How we helped: Walsham-le-Willows Primary School

David Stevens is a Premier Sport Activity Professional, responsible for delivering physical activity sessions in primary schools in Suffolk. He’s been delivering football at Walsham-le-Willows since 2014.

Here he tells us about the recent success the team has had over the last year.

“We’ve been providing services at Walsham-le-Willows for the last 4–5 years, supporting curricular sessions as well as delivering before and after school clubs for the children,” says David.

“However the school wanted to introduce more competitive sports, and asked if we could help them with that through an extracurricular club. After a few discussions, we decided that football would be the most popular activity with pupils, and introduced a lunchtime club every Tuesday for training. We also contacted other local schools and set up some friendly matches to introduce an element of competitiveness, but with the focus on participation and enjoyment, with the hope of making it a league in the future.”

“At training each Tuesday, we worked with the children on a range of individual skills such as ball control, passing and dribbling, and then playing a few fun games using those skills. We started off focusing mainly on having fun, being active and gaining experience competing in sport rather than trying to be too rigid and strict about playing proper football.”

“However as the weeks went by the focus of the children gradually began to switch from ‘let’s go have some fun’ and just having a run around to ‘we’re actually improving and getting quite good, let’s try to win’. They started gaining that competitive edge, which was part of the initial aim, and was great to see. When the team got their first win, they were still talking about it when I went in the next week!”

“At the start of November, the team then went to a local school games football tournament where they finished second in their cluster, and progressed to the final where they would compete against the top two teams from each other cluster. The final then took place on 22nd November, and Walsham finished as runners-up! It was a great achievement for the team, and both myself and the school are immensely proud.”

David is just one of over 50 qualified Activity Professionals delivering physical activities within schools throughout Suffolk and Essex on behalf of the Premier Education Group.