Baltasound school first in isles to be given gold sport award

Pupils at Baltasound Junior High School celebrate being the first school in Shetland to receive a Gold School Sport Award. Photo courtesy of SIC

Baltasound Junior High School has become the first secondary in Shetland to receive a gold School Sport Award for delivering physical education and extra-curricular sport.

The National Lottery-funded sportscotland award is a national initiative that is designed to encourage schools to evaluate and continuously improve PE and sport delivered.

The gold award was presented by Graham Lindsay, sportscotland partnership manager for the Highlands and Island, to Baltasound pupils Kieran Brown and Rhys Davies. They were selected as sportscotland young ambassadors to promote sport in their school and community.

Over the past school year, the young ambassadors and the school sport committee have brought pupils, teachers and their active schools co-ordinator together to plan and develop PE and school sport projects.

Graham Lindsay (left), sportscotland partnership manager for the Highlands and Islands, presents a Gold School Sport award to Kieran Brown and Rhys Davies, young ambassadors at Baltasound Junior High School. Photo courtesy of SIC

This included creating more opportunities for extra-curricular sport and allowing pupils to plan and deliver sports sessions at lunchtime for primary pupils.

A “house cup” has also been introduced, with pupils collecting points for their house team by representing Baltasound at inter-school competitions, attending lunchtime clubs and intra-house competitions.

To achieve a bronze or silver school sport award, schools self-assess their current practice. To gain gold status, evidence from the school was gathered and submitted for assessment by an independent panel.

Head teacher Paul Thomson said: “This is a fantastic achievement and one the pupils and staff at Baltasound Junior High School should be immensely proud of.

“Sport and physical activity is at the heart of our school community and is embedded in our school vision and values.

“There’s a variety of sporting opportunities through PE and extracurricular activities, as well as the chance to progress to representing their school and the Unst community. I am delighted that this has been recognised through this Gold School Sport Award.”

Mr Lindsay added: “It was a real privilege to visit Unst to present Baltasound Junior High School with their Gold School Sport Award.

“Unst is a great community with fantastic young people who have put a huge effort into the award. This may be a rural school, however the opportunities provided are endless. Well done all involved.”


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