Girls step up for change at launch of new sports programme in Stoke Mandeville

Photos from the launch of Stepping Up For Change at Stoke Mandeville Stadium - these show students from Aylesbury High, Bedgrove Junior, Haydon Abbey and Ashmead Combined schools

A new programme which aims to encourage teenage girls to promote sport and physical activity to girls at primary schools launched on Monday February 5.

The new programme aims to build on the success of the Girls Active programme which launched in 2013, by targeting even younger girls.

Stepping Up For Change launched in Bucks at Stoke Mandeville Stadium with Aylesbury High School, Bedgrove Junior School, Haydon Abbey School and Ashmead Combined School pupils all participating from the Vale.

The event came about following Girls Active research released in 2017 which showed that fewer girls placed importance on being active as they got older, with only 59% of 11-14-year-olds stating that physical activity is currently ‘an important part of my life’ - a statistic that becomes even more pronounced when looking at the results for older girls aged 14-16 years (42%).

For the event the older students received training from national children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust and inspirational athlete mentors including former England badminton star Jenny Wallwork, before they passed that knowledge on to girls of primary school age.

Each older student was then paired with a primary school pupil, a partnership that will continue for the forthcoming year in the hope of mentoring and supporting the younger girls as they progress.

The other schools in Bucks that participated were Slated Row School, Whitehouse Primary School, Bushfield School, Waingels College, Beechwood Primary School, St Dominic Savio Catholic Primary School, Shenley Brook End School, Long Meadow, Emerson Valley, Oxley Park and Cressex Community School.

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