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Sport for all

St Helen and St Katharine reveal a new sports centre which means that even the British weather won't stop pupils enjoying sport

Posted by Hannah Oakman | January 02, 2017 | Facilities management

St Helen and St Katharine’s national standard sports centre was opened in October 2016 with its official launch in February 2017. It will impact every girl in the school and reinforce their standing as one of the leading girls’ independent schools for sport in the country.

Over the past five years, they have restructured the PE curriculum entirely to include a broad range of activities through which the girls learn – physical skills but also many other aspects. Health benefits, personal and social benefits, and links to academic performance are all well documented and understood but not inevitable. Our systematic and measurable programme, including, but not limited to, traditional team games, aims to be motivating, beneficial and most importantly, fun! They aim to engage and inspire pupils in their PE lessons – this is the core of their provision, every girl in every year group has PE lessons and they encourage them to participate in sport and develop a lifelong love of physical activity. 

The new sports centre will provide:

●  Increased options for indoor activities – especially from Year 10 to U6, where the girls choose their own options. Examples include group cycle classes, sessions in the rowing suite and a variety of activities in the new dance studio.

●  It will provide accessible equipment. The fitness suite is designed to be welcoming and accessible for all girls, not overpowering or intimidating. It is equipped with the latest machines to cater for all users, from those beginning their time in fitness gyms, to elite sports performers following bespoke sessions. 

●  Links to the latest fitness technology. The cardio vascular equipment in the fitness suite, ergo suite and group cycle studios is all equipped with the latest software to allow the girls to track their performance. All of the studios are also fully equipped with audio and visual provision, projectors and screens.

●  It will give the girls increased confidence in using sporting facilities: the sports centre will be a high commercial standard facility, making such environments ‘normal’ and therefore encouraging lifelong participation.

●  It will provide more space for the continuity of lessons. The great British weather sometimes disrupts outdoor lessons and forcing the girls outside is not going to encourage them to love it! The new sports centre will allow more lessons to continue uninterrupted.

●  Multiple opportunities also exist for elite sport. All girls will be training in top-class facilities and the equipment throughout will cater for the needs of elite athletes across a wide range of sports, allowing them to train more specifically at school.

This has been another fantastic year for sport at St Helen’s, from the hundreds of girls participating in voluntary sports clubs each week for enjoyment, fitness or competition, St Helen’s being represented in the national finals of more sports than ever before, or to the 18 girls wearing their GB shirts to represent the country in their chosen sports. It continues to be the school’s greatest pleasure to see so many girls enjoying their sport. Numbers of girls attending clubs are thriving and many activities have reached capacity. The new sports centre will allow a wider variety of activities at a higher quality and with more flexibility. It will facilitate their continued development and is a clear statement about sport and its importance at St Helen’s. St Helen & St Katharine want to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve ‘Sport for All’ alongside elite competition. The new sports centre indicates an extremely exciting future for PE and sport at St Helen’s. 



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