The Sports Council for Wales has promoted Tonypandy Community College to top of the class for its A-grade efforts to get young people fit and active.
The school sprinted to the School of the Month award for December – an accolade handed out by the Sports Council’s 5×60 scheme, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and run locally by Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council.
5×60 aims to get secondary school children who usually prefer to stay on the sporting sidelines more active, more often and the scheme is scoring high marks. In fact, 98% of mainstream schools in Wales have now signed up.
Just under half of the pupils at Tonypandy Community College have given 5×60 activities a shot this autumn term alone, maintaining a great record since the school signed up to the scheme four years ago. A wide variety of activities are on offer at the school, including basketball, table tennis, badminton, mountain biking, cheerleading, street dance, trampolining, swimming, skate park, tag rugby and dodgeball club for girls and boys. Table tennis, trampolining and dodgeball have proven to be the runaway favourites.
Carly Jones, 5×60 Officer at Tonypandy, explains:
“Since I started at the college in September, I have been overwhelmed with the commitment that some pupils show towards 5×60. Each club that has started has attracted great numbers, and the sessions have really developed as the term progresses.”
The pupils at Tonypandy have entered many competitions and tournaments through 5×60, including: The Welsh Schools Cyclo Cross Championships, RCT Girls Tag Rugby tournament, Rhondda Badminton Tournament and a Children in Need 5×60 triathlon.
Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, Philip Carling, said:
“One of the winning formulas behind 5×60 is that pupils can take part in physical activity during lunchtimes and after school. The challenge now is to open the school doors for 5×60 at weekends and in school holidays. Success stories such as at Tonypandy lay the foundations for the Sports Council for Wales’ long term objective to ensure that as many of these youngsters as possible go on to live healthy adult lives.”
Pupils at Tonypandy say they enjoy 5×60 activities because ‘it keeps us fit, makes us smile and keeps us out of trouble.’
Councillor Eudine Hanagan, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said: “I am pleased to hear that Tonypandy Community College has been awarded the 5×60 School of the Month. This award is testimony to the young people at the school and the hard work of the 5×60 coordinators. It is pleasing to hear that so many young people are getting involved in the programme and becoming more physically active. One of the winning formulas behind 5×60 is that pupils can take part in physical activity during lunchtimes and after school.”