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Students take the plunge

Young people leave the classroom behind for a day of outdoor challenges

Sports students had an outdoor adventure, trying out a host of activities they had never experienced before, on a trip to Thriftwood Scout Camp Site in Brentwood.

Amongst the activities, they faced their fears to do the ‘Leap of Faith’, which involved them being strapped to a harness and jumping off a seven-metre-high platform onto a trapeze.

A fun water session saw the young people try kayaking for the first time; they were encouraged to face their fear of falling in, by taking turns balancing whilst standing up, resulting in many of the students getting a soaking. Several got rather wet on the ‘Water Roller’, a large inflatable cylinder, too.

The activity day was part of their course at Barking & Dagenham College and the sports BTEC students were marked on how they displayed relevant, skills and attributes.

Their tutor Lucas Michael, Sports and Protective Services Lecturer explains:

“When our learners first joined Barking & Dagenham College, most had little to no experience with outdoor adventures. Placing them in these challenging environments, where they confronted both familiar and unfamiliar fears and obstacles, allowed us to witness their remarkable progress. Seeing them overcome these challenges was the perfect conclusion to their journey”.

The students themselves had a fantastic time, despite finding it challenging.

Gabriel Leite Silva, 18, from Hornchurch said:

“I found out about new skills that I have and overcame some fears that I had!”

Brandon Hardwick, 18, from Collier Row added:

“It was a nice change to a classroom, it allowed us to try new things we’d never done before.”

It was the first time trying any of these activities for Lucas Gonzaga, 19, from Battersea, he said:

“I have never really had the opportunity to have access to such different activities before. This opened my eyes in terms of what sorts of things I  could take part in other than traditional sports”.

Marc-Antonii Balan, 19 from Barking said:

“It was nice to get some practical experience rather than just theory. It allowed us to get a better understanding of how the activities are supposed to be performed, as well as what safety measures and precautions are required to ensure a safe and fun experience.”

Jamie Friend,18, from Dagenham added,

“It was a fun experience to take part in, doing a variety of activities that we don’t do often. It was a much more favourable form of assessment due to the teamwork and comedy aspects.”

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