University of Chichester's festival is a sporting success for hundreds of pupils

Pupils get stuck into one of the challenges at the festival of sport
Pupils get stuck into one of the challenges at the festival of sport

More than 1,100 students from schools throughout the south visited the University of Chichester for a Festival of Sport.

The event organised by the Institute of Sport provides Year 9 and 10 students with opportunities to participate in different sports; learn about exercise and its effects on the body in various strength and stamina tests; and find out what facilities and courses are on offer at the university.

Institute of Sport director Prof Mike Lauder said: “We’ve run the Festival of Sport for four years now. The event has grown in that time and we added some new activities this year to cater for an extra 300 students.”

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“The intention has always been to make sure that students have a good time and that they experience a range of different sports and activities. Hopefully they will learn something as well. It might be something new that they are trying, it might involve a bit of science, or connect with the way we do things at university.

“We hope the students come to a university and see that it can be a fun place and that Chichester itself is a fun place to learn at the same time, which is very much the philosophy of our courses.”

Clare Deacon, the Institute of Sport’s placements co-ordinator, who was the festival’s key organiser, said: “We had participants from 42 schools. A number of schools return each year. We’ve got good links with these because in many cases the teachers are ex-students of the university.

“A lot of the schools involved with the Festival of Sport take our students on work placements so it’s nice to give them a thank you with a day that allows the pupils to try out all sorts of sports from rugby, football, tennis and cricket to orienteering, climbing and new games like spikeball in a university with all its facilities.”

Ryan Acquah, who graduated from the University of Chichester in 2015 and is now head of PE at Bourne Community College, said: “This is our third year at the Festival of Sport. We’ve brought 50 students who have selected to take part in GCSE or BTEC PE in Year 10.

“It’s a fantastic event. Our students have an opportunity to get a feel for a university campus and try different things. There’s the chance to play sport against other schools, so those students who are more competitive enjoy this, as well as trying other activities and using equipment and technology they wouldn’t have done before.”