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We are proposing a radical transformation of our sports facilities in order to improve the sporting education and wellbeing of our students. But as the worst funded state school in England, we can't do it alone.

“Physical activity and sport impacts positively on the extent to which young people feel connected to their school, to their aspirations and to

the development of leadership and citizenship skills”

(Stead & Neville 2010)

We are proud of the sporting efforts and achievements of our students, and are committed to giving our young people as many opportunities as they can to be active, and to encouraging them to recognise sport as a means of developing vital life skills:

• 97% of RLS students feel that sport improves their wellbeing
• 70% feel sport makes them more confident
• 67% feel sport improves their ability to work in a team
• 41% feel sport improves their leadership skills

However, we have to recognise that a lack of funding for improvements to the sports facilities at the Royal Latin School has inevitably created a barrier to increasing participation, and prevent us from offering the diverse range of sport and activities we would like our students to experience. The challenges presented by the existing, outdated sports facilities at The Royal Latin School are numerous and significant:

  • Grass pitches are unusable by mid-November due to poor drainage
  • Classes regularly have to share sports hall due to lack of indoor space, and have to make way during exams
  • Athletics areas are not fit for purpose: undulating track, long/high jump areas almost unusable
  • Small make do fitness room not equipped for full use, no aerobic machines, virtually unused by girls
  • No floodlighting limits use of outdoor facilities after dark
  • Lack of facilities limits our ability to offer non-games options, meaning we can’t provide a broad range of activities to encourage participation

Poor sports facilities limit choice, lower aspirations and create a barrier to participation, particularly for girls

(Go Girls Go Report, 2013)

The time has come to take action and transform sport at RLS – but we can’t do it alone. We are proposing an exciting transformation of our sporting facilities in order to overcome our site limitations. Rather than adopting a piecemeal approach, we believe that the creation of a Sports Campus will enable us to not only overcome our current constraints, but will create a passionate whole school sports and fitness ethos and revolutionise the sporting education we can offer.

Our Sports Campus will include:

• a new sports building incorporating:

• fitness suite
• sports science seminar room
• data analysis suite
• medical/physio room
• viewing gallery
• changing rooms

• full size all weather pitch

• long jump

• levelling & floodlighting the existing grass pitch

• floodlighting the tennis & netball courts

In short, the Sports Campus will transform the sporting education of our students and benefit our local community partners. Improved facilities will enable us to encourage sport for all, set high expectations and support the pursuit of excellence.

Sport for All
• All weather pitch and drained grass pitches will drastically increase the number of outdoor lessons, all year round, providing greater continuity and raising standards
• A welcoming fitness suite with a range of accessible programmes will improve student fitness and encourage participation, especially amongst girls and less active students
• Better use of outdoor and indoor space will enable us to diversity our programme of sport and to move beyond only offering traditional sports and ‘games’
• Floodlighting will extend our sporting day and enable us to host matches and club and community sports
• Better facilities will encourage professional sports clubs to lend their coaching and wider expertise to RLS
• Levelled and upgraded athletics facilities will enable us to fully support the continued development of our elite athletes and encourage more students to participate
• We expect to demonstrate an overall increase in participation and will make better use of technology to enable students to track progress and outcomes
• Actively promoting the positive impact of physical activity on academic performance, transferable skills & wellbeing, we will encourage our students to follow a ‘fit for life’ pathway

Nurturing Elite Performers
• Better facilities will enable us to add value to elite student programmes
• We will more easily be able to facilitate their training and support their rehabilitation
• We will collaborate closely with academies, clubs and coaches to optimise performance
• We will raise the profile of our elite performers and encourage all students to learn and benefit from the elite student experience/pathway Curriculum & Career
• We will further extend the impact of the Sports Campus by proactively linking Sport to Business Studies, the Discovery Centre, IT & Psychology
• We will broaden the appeal of sport and careers in sport by drawing on disciplines such as sports science, data analysis, sports marketing, sports psychology etc.
• We will seek the support of parents, alumni and our wider sports industry network to inspire and enrich the curriculum

The impact of the Sports Campus will be huge, and will show just what is possible when a school proactively places

sport, fitness and wellbeing at its core.

Ian Gould, RLS Director of Sport

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