A BUCKLEY primary school has embraced a week of sports as part of a national campaign to promote physical and mental wellbeing through activity.

National School Sport Week 2019 - running form June 24 to 28 - saw hundreds of pupils at Southdown Primary School take part.

A wide variety of local sports clubs were invited to work with children and introduce them to the wider world of sport in the community.

Classes were treated to a variety of different activities – ranging from football, rugby, cricket and tennis to golf, street dance, cheerleading and jujitsu.

Along with these activities, the children were treated to visits by sporting professionals, organisations and charities – including professional cruiserweight boxer Isaac Chamberlain, footballer for The New Saints Blaine Hudson (accompanied by the JD Sports Welsh Cup) as well as former Southdown teacher turned gymnastics champion Tara Quinn.

Clubs and organisations that were invited included Northop Hall Hockey Club, Mold Rugby Club, Old Padeswood Golf Club, Mold Tennis Club, Seishin Ryu from Buckley Jiu jitsu, Anna Wooding’s Street Dance, Rob Ward from Cricket Wales, Kicks for Kids Wales and Play Flintshire.

The week concluded with Year 3 pupils getting involved in a mini triathlon, sponsored by TATA Steel, held at Mold’s Alun High School along with other primary schools from across the county invited to take part.

John Jones, one of the Year Three teachers and PE coordinator at the school, organised the third annual event.

He said: “It has been a really busy week at school this week but I’m sure all the children have gained memories they’ll keep for life and it has hopefully inspired some of them to take on sporting further with some of the brilliant clubs right on our doorstep in Buckley.

“This was the first year that the whole school has been involved in the activities on offer and it has been really good to see so many children leaving school with stories to tell their family about what they have done or who they have met, it's inspiring really. We’ve had lots of positive comments from parents about the week too.

“I’d like to give a massive thank you to everyone who gave up their time to come and visit the school; from special guests to the range of clubs that came to let the children try out something new. The staff have all been very supportive and gotten fully involved in the activities themselves.”

Mr Jones, who is also a Welsh Premier League referee, told how sport runs through the veins of the school, which recently received its platinum award from Aura Sports for School Sport in the 2017/18 academic year.

He added: “Sport and play form such an important part of development for our children. It is here that they learn to work as teams and communicate with one another effectively to name just a few aspects. All of the activities today feed into the new school curriculum of promoting wellbeing and inspiring students to reach their potential and beyond.”

This year’s theme for National Sport Week, run by the Youth Sport Trust has been ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, which shows how physical education can help young people stay healthy.

As well as all the physical activities on offer, pupils were given workshops by the charity ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ – making them aware of wider issues in sport surrounding discrimination.

Teachers also designed lessons in maths, English, music and various other curriculum areas around the topic of sport.

They also had classes about healthy living and sport science from a former Southdown pupil Natalie Bell – who is set to become a science teacher at Hawarden High School in September.

On the penultimate day of National Sports Week, the school has a visit from Mark Tami, MP for Alyn and Deeside, who even got involved in the cheerleading and athletics.

He said: “It’s been a great seeing how much was on offer at Southdown School in just one morning, the school have really embraced this busy week to the absolute maximum and for that I applaud them. I am particularly pleased to see there has been so much on offer as mainstream sports like football may not be interesting to everyone so having a wide range of sports and activities to try out may have opened up possibilities for these youngsters that may never have been explored otherwise."

Kirsten Bell, the school’s deputy headteacher, told of how pleased she was to see the children engaging in different activities and learning about their own bodies, minds and wellbeing at the same time with experiences and memories that will hopefully inspire the next generation of sporting stars.

Mrs Bell added that the week of activities had to be planned as early as Christmas time but all the hard work has resulted in a brilliant week.

She said: “In a day and age where most children are happy to stay indoors and play on computer games, I’d say it has been a massive success to see everyone enjoy themselves and pick up on a sport they are talented at.

“We pride ourselves on providing these all of these wonderful opportunities for our vibrant children and none of this would have been possible without the brilliant work put in by Mr Jones so a massive thanks must be given to home.”