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Summer holiday activity success

Summer holiday activity success

While Team GB has been celebrating Olympic and Paralympic success in Rio, thousands of young people have been taking advantage of Wiltshire Council’s summer holiday programme.   Fun in the Sun was delivered in partnership with Wiltshire Cricket and the Bath Rugby Foundation in 27 villages across the county, providing fun sports and games for 90 minutes a week for children aged five to 11. The focus of the programme was to offer sporting opportunities in rural areas of the county. This summer more than 750 took part, and there were a total of 1,335 attendances – an increase on last year’s total.   In addition to the Fun in the Sun programme, 20 sport specific camps were delivered in athletics, basketball, cricket, tennis and football. With the exception of athletics, which is solely delivered by the council, the camps were delivered in partnership with Innov8sportz CIC, Wiltshire Cricket, Wilts LTA and Swindon Town Football in the Community. They were either three or five day camps in 16 venues across Wiltshire. A total of 569 young people took part,- a 16.8% increase on last summer. Overall, there were 1,773 attendances.   Camp Activate, the council’s leisure centre holiday programme, saw five themed weeks delivered in seven leisure centres including activities based around the Olympics, the world, ancient history and explorers. During the course of the summer over 6,500 sessions were attended and some feedback included: ‘The staff who look after us never leave anyone out. They make us laugh and help us with some activities we don’t understand. They are the best!’   Wiltshire Council also delivered a series of sports days for young people with disabilities. An inclusive SEN tennis day was delivered at Springfield Community Campus, an inclusive SEN basketball event was held at Christie Miller Sports Centre, Melksham and a further SEN Multi sports day was delivered in the south of the county at Sarum Academy in Salisbury. The day provided young people with disabilities an opportunity to take part in a range of sports including boccia, kurling, dodgeball, volleyball and football. There was also an athletics event delivered in partnership with South Wiltshire Mencap towards the end of summer. All sessions have proven to be very popular. Overall, 89 individuals took part in an SEN event across the county.   John Goodall, public health consultant at Wiltshire Council, said: “It’s important that all young people have the opportunity to enjoy popular and healthy activities during the school holidays. The numbers of young people who take part in our summer programme shows how much enjoyment can be gained from sports and physical activity. It’s fun, healthy and sociable and a great way to spend your summer holiday being active, staying healthy and making friends.”   Wiltshire Council’s free swimming programme for all young people under 16 continued through the summer. The scheme encourages more young people to remain active and healthy during the school holidays through water based activity. This has once again proven popular at many of the Wiltshire Council, Places for People and community managed leisure centres. This summer saw a total of 32,920 attendances on this programme across the eight Wiltshire Council sites and eight Places for People swimming pools.   Jonathon Seed, cabinet member for leisure, said: “Wiltshire Council has continued to provide free swimming and we are pleased to see such great take up of this initiative. Whether it is for fun and enjoyment, or with a more competitive target in mind, free swimming means that young people can access positive, healthy activity at no cost. This is part of Wilshire Council’s drive towards a more healthy lifestyle for all residents.”   Free swimming will continue to be provided in the school holidays in Wiltshire with the next opportunity available over the October half term period, before it will again be offered during the Christmas break. For more information or to find out how to apply for a free swimming card people can visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-free-swimming. Camp Activate will return over October half term also while the sports camp programme for Easter and Summer 2017 will be released early in the new year.


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