Devizes School

Award: £10,000
Sponsor: Gaiger Brothers
Length of scheme: 3 years

Devizes School is a secondary school and specialist sports college in Wiltshire, taking children from 11-18.

They obtained a three year sponsorship from a local construction firm, Gaiger Brothers, which amounted to £10,000 per year. The school matched this with a further £10,000 from Sportsmatch and were able to run an annual multi-sports coaching camp during the school summer holidays.

The camp was aimed at all local children from the ages of 10-16 and offered a week of coaching in a wide variety of sports, including volleyball, basketball, tennis, judo, hockey, dance and girls football. School facilities were used, along with a local sports centre and watersports lake.

In the first year of the camp, 175 children took part and all teachers, coaches and assistants involved received the Sports Leaders Award. In the second year, the scheme was expanded to include children with special needs and more sports were offered, including skateboarding and BMX biking. Over 180 children took part and other local businesses became involved, with two local shops providing free catering for the camps, and other businesses purchasing advertising space in the camp brochure. In addition, six children and three teachers from Tornio, Devizes’ twin town in Finland, were flown over to take part in the camp, with the Twinning Commission providing board and lodging for the children whilst they stayed in Devizes.

2005 sees the camp entering its third year of operation. Again, this year will see new sports introduced to the camp, including scuba diving, snorkeling and cricket. Sports recently introduced into the school’s curriculum will also be run at the camp, including Ultimate Frisbee.

The camp has been a great success, strengthening links between the school and the community and providing a focus of activity for the local children during the summer holidays. The increasing participation of other local businesses has helped to consolidate the camp as a fixture in the town, whilst the involvement of the children from Tornio proved an unexpected additional benefit, and has motivated the town to build on that established link.

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