Sky Sports Living for Sports Live at Westway Sports Club was the first event I had the opportunity to attend with SportInspired. I did not know what exactly to expect when I was told that I would be working the event but I was very excited. The atmosphere was extremely energetic and very loud, the kids were all participating in the games and having a great time with the sports providers. It was awesome to see the kids all participating and cheering each other on within their team as well as cheering kids on from other teams. I got the opportunity to go around and talk to some volunteers, sports providers and teachers that attended the event and I was overwhelmed with all the positive responses they had about the event.
I think one of my favorite parts of the day was the closing ceremony when the Team Spirit award was being given out. When the winning team was announced they were so excited, but the rest of their school, who were not part of their team stood up cheering, excited for their classmates to win. That moment was when I realized that these events really benefit the kids in a positive way and aren’t just teaching them new sports but teaching them life skills that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.
Lindsey Betz, SportInspired Intern
The first thing that strikes you when you attend a SportInspired festival is the wall of noise. The sound of 440 seven and eight year olds having enormous amounts of fun is incredible and the atmosphere is electric. Nothing can really prepare you for the amount of laughter, cheering, and excitement that echoes all around the huge sports hall for a full, non-stop, four hours. That sure beats a regular office day – hang on, this is my regular office!
I’ve recently started working on an internship placement with SportInspired and have already managed to partake in one of the largest festivals we run which is held at Westway Sports Centre on the 5th of February. Run in conjunction with Sky Sports Living For Sport, the day for me was the culmination of lots of hard work, organisation and planning that most definitely paid off. Seeing just one child grinning from ear to ear, let alone a crowd of 440, makes it all worthwhile.
I’ll never forget the beginning. The Opening Ceremony kicks off with a tunnel made up of ecstatic volunteers clapping, cheering, and shouting encouragement that makes every child feel as if they were ten feet tall. All through the day I could hear ‘Great job!’ and ‘Fantastic!’ fill the air as the adult volunteers really engage and build up a rapport with the children they’ve met only a few hours earlier.
It’s not only the volunteers though. All the children were supporting each other, their team mates, with chants and ‘high fives’ building on the most important aspect of the day: team spirit. Never has the old cliché of ‘It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts’ rung more true.
The most emphasis is placed on enjoying and taking part in sports which a lot of children might not have tried before. The whole day revolved around having as much fun as possible and trying out new sports likes taekwondo, boxing, and dodgeball. It was fantastic to be able to see the huge amounts of enjoyment that was being had by all thanks to the power of sport. Seeing the excitement light up on their faces at the end of the day when they received their ‘real’ gold medals is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.
The day brought to life exactly what it is that SportInspired is achieving. Encouraging children to be active, helping them find a sport that they love, building connections in local communities; all direct effects of the incredible work that SportInspired does. It was an honour to be a part of and I can’t wait to do it all again at the next festival!
Calum George, SportInspired Intern