them.

A second case study has also been nominated, put together by Sharon Walls, School Games Organiser in Wigan, a borough that has struggled in the past engaging with AP and PRU sites.

“We chose to embark on this area of work as it has been an area identified across Greater Manchester as a priority,” Sharon said. “In Wigan, we have struggled to engage our Alternative Provision settings and so needed to explore a different way to engage this cohort and so we reached out to secondary schools with an on-site AP setting. After successfully engaging three secondary schools into our event - two of which were less engaged or disengaged from School Games - we decided to submit the case study for an Impact award, which is a great way to showcase our learnings of how to engage secondary schools in a different event, away from PE and PE departments.”

As a shortlisted nominees, Sharon, Jess & Craig have been invited to attend the Impact Awards dinner ceremony which will take place on the evening of Tuesday 11th June 2024. The Youth Sport Trust have also said they would like to use the case stories to inspire others to look at School Games.


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