Adam Beard, Cllr Dale, Archie and his mum Anna.

Newent ‘Give it a Go’ session sees young people try new sports

Newent Community School recently held one of Active Gloucestershire’s Give it a Go session; giving young people, especially those with special educational needs, the opportunity to try new sports. 

A few years ago, Alan Beard (Forest of Dean School Games Organiser, Dene Magna Community Coordinator and Duke of Edinburgh Manager for Dene Magna School) had the idea of bringing together local sports coaches across Gloucestershire to offer fun sports sessions across one day for young people to try. The idea became a reality and ‘Give it a Go Day’ was launched. 

Councillor Jackie Dale, Cabinet Member for Thriving Communities, said:

“I was truly bowled over by seeing the excitement of the coaches and the children who were participating on the day.  What a wonderful idea bringing children together who often don’t get these opportunities or are too nervous to try them out.  ‘Give it a Go’ day gives children a chance and it was clear that they were having the best time.”   

“Alan and everyone else involved are completely inspiring and so enthusiastic about what they do. ‘Give it a Go’ day is a great example of how one person can make such a positive difference to their community and to children’s lives.”  

Councillor Dale also had the chance to meet Archi Eaton and his mum Anna from Crusaders Boccia Club. Archie has been playing boccia for over 10 years, starting at an after-school club run by Forest Pulse at Heart of the Forest School. Archie joined the lunchtime boccia club at Dene Magna and went on to run the club until he left at the end of Y11.  

In the meantime, Archie discovered Cotswold Crusaders Boccia Club, which is the main county boccia club offering high level boccia coaching for competitive players. Over the last few years, he has competed at national level, including in the Heathcoat Cup which forms the English National Championship for several of the disability classifications in boccia, including Archie's which is BC5. He finished last season as the BC5 champion, winning the finals event and bringing home a gold medal. 

As well as playing, Archie has gone on to develop his skills as a boccia coach, achieving a degree in Sports Coaching with Disability Sport from Worcester. 

Councillor Dale added:

“I’d never heard of Boccia, but Archie soon explained the rules and how it’s played. Archie and his Mum, Anna, offer their time at ‘Give it a Go’ giving children a chance to ‘Give Boccia a Go’ and inspiring future Boccia players. It goes to show that sport is for everyone, it brings people together and can be a true leveller. What a truly inspiring day.” 

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

[email protected]

Notes to editors

Photo from left to right: Adam Beard, Cllr Jackie Dale, Archie Eaton and his mum Anna