Some of the borough's youngest sportsmen and women got a taste of football, badminton, cricket, tennis and hockey at a special assembly last week.

The pupils at Hermitage School in Uxbridge got a visit from Steffan Thomas, Course Team Leader in Sport at Uxbridge College, who talked about the free coaching on offer to the children.

He produced various bats, balls, sticks and rackets and challenged the children to work out which went together, for example a badminton racket and shuttlecock.

The children cheered and shouted the answers loudly - and got them all right.

The coaching project has been running for four years for children age seven to 11 years old, and pupils in the year below have now been invited to join in too.

Coaching in a whole range of sports, which is held after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5pm, is by students taking BTEC National Certificate and Diploma qualifications in Sport.

The children are picked up after school by their student coaches, who walk up the hill with them to the Uxbridge campus.

Hermitage, in Belmont Road, has a strong tradition of success in sport, and currently holds championship trophies for tournaments including Uxbridge and District Football, mixed netball and cross country running.

David Brownsword, Headteacher, said: "A lot of our parents and our staff are interested and enthusiastic about sport, and the activities at Uxbridge College give our pupils a chance to try out a whole host of activities we can't provide at school. We regard this as a really good and successful link with the community, and it also gets children thinking about staying on in education after the age of 16, from a young age."

Steffan said: "The Hermitage kids are a great bunch and it is terrific to see them developing their skills with the help of our students. We are very pleased to be able to share our facilities and expertise at Uxbridge College with some terrific youngsters."


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