St Mary's embracing Game Changer

St Mary's embracing Game Changer

29th November 2016

St Mary’s C.E Primary School have fully embraced the work that Widnes Vikings are doing through the ethos of the Game Changer programme with the invention of a Y6 Leaders programme.

The 'Game Changer' initiative is working across 36 primary schools in Halton across the 2016/17 academic year, targeting over 3,000 children. Delivered across a 24-week monitoring period, boys and girls in years 2–4 will receive 12 weeks of focused support from Vikings coaches and players through completing a combination of practical fundamentals, multi skills, and multi sport activities and classroom activities based around healthy eating.

As part of their contribution the scheme, participating schools will commit to unlocking an extra 15 minutes of physical activity every day through their own innovative ideas and thus complete their ‘Game Changer’ pledges. The gym being installed at the school is a brilliant example of Westfield Primary School doing just that.

The ‘Game Changer’ is the result of a strategic collaboration between Widnes Vikings and Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Services Vanguard.

As a result of the work done by the Vikings in terms of Game Changer, the school has adopted a Y6 leaders programme, in which members of the Y6 class are to take charge in a number of physical activities. The children will plan their session, arrange the equipment and lead all of the drills for other children in the school.

Adam Daniels, Health and Physical Activity Coach at Widnes Vikings, says: "I think it is brilliant to see St Mary's being so receptive and fully integrated the messages we're trying to put across in sessions," he said.

"The Y6 leaders programme was not led by ourselves, it was an idea from the school that we were fully behind as it shows great initiative.

"The message we're promoting in our Game Changer programme is having a positive effect, and it is further evidence that the programme can only successfully continue to tackle child obesity across Halton."

Lewis from the Y3 class at St Mary's says: "I like doing dynamic stretching with Adam because it keeps me fit and healthy and lets me do all the games really well," he said.

"When Adam isn’t here and I'm at home, I have started jogging round my block where I live with my dad and i enjoy it. I like playing rugby and we have learnt about Widnes Vikings and I think I have learnt a lot with Adam. I have been eating vegetables and fruit just like Adam has taught us because when I am older, I want to be in the Champions League with Everton and I can do that by eating like Adam has said."

Ava Coady says: "I like doing all the games because it keeps you fit and keeps you healthy," she said.

"I have learnt a lot about the warm ups with Adam and I do them when I am not at school and when Adam isn't here. I now only eat sweets as a treat and try to eat more fruit because he said they are good food to eat."

Amanda Gunther, Higher Level Teaching Assistant at St Mary's, believes that the Vikings and Game Changer are having a massive impact on the whole school.

"All of the children are really enjoying Adam coming in and delivering sessions," she said.

"The Breakfast club has been popular so we’re getting more children involved, and it means they are more awake in the classroom. His sessions have been really active, so I’ve noticed it has stretched the ability of a lot of children. Adam has done a lot of it through games and I think that has helped as they aren’t seeing it as physical exercise that they have to do, but more fun and enjoyable. 

"We’ve also had the assembly, promoting healthy lifestyle and eating so they are really taking on what he is trying to promote. It makes them more aware and they listen and go home and tell their parents which will then lead to doing the same at home, so it’s a great introduction and learning process for them.

"The Y6 leaders on the playground is brilliant and ties in nicely with what the Vikings and we are trying to do. Adam’s been a great help and he’s just got stuck in and doesn’t work with that class but yet he’s built a good rapport and the children enjoy it so it has fitted in nicely for us."

St Mary's embracing Game Changer