Second year Sportsmatch award secures LSH youth development – Distrupol continue sponsorship
The recent developments in junior rugby at Liverpool St Helens are set to continue with the award of a second Sportsmatch grant to the club linked with sponsorship from Distrupol. The first Sportsmatch grant led to the full time appointment of a Youth Development Officer, Paul Woodward, and the new grant continues his appointment and enables further progress.
LSH Chairman John Bithell said “The club is grateful to the Sportsmatch organisation for their continued support together with Distrupol. Woody’s appointment has proved to be the catalyst for the progress with the mini and junior sections at the club.”
The speed of development at LSH has been staggering. In just over a year the club has established eight junior sides from aged seven upwards together with two colts teams, all made possible through Woodward’s work in the local community and with local schools.
“The first big challenge was getting access” said Woodward. “However I was soon delivering sessions on exercise, healthy lifestyles and sport in general as well as coaching rugby.” The LSH Director of Rugby has since been involved with twenty seven primary schools as well as Cowley,
De La Salle and Rainford High schools.
“The next phase was to recruit volunteers and coaches” he said, “and the response has been magnificent”. The whole process at LSH is now underpinned by a vibrant and hard working committee under the guidance of junior section Chairman John Foster.
Rory Orlandi, Head Teacher at St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School in St Helens is in no doubt about the benefit to the children in his school. “Paul Woodward and first team player Luke Carter have been excellent in supporting our Healthy Schools agenda, highlighting the importance of fitness and exercise. The lessons have been important in promoting lifelong messages particularly in relation to health and fitness. Sincere thanks to LSH. The pupils have thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and look forward to them with enthusiasm and excitement. Long may they continue.”
Ian Wellens, Head Teacher at Bleak Hill Primary School in St Helens also endorsed the activity. “Paul and Luke have been magnificent” he said. “They have gone way beyond rugby skills, focusing on healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. The pupils look forward to every lesson. My teaching staff has been particularly impressed with the sports development sessions and has also learnt from them.”