This summer, pupils from Alverton Primary School in Penzance were treated to a memorable experience as they made an incredible 12-hour round trip to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London to watch Australia take on Belgium in the group stages of the Vitality Hockey World Cup.
This once in a lifetime opportunity was offered through TeamUp , a joint initiative developed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), England Hockey and England Netball. TeamUp aims to encourage thousands of 7-13-year-old girls to experience the benefits of team sport and support teachers in the delivery of cricket, hockey and netball sessions in school.
Prizes are earned through the accumulation of points that are available through the TeamUp initiative. Prizes can range from sporting equipment to international player visits and in special cases, can offer schools the opportunity to attend live sporting events including the Netball SuperLeague Final and Women’s T20 cricket games. Alverton Primary School earnt enough points to attend a match at the Hockey World Cup where they took ten pupils to enjoy Australia take on Belgium at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London.
As part of the unforgettable experience one of the students – Orla Jenkin, an integral part of the school’s hockey team who has played the sport since she was four – was chosen as the official ball deliverer for the match. Orla said that she was “blown away by the experience” as she delivered the match ball to the centre of the pitch in front of thousands of hockey fans.
Through TeamUp, Alverton Primary School has been able to access a range of fantastic opportunities that are not readily available in Penzance. With many children having never attended a live sporting event, the chance to attend an event like the Hockey World Cup was one many children may not have the opportunity to do until they become adults. For all of the pupils involved, the experience has inspired them to strive to become greater players and has increased their appreciation of sport, and hockey in particular.
Abbie Dennison, Year Three Sports and Physical Education Lead at Alverton Primary School, comments: “The opportunity to experience this amazing event is something many of the children would not normally have the chance to do. TeamUp has given our pupils a memory they can treasure forever and more importantly, it has inspired them to aim for even greater heights as they have seen where the next level is and how they need to perform to reach that level.”
Alverton Primary School offers a diverse range of sports for girls including hockey, netball and cricket. Being involved in the TeamUp initiative for the past two years has resulted in the continued growth and success of sports within the school, with its hockey team crowned as County Champions last year. The school have also looked to improve its cricket offering with former South African international and Essex County Cricket player, Greg Smith, who has been supporting the school by delivering cricket classes.
The TeamUp initiative and success of the women’s national teams has continued to inspire pupils at the school, with 40 girls currently part of the netball club, while around 35 girls belong to the hockey club.
For access to money-can’t-buy prizes and experiences, resources for teacher delivery and information about training opportunities, sign your school up to TeamUp now: www.teamupengland.com