School pupils at Utkinton and Huxley Primary Schools are benefitting from healthy lifestyle programme Hoops 4 Health.
Hoops 4 Health is the British Basketball League’s national community programme, combining basketball coaching with practical healthy living advice for young people aged between eight and 11.
The course aims to provide a healthy living programme using basketball to convey a range of positive health messages to young people in primary schools, including the importance of keeping physically active and eating right.
More than 40 pupils currently in Key Stage two classes at the two schools took part in the programme, delivered by coaches and players from local basketball club Cheshire Phoenix.
Funded in partnership by Muir Housing Group, Sport Cheshire and Cheshire West and Chester Council, pupils also received basketball coaching from the club’s community coaches, and were given free tickets to a Phoenix home game at the Northgate Arena.
Senior teacher at Utkinton Primary School, Gareth Coyne, who worked with the club to bring the programme to the schools, said: “We are dedicated to ensuring that our pupils are as well equipped as possible to make the right lifestyle decisions as they grow up and when I found out about this programme I wanted to make sure we brought it to Utkinton and Huxley pupils.
“It was great to see the children getting so involved with the project and enjoying it – combining educational material in a fun way alongside three hours of basketball training really ensured that they were engaged with what they were seeing and hearing.”
Cllr Mike Jones contributed £250 of the £800 costs of the four-week programme from his member budget grant, and went along to one of the sessions to see the school pupils in action.
The council leader said: “The roadshow focuses on ensuring our young people have as much knowledge and understanding of all kinds of activity that may impact on their future health including food groups, smoking, the body’s functions, alcohol and drugs.
“It’s great to see young people engaged in sport at a young age, which will not only help them to make informed decisions as they get older, but will ensure that they take the messages back to their families and that is why I was delighted to contribute to help bring it to the two schools.”
Andrew Donaldson, Chairman of the club, said: “It’s a win-win situation, the pupils of our local schools get to meet some truly amazing sporting role models, they receive some great lifestyle messages in an exciting and fun situation, and they are introduced to real family-friendly and exciting sport.
“The club taps into a whole new generation of supporters and the players really get to feel that they are part of the community.”