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TES Shortlist for NPTC Group

NPTC Group, formerly Neath Port Talbot and Powys Colleges, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Times Educational Supplement (TES) Award for a sporting initiative run by sport foundation degree students for learners with additional needs.

The Physical Activity Inclusivity Club which is a joint venture between NPTC Group Sports Coaching and Performance Foundation degree students and the Disability Sport Officer from Neath Port Talbot Council was set up in 2012 by the College’s Sports Development Officer James Jones and is run at venues across the County Borough.

The foundation degree students have now taken ownership of the running of the physical activity programme after undertaking relevant Disability Inclusion Training through Disability Sport Wales and being mentored by the local authority’s Disability Officer.

Learners with a range of additional needs who attend the Afan and Neath Campuses have taken part in a wide variety of sporting activities at venues such as the YMCA, Neath Sports Centre, Hengwrt Barn and the Llandarcy Academy of Sport which is linked to the School of Foundation Studies target of enhancing the sporting opportunities available on the timetable.

James explained that partnership working was an important factor in delivering physical activity opportunities, in particular when targeting underrepresented groups.
“The aim is to make this a sustainable venture that can be repeated each year with new cohorts of students. It has proven to be such a success that a second group has now been established.
“Its success is down to the hard work of the NPTC Sports students who dedicated their free time to run these groups. The strong link between NPTC Group and the local NPT’s Physical Activity and Sports Service has helped students improve their involvement in sport and volunteering and has also allowed learners of all abilities to access opportunities to further develop core skills and this initiative has been integral in improving health and well- being for all,” he added.

The authority’s Disability Officer Vicky Radmore said she was delighted to be involved with the project. “The students who delivered the sessions have grown in their knowledge and desire to learn more. In addition, the students from both the Afan and Neath Campuses have developed their teamwork, self-awareness, self-esteem and general health and well-being.”

Judith Thatcher, Head of School for Foundation Studies at NPTC Group, said: “Too often students with additional learning needs are not able to access sporting facilities to participate in activities that enhance their skills and enable them to feel a positive sense of achievement. It is vital that this opportunity continues as part of the process and enable the student trainers to develop their skills in working with a range of people and allowing individual’s strengths to be developed.”

The Awards Ceremony will take place on February 28 at the Park Plaza in London when the winners will be announced.