The Youth Sport Trust (YST) is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year – and representatives from BFET were delighted to help this fantastic organisation celebrate last week, at its National Conference.

All of our academies have been members of the YST for over four years. In that time our schools have built on their PE provision, gained School Games Quality Marks/Youth Sport Trust Quality Marks, sent students to the ‘Step into Sport Camps’, had athlete visits, benefited from the GM Mentally Healthy Schools programme/Lancashire Active Lives and much, much more. The Teaching School has YST on the board of strategic partners and through the SCITT we have run various CPD courses with them along with our PE & Sports Hub, led by the AGGS PE team.

It was an inspiring evening with speakers including GM Mayor Andy Burnham, new Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston (DCMS) and England Rugby Coach Eddie Jones. To make it even more special, our two Blackpool schools were recognised in the prestigious awards that were held at the end of the event.

Maxims Korcagins, 8, from Marton, was brought onto the stage and given runner-up in the ‘Outstanding Young Person award’ for his passion for Sport and PE. Max joined our school from Russia with limited English and he has cerebral palsy – but these challenges have never held him back. He plays football, swims, plays boccia and rides horses. He champions the benefits of an active lifestyle and personifies the school learning powers of perseverance, resilience and collaboration, with constant charm and an unwavering determination to encourage everybody he meets to try a new sport. Well done Max!

South Shore then WON the award for Outstanding Community Contribution through PE & Sport. The last few years have seen an amazing journey for this PE department and this award follows a “2 Good’ in Personal Development in Ofsted and a Silver Award Youth Sport Trust Quality Mark. The school has five new trampolines, eight table tennis tables, camping equipment, boxercise equipment and new music systems! Working closely with the Department of Education, the PE department delivers THREE HOURS of PE a week and has also organised a huge amount of PE & Sport related charity work like fun runs.

We all know that the impact of the PE departments in school go well beyond their subject: the impact on ethos and culture in all our schools is always a pleasure to see, whether it’s the Daily Mile, a commitment to two hours of PE a week, the rich extra curricular offering we see in our schools and of course the leadership and volunteering that goes with all this work. As a Trust we believe there is nothing more important than the health and happiness of our students and in a world that is becoming more sedentary, we know that PE & Sport is part of the solution.

Well done to everyone involved – we are so proud.