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A True Inspiration- Sam - Sports Leader

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A true inspiration – Sam becomes a Sports Leader through the Inclusive Sports Programme


Sam is a student in Year 11 at Venturers’ Academy. Sam is visually impaired and his sight continues to deteriorate, but nothing will stop him from achieving his goal of becoming a sports coach – in fact he’s already well on his way!


As part of the Inclusive Sport Programme run by the Youth Sport Trust, Sam became a Sports Leader, completing Sports Leadership at Level 1 and also gaining the Level 2 qualification in the community.


The Youth Sport Trust is a charity that works with educators and young people across the UK to promote and deliver the life-changing benefits of play and sport. The charity’s Inclusion 2024 programme aims to increase and improve opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to engage and participate in physical education and school sport.


Now two years into the Sports Leadership Programme, Sam not only works alongside Venturers’ Academy’s Head of PE, Mr Tier, he also visits other schools to lead sessions. But, it was Sam’s first PE teacher at Venturers’ Academy, Mr Walker, who introduced Sam to the concept of Sports Leadership. Mr Walker supported Sam to design his own sports and PE sessions coupled with a strategy to deliver the sessions in schools. This led to Sam applying and subsequently being selected for the Inclusive Sport Programme. “I think I was chosen because, alongside a wide knowledge of sport, I really like helping people. Communication is a really important part of being a sports leader.”


Sam’s favourite sports are football, rugby and basketball, which he combines with his natural talent for problem solving. “When I’m playing or teaching sport, I enjoy learning about different ways of strategizing.


“I’m a lot more confident now than I was when I first started. I’ve learned different ways to structure and teach a lesson, and I’ve learnt a lot by watching how Mr Tier communicates and delivers his PE sessions.


“I really want the young people that I’m helping to enjoy the lesson and I encourage them to talk to me if they find things difficult.


“I think the benefit of having young people like me leading sessions is that participants are more likely to ask questions if they’re facing challenges, which makes them feel more supported and in turn, they learn more and enjoy the lesson.


“My top tip for others who are considering getting into Sports Leadership is to watch what your teacher does and learn from them. Start small and design your own session, then deliver it to one person before increasing your confidence and delivering your session to bigger groups.”


“The next step for me, after completing my Sports Leadership programme, is to start college and qualify as a sports coach and gym instructor.”


Head of PE at Venturers’ Academy, Ben Tier said: “I’ve seen Sam grow and develop his confidence and skills over the past two years. He regularly helps to support lessons with the PE team whether this is during his class PE lessons or when he helps teach and coach younger classes within the school. His leadership skills have also greatly improved and he steps forward with confidence to support sports days and other sporting competitions and festivals.


“When Sam started the leadership course, he would find communicating to a group of students challenging, but he can now lead a session with much more confidence, clearly explaining what he wants the students to do and he’s very successful at engaging the students so that they enjoy the lesson. He definitely has a gift and I’m sure that he’ll achieve his career goal of becoming a sports coach.”


Executive Headteacher of Venturers’ Academy, Trystan Williams, said: “Sam is a fabulous example of leadership and resilience. He is courageous and kind, demonstrating on a daily basis that everything is possible. He inspires all of us at Venturers’ Academy, staff and students alike, to take a positive approach to every challenge and to keep following your dream.”


 You can read Sam’s blog on the Youth Sport Trust's website, How Sam became an inclusive sports leader - Youth Sport Trust


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