Natasha Jonas Visit

At the end of last term Olympic boxer Natasha Jonas returned to school as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport project 2015. In her absence, the group had taken part in a series of workshops aimed at developing the 6 keys to success designed to help young people develop valuable life skills: mental toughness; hunger to achieve; people skills; sports and life knowledge; breaking barriers and planning for success.

This year’s project took an African theme with students being taken out of their comfort zone trying sports that they would not usually get the opportunity to such as: walking football, kinball, boxing and a twist upon an ancient African game named Krazy Kabaddi. So enthusiastic were the group that they even made their own African style footballs from plastic bags and strings (credit to Andre and Daniel) to play a modified version of the popular game with silky footwork being demonstrated across the fields of Breck road.

Accompanied by Natasha, the group attended a football golf centre where they attempted to complete a round of football golf with student Leyton impressing with an overhead shot worth 100 points, completed a time trial and played a world cup with a ball that was described by Michael as the size of an asteroid!  The group then returned to the Academy to take part in an alternative version to the African game Kabaddi  (led by Mr Metcalf and year 8 project mentor Oheneba). During this they were able to demonstrate the mental toughness they had developed in order to break down sporting barriers throughout the project.

In the afternoon the group visited Anfield Boxing Club to undertake an intense sports conditioning training session and got to show off their newly developed skills in the ring with Olympic boxer Jonas looking on.  Tired and exhausted, the group demonstrated great mental toughness and a hunger to achieve by taking part in a specially designed basketball challenge to score 999 points as a team (in addition to the sponsored silence the group took part in earlier in the project) before the day was drawn to a close. The group have now raised over £350 which will allow around 100 football kits and a range of football’s and other equipment to be flown over to children in Africa courtesy of the Royal Air Force.

To round off a ground-breaking project the group compiled a video showing off their experiences which was launched to rapturous applause at the school’s annual sports awards evening in July.

“I loved the African football. It was exciting and different to the usual game we play – I wish we had a beach that we could play it on regularly.” said Lewis.

Year 8 mentor Oheneba added to these sentiments saying “Having been through the project myself I wanted to get involved to help younger students achieve their best and enjoy it as much as I did”

PE teacher Mr Metcalf was very pleased with the project commenting “What a fantastic project and a fantastic way to end the school year. The group have shown the value of the project towards developing their own skills and have laid the foundations to support them as they grow and develop throughout their time at NLA.”