Press Releases

Young sports volunteers trained at leadership conference – University of Reading

Release Date : 24 March 2004

Young sports volunteers trained atFormer GB hockey player Calum Giles and 88 secondary school pupils, aged 14 to 19, gathered at the University of Reading on Thursday 25 March 2004 to participate in an action-based conference, which is part of the national Step into Sport programme. Focussing on leadership and volunteering, the day was run and led by Team Nestlé – a team of 22 undergraduate students from the University's BA Leadership in Sports degree. The conference was one of 19 simultaneous events replicated at higher education institutions across the UK. The training of the Team Nestlé students was funded by the Nestle Trust in partnership with Loughborough University's Institute of Youth Sport. "We are delighted to continue to support the successful Team Nestlé programme, now in its fourth year, and working with such a dedicated organisation as the Institute of Youth Sport. Allowing students to contribute to the development of young people and cascading those skills through the Top Link programme will, ultimately, benefit thousands of children," said David Hudson, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Nestlé UK. The event builds on the Youth Sport Trust's TOP Link initiative, which fosters leadership skills in young people by encouraging secondary age students to organise and stage sports days or dance festivals for primary or special school children in their local area. As 2004 is an Olympic year many festivals this summer will have an Olympic theme. At each venue 'Team Nestle' students led workshops providing practical advice and guidance on how to run a successful TOP Link festival. This included topics such as managing the festival team, the media and the event, health and safety and the importance of nutrition in sport. In the afternoon, the school pupils themselves had the opportunity to lead practical activities and fun games based on the Youth Sport Trust TOP programmes. All the activities provided the school pupils with additional ideas for their festivals and enabled them to run safe and enjoyable sports events in their local school communities. Running alongside the conference was a professional development day for teachers. The day included opportunities to extend leadership experiences for young people and explore delivering citizenship through physical education and sport. Commenting on the TOP Link initiative held at the University of Reading, Mr Tony Macfadyen, Head of Physical Education and Sport, said: "The University is delighted to be associated with the event and we were pleased to have our undergraduate students leading the conference. This is an excellent programme that will help these young people develop the skills to be future leaders in society." Steve Grainger, Managing Director of the Youth Sport Trust, said: "Step into Sport is developing a new generation of sports leaders. This year was our biggest youth conference event yet with 4,000 young volunteers and 500 university students taking part across the country. In the summer of 2004, when Athens hosts the Olympics, we anticipate that a great number of Olympic themed TOP Link festivals will be run by the young volunteers." TOP Link is part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Step into Sport leadership and volunteering project which has been designed to establish a simple framework of co-ordinated opportunities at a local level, to enable young people and adults to become involved in leadership and volunteering through sport. end Further information: Emma Thom, Third Sector PR, T: 020 7222 5510 Mob: 07958 558172 email: Craig Hillsley, University of Reading, T: 0118 378 7388 email: Notes to editors: 1. The conference was held at the Bulmershe Campus, University of Reading. 2. Venues which took part in the one-day Leadership Conferences were Bath, Birmingham, Brighton, Canterbury, Essex, Gloucestershire, Leeds, Liverpool, Loughborough, Manchester, Northumbria, Reading, Sheffield, St Mark and St John - Plymouth, St Mary's - Twickenham, St Martins - Cumbria, Southampton, Wolverhampton and York St John. 3. Spokespeople from the Youth Sport Trust are available. 4. TOP Link is a programme for 14 to 16 year olds co-ordinated by the Youth Sport Trust, which encourages secondary schools and colleges to develop links with their local primary schools and aims to foster leadership skills in young people. The programme is helping to nurture a new generation of sports leaders and future coaches, official and administrators. 5. Nestlé employs approximately 10,500 people in the UK in 26 locations nationally and is part of the world's largest food company. Nestlé is a member of Business in the Community and the Per Cent Club, companies which donate a minimum of one percent of pre-tax profits to charitable. The Nestlé Trust is the umbrella to which Nestlé UK attributes and manages all its community and charitable activity. 6. The Institute of Youth Sport is a research and development centre which draws together staff with a common interest in the welfare, education, performance and development of young people participating (or being encouraged to participate) in sport and physical education. 7. The Youth Sport Trust is a registered charity established in 1994 to improve sporting provision for children in the UK. Its mission is to develop and implement, in close partnership with other organisations, quality physical education and sport programmes for all young people aged 18 months to 18 years in schools and the community.


Search Form

Main navigation