Why West Somerset youngsters are Get Set Go for gymnastics programme expansion

Posted: 3rd Jul 2018

Category: Families

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More West Somerset preschool and primary school pupils than ever before are embracing a greater range of multi sports and wellness activities thanks to an innovative programme spearheaded by 1610 and the West Somerset Academy Trust to help children become more active at an early age.

The Get Set Go sports programme which is being delivered by 1610 in West Somerset nurseries, First and Middle Schools has seen an increase of 159% in the numbers of weekly attendances of children taking part in a range of multi sports during the past 16 months. The scheme was launched in January of 2017 with 214 weekly attendances which has now increased to 555 children attending on a weekly basis. 

The Get Set Go programme offers sports coaching, breakfast and after school clubs as well as P.E. curriculum support to inspire children to engage with a range of sports and wellness activities ranging from gymnastics, dance, Balanceability, to tennis and swimming.

The gymnastics scheme delivered as part of the programme at a number of West Somerset schools has proved to be very popular with pupils and now this looks set to expand further as the gymnastics programme relocates to one permanent base at Minehead First School from September.  Gymnastics is beneficial to children as it improves core stability, agility and flexibility. The programme also helps to develop self- confidence and team spirit.

Get Set Go Leader, Suzanne Richards says that the new location for the gymnastics programme will provide a number of benefits: “The move will allow us to provide a more consistent gymnastics programme for West Somerset pupils for 50 weeks of the year. We will be able to increase the number of classes and it is also important for children in a rural area to have access to a designated progression route in the sport so they can compete at County level and beyond. It is also important that young children enjoy grass roots support but also that they can try and enjoy a range of activities away from the traditional school team sports which may be the first step towards a life- long love interest in sport and fitness.”

One such pupil who has benefited from the Get Set Go programme is nine year old Lilia Guscott a pupil at Minehead First School. In 2015 Lilia began an afterschool gymnastics group which was run by 1610 Get Set Go.  She quickly progressed to the advance group which was run at 1610 West Somerset Sports Centre. Lilia has represented Minehead First School in two County Gymnastic competitions in 2017 and 2018. 

Lilia says`; “I love gymnastics because you try something new every week, sometimes it is a challenge but our coach lets us keep trying and encourages us until we can do it – gymnastics makes me feel happy!”

The Get Set Go Programme is also working with some schools in Bridgwater and looks set to expand also in the Glastonbury area.

The West Somerset Get Set Go programme will launch from Minehead First School on Saturday 8 September. The classes will run from 9.00am to 5.00pm on a Saturday 50 weeks of the year with two weeks off at Christmas.

For more information please contact Suzanne Richards at West Somerset Sports & Leisure Tel 01643 708815.