Final whistle for school sport in Sunderland?

Finals of the Sunderland Schools Skipping Festival.
Finals of the Sunderland Schools Skipping Festival.
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SPORTING activities for young people across Sunderland could be under threat.

That’s according to the man who has run a skipping programme across the city over the past few months.

Chris Corcoran, of the Skipping School, says that the recent ending of the schools sports initiative could stop many children on Wearside getting involved in, and benefiting from, sport.

Mr Corcoran, speaking at the Sunderland Skipping Festival final, which was this year won by Bexhill Primary School, said: “With the Government having curtailed the operation of the schools sports regime across the country, there will be a major impact on the continuity of this and similar sporting events in the years ahead.

“The Schools Sports Management Team here in Sunderland have been tremendously supportive of our project and I can’t thank them enough for the well-being and positive spirit they have helped us create for thousands of children.”

The skipping programme, which over the past nine months has involved more than 4,000 pupils in years three and four at 70 primary schools in the city, was, however, hailed a success by Mr Corcoran.

He said: “I feel we have had a measurable success in all 70 schools across the Sunderland area.”

Primary school pupils from across Wearside battled it out over a day at Sunderland University’s CitySpace campus.

Bexhill fought off strong challenges from Burnside, Hill View, Hetton Lyons and St Paul’s schools to take the crown.

Delighted Bexhill teacher Eileen Smith said: “From start to finish, the project has been so beneficial to all taking part, from the initial training sessions through the competition phases to the final.

“All the coaching staff from Skipping School have been outstanding in making the children and our teaching staff comfortable and relaxed, and it has been a pleasure to work alongside them.”

Mr Corcoran says anyone interested in working with the Skipping School to find out more on www.skippingschool.co.uk or call him on 07808300870.

Twitter: @davidallison88