A massive total of 27 schools turned up to take part in the fun and exciting activities at the Change4Life Champions Conference. The event started with an introduction by John Barker, Partnership Development Manager of Bolsover and District School Sport Partnership, outlining the importance of being a champion and all the skills they would be developing throughout the day. John also expressed the importance of the message Change4Life was spreading across schools. Athlete Mentor, Ben Pipes went onto tell everyone about his journey in life and encouraged the children to move around and act out the sports he used to play. The children went onto play a couple of warm up games with Ben until he split them off into their separate groups.
The event was run over three workshops: Leading, Inclusive and Creative.
The leading workshop was ran by Clare and Craig from Bolsover and District School Sport Partnership. The main aim for this workshop was to help the champions understand how to plan and deliver their own C4L session. The champions started in their school groups and each group were given a card that explained what they had to deliver to each other. After 5 minutes thinking time, the champions delivered the sessions very well and could very easily go away and create and lead their own sessions at their schools. To finish the workshop, the champions went through an evaluation of how their session went and what they could improve to make the session even better.
India, from the Chesterfield School Sports Partnership, encouraged the children by adding: “Try and make the club as fun and positive as you can. Whilst remembering to deliver an active lifestyle message”.
Ben Pipes, alongside Sarah and James from the Chesterfield School Sport Partnership, ran the inclusive workshop. The workshop was all based around the STEP model; Space, Task, Equipment, People. The aim throughout the session was to get the champions thinking of ideas to adapt a game, taking into account the STEP model. For example, to change the space, one champion from North Wingfield Primary, said, “The space could be bigger by adding another few lines from the opposite badminton courts so we have more space to move around in”. The game ran very well and the champions came up with many ideas for each word of STEP. Liberty from Brockwell said, “We could use two balls so there would be two people on and two ball carriers. When someone gets tugged, they have to stand still and the only way they can be freed is by catching the ball from the ball carriers”.
Finley, from Old Hall Junior School was extremely excited about the event, exclaiming, “Line Tag got us the sweatiest and it was by far my favourite.”
When asked what advice would he give a parent/person to motivate a young individual to be active and eat well, Athlete Mentor Ben Pipes, said, “It is important to encourage them to try new things, everything is different to start with and working with new people can be tough but keep going! Food is fuel and fuelling with the right balance of all the different types of food makes us feel great.”
The creative workshop was a fun and exciting opportunity to let the champion’s ideas flow on paper. The main goal explained to the champions was the importance of creating a range of opportunities for sharing the Change4Life message across school.
The champions took part in a thinking task where they had to think of different times during the school day where they could share Change4Life messages across school. Following on from this, the champions had to think where specifically they could spread the message across school, such as entrance hall, playground and corridors.
The champions got given a set of ‘Champion Message Method cards’ as well as an A3 ‘Times and places’ grid. Each group had to discuss where the best place was to put the Message Method cards on the grid. The purpose of this task was to give the champions an opportunity to pick where they think was the best time to share messages.
Whilst the champions were busy having a great time with all the workshops, the teachers embarked on a mentoring session led by John from Bolsover and District School Sport Partnership. The aim of the session was to show the teachers how to run a Change4Life Sports Club as well as which children to target. After the mentoring session, Ben, from Poolsbrook Primary School, was asked what he had learnt from the mentoring session and if he thought it was important that the teachers be informed about Change4Life as well as the children. “The thing I learnt most was the different ways to target children and yes, teachers should be informed as well because if not some teachers may not know what to do”.
Overall, the day was a great success and from the comments received after the event, it was clear the message had been passed on correctly. All the champions couldn’t wait to get back to school to set up their own Change4Life Sports club for the rest of their school.
We would like to thank everyone who took part and participated in our Change4Life conference. A special thanks to Ben Pipes and our workshop deliverers who did a great job at getting the C4L message across.