Latest News

Connaught School For Girls' Erin Hebblewhite Nominated For London's Sport Teacher of the Year Award

Picture of TeamUp News Editor
Connaught School For Girls' Erin Hebblewhite Nominated For London's Sport Teacher of the Year Award
by TeamUp News Editor - Tuesday, 3 July 2018, 2:01 PM

Connaught School for Girl’s Head of Physical Education, Erin Hebblewhite, has been nominated for TeamUp’s London Sports Teacher of the Year award for her outstanding contribution to girl’s sport.

Erin HebblewhiteErin, Australian by birth, has played both netball and cricket, the latter a sport she played for two years alongside her brother.

Erin has been responsible for implementing a new curriculum structure at Connaught School for Girls, with emphasis placed on improving pupils’ skills rather than the competitive element of sport. Students are taught skill-based games before learning the importance of tactics and why they are used. The new curriculum has enabled pupils to learn the rules to sport faster as they have a greater understanding of how and why they’ve been implemented. 

Erin also offers students the opportunity to become involved in a range of lunchtime and after school activities that are available to pupils including netball and health clubs. 

Since the new curriculum has been in place, the school has seen a dramatic improvement in the level of enjoyment in PE lessons. Erin said: “Overall, I would estimate there has been a 40-50% increase in attendance at extra-curricular clubs, with a 15% increase in the level of skill amongst the kids. The most important thing for me is that the overwhelming majority of girls are now enjoying their PE lessons.” 

Erin’s teaching philosophy focuses on creating a relaxed and fun environment in which to play sport. An example of this is in her Year 7 Friday classes, where students are encouraged to show off their best dance moves prior to every run or exercise; a rule Erin gleefully follows as well. 

Since registering with TeamUp, 20 new cricket bats have been gifted to the school through the initiative, which Erin has used to develop games that incorporate as many girls as possible, keeping them focused and happy. TeamUp has also allowed Erin to bring in a specialist cricket coach, who has been providing an additional session each week to pupils at a nearby county cricket ground.

Shortlisted for TeamUp’s London Sport Teacher of Year for her enthusiasm and passion for ensuring girls have the opportunity to play sport in school, Erin reflects: “I hope that the sports and activities we provide at school inspire the girls to play fun modified games with their friends as well as encouraging them to stay fit outside of school.”

On what it would mean to be named London Sports Teacher of the Year, Erin adds: “It’s nice to get recognition for the positive changes we are seeing in our girls. To win would help put our school on the map and the recognition would help build partnerships, giving the girls even more opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have. 

“TeamUp has been fundamental to our school’s growing achievements, as the equipment, coaches and inspiration the initiative offers is what is helping drive the change.”

TeamUp is a joint initiative launched in 2016 by the England & Wales Cricket Board, England Hockey and England Netball. Its goal is to maximise the legacy of three consecutive home women’s World Cups between 2017-2019 and ensure that thousands of seven to 13-year-old girls across the country have the chance to play team sports.

The initiative was given a significant boost in May 2017 when Wembley National Stadium Trust (WNST) committed over £650,000 to extend the initiative within the London boroughs and provide local delivery support for London schools and additional opportunities for girls to participate in sport. Schools can access this support by registering at and applying for support.

Four teachers have been shortlisted for London’s Sports Teacher of the Year Award and have been invited to the Vitality Netball SuperLeague Grand Final on Saturday 7th July. The winner will be announced and presented with their award during the match.

For more information about TeamUp and how your school can apply for London support, please visit: