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Mallinder backs schools coaching initiative

Jim Mallinder getting down with the kids this week! © Northampton Saints

Community News Mallinder backs schools coaching initiative

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder put youngsters from Lings Primary School through their paces in an Aviva National Schools Programme session this week, and backed a new initiative from Northamptonshire Sport which is aimed at improving sports coaching in schools throughout the county.

The FANTASTIC Coach campaign is designed to give schools the framework they need to make sure they are appointing the right coach to support physical education and school sport programmes to the highest possible standards.

Mallinder, who before he became a professional coach taught maths and PE himself, said that the FANTASTIC Coach campaign can provide the next layer of support to existing programmes like the Aviva National Schools Programme.

“The FANTASTIC coaching campaign is important and just what is needed,” he commented. “Children want to be inspired, they want to be motivated, and that’s down to good teaching and good coaching. We’ve got to pursue that and encourage that, and the better the coaches are the better it is for the children in schools.

“The Aviva National Schools Programme is important, and so is the FANTASTIC Coach campaign. They’re about helping to encourage children to develop, and that’s what it’s all about. We’ve got a good sport, we want to get children interested and involved in it, whether it’s during school time, after school or on Sunday mornings at their local clubs, and hopefully they’ll carry on playing throughout their lives.”

Chris Holmes, director of Northamptonshire Sport, added that it was vital to have the support of professional sports clubs like the Saints when launching initiatives like FANTASTIC Coach.

“It’s very important for us,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of people to be talking to in schools to encourage them to improve the standards in PE, and having the Saints behind us on this campaign is really important.

“We know the quality of the Saints work because of the interest that there is among youngsters locally. We get told by local clubs that their numbers are going up, and that has to be because of the work done by the Saints when they go into schools in the area for programmes such as the Aviva National Schools Programme.

“The club also has the expertise to show how things should be done. We’re trying to reach those class teachers who might not have the greatest levels of confidence in teaching good PE and sport within their schools. And to know that people of the calibre of Jim Mallinder and the Saints are backing this campaign is really good.”

The FANTASTIC Coach initiative will be formally launched by Chris Heaton Harris MP on Friday, October 11th. To find out more about the campaign email Cathy Brown at Northamptonshire Sport – catbrown@northamptonshire.gov.uk

And to find out how your school can be a part of the Aviva National Schools Programme just CLICK HERE!

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