From education to employment

Filton College’s Flyers Hooping for Health

Filton College’s Bristol Academy Flyers Basketball club has taken its basketball knowledge out into the local community to educate young people by spreading the word about choosing a healthy lifestyle. In order to combat the growing issues of obesity and ill health in young children, the Bristol Academy Flyers Basketball Club created a fun and informative scheme to aid the local community. The Hoops 4 Healthy Hearts program got underway in January this year taking place in the Filton and Patchway Primary schools, and by the end of July the scheme will have embraced well over 1000 children. Each class receives five weeks of fun and interactive workshops where children look at how their lifestyle choices affect their health in both the short and long term. Alongside this professional players from the club promote basketball and sport in general in order to encourage the children to become physically active. The scheme is rounded off with a celebrative tournament at the Filton College’s WISE Arena, where the children can show off their skills within the best basketball facility in the South West. The May celebration tournament saw 10 teams from local schools compete for the first Hoops 4 Healthy Hearts trophy. The tournament was a huge success with Filton College basketball academy students, Flyers professional players and the Flyers coaching staff on hand to pass on their knowledge to the youngsters. The scheme has been backed by Heart Research UK, Filton College and South Gloucestershire School Sports Partnership has been a roaring success and because of this will expending beyond the local community for the coming school year. Heart Research UK has funded this pilot scheme and it is hoped that with their continuing support the scheme will go beyond local schools and reach out further into the local community of South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North East Somerset next year. “The growing success of the Flyers basketball club has given more young people the opportunity to not only learn about the skills involved in basketball but have also learned valuable lessons about how to stay healthy now and in the future. Basketball also gives young people the opportunity to try a different sport, highly energetic, exciting and good fun the sport has captivated many of the youngsters who now attend regular Saturday development sessions provided by the club. The development sessions provide a pathway for youngsters to continue or to get involved in basketball, sessions range from six years of age up to senior level. This is great to see as it is now that you know the scheme truly works.” declares Coach Richard Bishop who has delivered the project since January. “This scheme has been a huge success and to see all of these youngsters putting in so much effort was fantastic. They have all had access to a new sport and have had some valuable lessons about healthy lifestyle choices. With this information we hope to cut the levels of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in later life. You could see the young people have truly bonded with coaches and the professional players who have been on hand to help them. We have seen a huge influx in young people joining our development centre since the project began and we hope that they may well be the stars of the future in the game. With further support from Heart Research UK and other partners we hope to develop this scheme further to reach more young people and pass on this important message in a fun and informative way.” enthused Danny James Director of Basketball at Filton College. To find out more about basketball and how to get involved please contact Danny James on 07747487914 or email [email protected]. Alternatively look at or and find out more information about the club. Notes to editors: 1) Pictures enclosed from the celebration tournament. June 2008 Sara-Jane Watkins Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement, HE and Skills. Filton College Filton Bristol BS34 7AT mobile: 07766 162 283 direct line: 0117 909 2312

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