‘Invest in the sports sector in the inner city of Birmingham as the best legacy of sports’: Heads of Schools

The leader of four Birmingham schools says the ‘legacy of the Perfect Games’ will be a massive investment in sports and recreational facilities in the inner city. Adrian Packer, chief executive of the Core Education Trust, said the best way for Birmingham 2022 would be to leave a mark in a positive way and show all children that they matter.

With one month left, Mr. Packer said he wants to make sure every young person feels the lasting effects of the biggest sporting event in the city when it’s all over. He added that the united commitment of all partners overseeing the Commonwealth Games – including the government, city councils, organizing committees and other funders – to invest in facilities in schools and communities would send a strong message.

One of the trust’s four schools, City Academy, located between office blocks in the city center, lacks outdoor space, meaning students participate in outdoor games and participate in PE in the area. Students and staff call it ‘cage’. , A fenced part of the car park. He said the new facilities would be a great boost – and that’s the story in other schools and neighborhoods.

Read more: Birmingham parents can benefit and support more from the school holidays.

With the Commonwealth Games fast approaching, he says it’s the best time to show young people in Birmingham that they really matter. “We want to use the Games opportunity for a lasting legacy that will benefit thousands of children in the city, many of whom are living in extremely difficult conditions.

City Academy students spend their break in a ‘cage’ – a thermal space with car park

“As inner-city school leaders, we do our best to do what we can, but we realize that Birmingham’s children deserve better facilities, and more about their sports opportunities. Feel more positive. ” Mr Packer added: “When it comes to recreational facilities, our children are the least served in the city.

“They’re very proud that the Games are in their city, and we’re participating in the festivities and celebrations, seeing the flags flying and the excitement – but they need something concrete to go beyond that.”

The school last week hosted Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, who met with young leaders involved in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme as part of a private tour of the city. He took part in an archery session with youngsters on the playground, given the limited space he had to play, as the following tweet illustrates.

But Mr Packer said his concern was not just for schools like his – there was an immediate need for improvement. It is also outside of other schools and communities, with parts of inner Birmingham lacking playgrounds and youth and recreational activities.

Mr Packer said: “We have a student-led program that was set up after the assassination of George Floyd (the murder of a black man by a white police officer in the United States, which led to black live meters around the world.) Gave rise to protests and demanded change) Young One Voice

They ask us: ‘Does Birmingham really value black lives?’ And we say ‘of course’, but then they ask why they don’t have the facilities that are provided in other schools and neighborhoods, and it’s hard to justify. We believe that in order to truly impress young people in sports, we need to think beyond the narrow-minded and the outdoors. We believe there is still time to do so. “

Students Participate In Cage Tennis Activities, The Only Outdoor Sports Facility At City Academy, A School Serving The Inner City Of Birmingham.
Students participate in cage tennis activities, the only outdoor sports facility at City Academy, a school serving the inner city of Birmingham.

The Games’ legacy and youth programs include a number of projects and opportunities, including:

  • The Bearing the Power program aims to expand knowledge and help children acquire new skills through educational resources, interactive workshops and activities in youth centers and schools.

  • The youth activities focused on the city’s four youth centers, Austin, Longbridge, Sutton Coldfield and Sparkbrook.

  • Less and free tickets to events

  • Other access to schools and community spaces and community engagement plans

In his own words: What Adrian Packer hopes will be the Games’ lasting legacy.

“Earlier this month, during a visit to Birmingham, I had the honor of hosting His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex, one of the four CORE Education Trust schools at City Academy. Couldn’t: Excited Duke Edinburgh Award Scheme students from all of our schools.

With clear pride and contagious enthusiasm, he was thrilled to have the opportunity to demonstrate some of the new skills he had learned while working towards his Bronze Award. But unfortunately I could not be proud of my facilities.

New Hall Street, home to City Academy year 10 and 11 students. This is a modified office block that, at best, has a car park for the playground. Her sister site at nearby Langley Walk is a bit better – and the student calls it a ‘cage’, a wire-fenced outdoor space – although it will at least undergo renovations later this summer.

Duke Of Edinburgh Awards Students Meet Earl Of Wessex During Their School Visit
Duke of Edinburgh Awards students meet Earl of Wessex during their school visit
(Photo: PA)

Even after sunset, which was the hottest day of the year so far, City Academy did not perform well. Disappointingly, I know these limits are not unique to CORE’s city center schools. And as Birmingham looks forward to hosting the Commonwealth Games this summer, I hope this is a picture we can improve.

I have volunteered my time and ideas since Birmingham was awarded the Games in 2017 (ironically at a ceremony at CORE’s Arena Academy in the Great Bar!). And I passionately believe that hosting the Games is a great opportunity for Birmingham to give our city’s children and young people the opportunity to experience and participate in a sports and cultural program at their doorstep.

Read more: King Kong returns to Birmingham for Commonwealth Games

Read more: Birmingham Arts Company refuses to perform at events unless there is a black audience.

In fact, if we need a reminder, COVID has shown us the importance of exercise for physical and emotional well-being. As we emerge from the epidemic, the news pages are filled with concerns about childhood obesity and the poor mental health of our young people. We need to stop and reverse disturbing trends. In addition, play has many additional benefits for children, which helps them develop all the important flexibility, communication skills and teamwork that we know will help them build successful lives in the future. Will need

And it creates a sense of identity and belongs to something bigger than itself, which can be both groundbreaking and inspiring. So with sports in the city, we have a one-time opportunity to foster a lifelong love of exercise and sport among the next generation. And to reinforce the engagement in a heritage that we can be proud of, being a key component of a bright future with great facilities, we all want to build for this diverse and vibrant city.

Because in order to truly impress young people in sports, we need to present them beyond narrow-mindedness and after thinking outside the box. Our students have created everything that is great about Birmingham, they deserve more and they should be the front and center of the game. “I’m optimistic about the changes that could come if we all keep this in mind as the real gold medal we want to win this summer.”

Take action: Food SOS – all the places you can get help if you are struggling and hungry

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