Saturday success

ON THE RUN: Enjoying the tag rugby at the Saturday Sports Club at Conifers School

ON THE RUN: Enjoying the tag rugby at the Saturday Sports Club at Conifers School

First published in Youth Sport by

THE Saturday Sports Club at Conifers School is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and founder Don Whistance is delighted with how things are shaping up.

The club is already attracting a great turnout with youngsters learning new skills and having fun across a broad range of sports and activities.

Whistance said: “The club is once again running well this year.

“The children appear to be enjoying the different activities and their behaviour is superb along with the British weather.

“All the youngsters receive a certificate and a medal for attending the course and some actually win a merit trophy linked to the activity at the presentation afternoon at the end of the course.”

Coaches from sports clubs from around the area help run the relevant sessions and they are all proving a big hit.

Whistance continued: “The local clubs have always provided us with brilliant coaches.

“Des Quick always coaches a couple of sessions and provides ‘flyers’ for Weymouth Rugby Club and for the ‘Beach Rugby activities’ on a Wednesday evening.

“Julien Lawes from Weymouth Tennis Club also always sends along a qualified tennis coach such as Matt Eaton and ‘Jimmy’ this year.

“The Saturday Sports Club then encourages the children to attend the tennis club’s half-term courses and to join them at the end of the eight-week course.

“Mike Kirlew has helped the club with coaching football skills and Sean Fitzgerald has passed on his mini-cricket techniques and skills over the last couple of years.

“One of the original coaches for the club was Clif Moreton, who coached tennis for many, many years.

“A big thank you goes to all of those and to Weymouth College, who have supported and sponsored the Saturday Sports Club every year from when it first started back in 1987 at Westhaven Junior School.”

When asked how the club came about, Whistance added: “The idea was originally considered by two young, enthusiastic teachers, one being me and the other being Chris Harker (Wyke Regis Junior School).

“We both met at Weymouth Teachers’ College. Chris went on to become a deputy head and a headmaster in the Bath area but has since returned to Weymouth with his wife as they missed the friendly town so much.

“I had experience of working in London with the ILEA PlayCentre Scheme as a teenager, which provided activities during the long school vacations in the old Victorian School buildings of Streatham and Brixton.

“Using this background, we both decided to use our skills to provide a range of sporting activities which have included rounders, mini-cricket, basketball, hockey, football and athletics at the Saturday Sports Club.”

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