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Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre

By Hati Whiteley
23, Oct, 2017

Subsidised climbing and Archery sessions for school pupils at Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre

©Alpkit

Whether we were always the first choice for the basketball team, or left squirming at the end hoping that someone would take pity and pick us, we all seem to have fond memories of P.E classes here at the AK Foundation. After all, it was an opportunity to run around, be active, and wear ourselves out!

All the same, sometimes we used to wish that P.E would take us out into the mountains, up over the fells, swimming down a river, or at least to the local climbing wall!

So when Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre approached us for funding to get kids out of the classroom to learn skills for the outdoors, we jumped at the chance to give them a hand!

Children with bows and arrows aiming at targets

The pupils gained confidence from learning new skills that they wouldn't learn in the classroom

Outdoor education is hugely beneficial to young people. Often involving memorable and inclusive activities which boost social skills, communication, independence and confidence, outdoor education sessions equip kids with skills and practical that they couldn’t learn in the gymnasium or on the basketball courts.

However, many schools do not have the on-site facilities and resources required to provide such activities, which is where Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre in Rochdale comes in. The team at Hollingworth Lake decided to run subsidised sessions for schools; introducing more young people to adventure sports by removing financial barriers to learning.

A young girl climbing in an indoor climbing wall

In the climbing sessions, the pupils learned movement skills, knot tying and belaying

The project was a success, all the activities were fully booked and the school groups had a brilliant time. Students learned movement skills, belaying and knot tying in their climbing classes, built their strength and accuracy in archery, and experienced a completely different side to sports education.

The activities had a marked effect on some of the participants as pupils who normally shied away from taking centre stage in their PE classes enthusiastically took to climbing and archery sessions, gaining confidence as they learned.

A coach teaching a young girl how to use a bow and arrow

In the archery sessions, students were taught archery technique and developed their strength and accuracy throughout the sessions.

All in all, the students thoroughly enjoyed their taste of outdoor education, coming back to keep practicing after the project had finished with aspirations to complete their NICAS 1 & 2 awards. Some of the schools involved are also planning to bring their pupils down for watersports sessions in the near future. We look forward to hearing about their adventures, to stay in up to date with what the team at Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre are getting up to, visit their website, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

The Alpkit Foundation supports projects that enable people to overcome the obstacles preventing them from Going Nice Places and Doing Good Things. 

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