17 weeks, amazing schools, fantastic children and a new avenue to offer more scope.

Amazing children only starting but with a determination to achieve self set goals.

So another busy, busy week.

So what have I been up to?

A social evening of thanks from Northamptonshire Sports for the volunteers at events in 2022, a great way to properly chat to those we see when working together at sporting events and actually really motivating to discuss what we all do this for, so many people ask why I give my time so regularly to others. Talking about sports we personally do and those we most prefer to volunteer at, so for me archery, running and open water swimming. Outside of my own sport I have to say I think my most enjoyable event this year was probably the pride colour run, such a great atmosphere.

The second evening of PACE ( parents against child exploitation), this is a series of 4 webinars and is open to those who care for and work with children and young people. This is a topic I have covered in my working life and have had some dealings with but these sessions are so much more. Heavy topic? absolutely, but county lines is a very real issue and something we may see signs of when working with children. As a safeguarding officer I have had children disclose information as I am a safe adult.

This session was especially emotional as the amazing Kendra of Out of the Shadows told her story, another amazing person using their own experience to teach and inspire and bring about change.

Another day of archery at Wrenn school to showcase what we have planned – curriculum, after school and a club. It was great to catch up with the children we spent the day with in July and meet a couple of new children picking up a bow. They have thought so much about what they want to aim for since those conversations in the early summer and it was fantastic to speak with representatives of the trust, especially as a second school from the trust is looking to follow a similar path. Our plans with Wrenn have hit some bumps in the road not created by the school or Integr8Archery but with continuous open communication we are figuring ways around the issues whilst we await those responsible to step up and resolve. I am genuinely excited to see what these children will achieve by the summer of 2023, I will keep you updated.

2 assignments submitted for my course, grant applications submitted for some of the groups.

My induction completed and my previously completed charter confirmed for the Sport for Development Coalition, another great group of like minded people trying to bring about change through sport. I have signed up to a number of things already, so no doubt I will be sharing more information over the coming months, is there anything more important for us to focus on other than Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, access to sport for all, and advocacy?

I got to catch up with one of my out of school setting children who attended our sessions on a Monday, at that time he was an alternate placement child. He is now back in mainstream school and taking part in archery there as the school is one of the schools in my archery in education project. How fantastic to see sport help him ease back into mainstream setting with his peers.

The other piece of news, which I am really excited about is that after being on a waiting list to start my coaching course with the Inclusive Activity Leader Program with the Disability Sports Coaching group, I was interviewed and accepted and I start my 6 months course on the 12th November and after 50-60 hours of class and placement I should be all set to help deliver 5 (Boccia, Polybat, Table Cricket, New Age Kurling and Goalball) sports in an adaptive environment. Without a doubt I am passionate about my sport and all that can be achieved with archery, but inclusion and the issues around it sees one of the biggest issues being availability of providers for adaptive sports, so lets set about increasing access by learning more sports to deliver.

Pride colour run, permission to be as silly as you like – what’s not to love!