Half-term scheme sees confidence of Portsmouth youngsters skyrocket

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SECONDARY school children have learned how to take charge and lead a group in sports activities following a half-term project in Portsmouth.

A half-term holiday camp, supported by Active Leaders, Active Communities Network, Portsmouth City Council and Portsmouth School Sport Partnership, saw secondary school students taking the reins for a series of activities for Year 5 and 6 pupils.

From left, Demi Jones (10), Leon White (11), Samuel Barker (10) and Elijah Sengu (9)

From left, Demi Jones (10), Leon White (11), Samuel Barker (10) and Elijah Sengu (9)

The scheme aimed to provide something valuable for young people to do in the half-term holidays, as well as boost the confidence of the young leaders taking part.

The teenage leaders, who led most of the activities, have all received national Active Leader Award.

Emma Dilly, 14 from Portsmouth, said: ‘Michael Whitelock from Portsmouth Schools Sports Partnership is my sports leader at school and he recommended it to me.

‘At the start of the week I didn’t know many people and it was quite nerve-wracking, but as I went through the week I built bonds with the other children and other leaders.

The Active Leaders with Cllr Suzy Horton, after being presented with their certificates

The Active Leaders with Cllr Suzy Horton, after being presented with their certificates

‘I feel like I have become more mature and much more confident in myself after doing this, and would love to do it again.’

Fellow leader William Leanind, 15, added: ‘It’s been good fun – you learn a lot about yourself and how to lead a group of children too.

‘I feel like I could do something like this in the future.’

Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Suzy Horton, says the week has proven to be a major success – with plans for further programmes in the Easter and summer holidays.

Cllr Horton said: ‘This was the pilot for us and by all accounts it has been a roaring success.

‘For me, it’s important to show these young people that their aspirations can be limitless, and giving them the confidence to take on these leadership roles.

‘They could well go on to work with young people in the future – but the skills they have learned here could apply to any leadership role.

‘Hopefully we’ve increased their confidence and the younger children have had a fantastic time too.’

The primary school students were certainly in high spirits at the end of the week, with many saying that they would like to do something similar again.

Samuel Barker, age 10, said: ‘We’re all really good friends now because we’ve spent the whole week together.

‘I enjoyed doing the different activities during the week.’

Demi Jones, also 10, added: ‘I’ve had so much fun getting to know everyone and would definitely come back if this happened again.’