23 April, 2021
Ormiston Park Academy recently hosted a British Athletics “Street 2 Stadium” event in which 40 participants from Years 7 to 10 had the opportunity to compete in. They were selected from the main school and their ASCEND provision, to take part in a talent identification scheme aiming to spot future Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
The initiative provided prospective athletes with a chance to meet and hear from some of the best British track and field athletes in the country. They had their fitness challenged by leading coaches and were provided with information about athletics clubs and the performance pathway in the sport. In addition, athletes with a disability were able to find out all about the Paralympic system through the British Athletics Parallel Success co-ordinators.
The students excelled and a small group of attendees were selected to be part of the Street 2 Stadium Academy based on how well they performed on the trial day. British Athletics will direct these athletes to their local club where they will be provided with weekly training sessions during term-time.
Three awesome coaches from British Athletics, including Olympian and Commonwealth Gold Medallist Clarence Callender, took the students through a rigorous warm up followed by testing in four athletic disciplines. The trial events were 60 metre sprint, 600 metre run, chest push throw and standing long jump, and were to test speed, strength, power and stamina. All the students competed in each event and a fantastic team of Year 10 Sports Leaders recorded times and distances, while motivating the students to do their best.
Everyone had a great time, meeting the inspirational coaches and trying their best at the different skills. Those who took part could not stop talking about the event afterwards and are definitely keen for more.
One of the Year 10 leaders said: “It was a very positive experience and everyone enjoyed the activities and made new friends.”
A teacher involved in the initiative said: “The students from ASCEND really enjoyed the experience yesterday, they were honoured to be in the presence of a former Olympian and valued the opportunity to show some of their skills by representing our side of the school. I have heard that we had a few students who did extremely well in the 600 metres, they came back very proud of themselves and all staff here in ASCEND are ecstatic with both their behaviour and performance.”
Principal, Mr Roessler said: “This was a high-quality track and field talent identification opportunity held at Ormiston Park Academy, with all students thoroughly enjoying meeting professional coaches and having the opportunity to run, jump and throw and excel in doing so! What was fundamentally important was to show the children that we can get back to near normal sporting activity after the Covid-19 school closure periods that we have endured. Really important for mental health and positivity.”