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20 May 2022

Primary PE, School Sport and Physical Activity Workforce come together to share opportunities and best practice for the whole Black Country

Active Black Country have brought 300 delegates together for their annual, FREE Primary School School Conference for PE, School Sport and Physical Activity Workforce providing an opportunity for delegates to hear and share approaches that address the current challenges, opportunities and best practice in delivering PE, physical activity and enrichment across the region.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Steve Parry MBE and Sue Wilkinson MBE in an event hosted by Jacqui Oatley on behalf of Active Black Country, with each speaker focusing on the opportunities that the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will bring to the region including the Black Country’s ambitions around Primary School Swimming.

The speeches culminated in the unveiling of a new logo for the Black Country We Can Swim campaign which aims to ensure every child in the Black Country is water safe and able to swim 25 metres by September 2024 (Paris Olympics).

Amanda Tomlinson, Chair of the Active Black Country Board said:

“As we countdown to the Commonwealth Games it’s clear that the Games provide a real opportunity as a catalyst for change in particular around physical activity and healthy habits for future generations. “The responses to today’s conference and the delegates willingness to engage and share skills and opportunities demonstrates not only the importance of PE, School Sport and Physical Activity in our Primary Schools but also how, across the Black Country, our physical activity workforce are making the most of the Commonwealth Games opportunity.”

Steve Parry MBE commented:

“It’s fantastic to see so many people working across PE and Physical activity coming together to share best practice and find out how they can improve or enhance their own delivery in Primary Schools. “I’m particularly passionate about the role we all need to play in supporting young people to access water safety and develop their water skills. Swimming is an incredibly important life skill and it’s great that events like the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the new Aquatics Centre can help us to inspire the next generation of swimmers.”

Mrs D Wilshire, PE coordinator at St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, Walsall said:

“Learning to swim is a key life skill that every child needs to master and Piotr's logo immediately catches your eye to remind us that we can swim - if we put the effort in. The details encapsulate all the elements that make swimming so great, from learning the skills at the beginning, simply having safe fun in the water to competing and it is a clear reminder of why we should all learn to swim.”

Throughout the day delegates were able to attend 12 different workshops covering topics such as High Quality PE – challenging the personal development of the whole child to improving attainment and maximising impact in swimming and safe self-rescue to Commonwealth Games Inspiration workshops.

In addition to the workshops, delegates were able to visit the Marketplace featuring 40 organisations including Aspire, British Gymnastics and Living Streets.

Image caption: Steve Parry MBE with winning logo design pupil Piotr Zientek and friend Nia Oyetade from St Thomas of Canterbury School, Walsall


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