Scots Primary Pupils Are Kicking Off With H2-O
Written By SPFL Trust Media Centre
School pupils in Greenock have been enjoying a new education programme, courtesy of Scottish Water, the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) Trust and Greenock Morton Football Club.
The H2-O programme, which has been free and available to primary schools in the club’s area recently, was delivered yesterday by professional community football coaches to primary five at St Mary’s Primary School, in Patrick Street, Greenock.
Greenock Morton manager Jim Duffy said: “H2-O is an education programme that is of real value to young people and the session with pupils at St Mary’s Primary School was a big success and very popular with the children.
“Almost a third of young people are at risk of obesity. So, more than ever, we have to get the message across that exercise and hydration are essential parts of a healthy lifestyle.
“Our team at Greenock Morton are delighted to be working with Scottish Water and the SPFL Trust in delivering the H2-O programme to schools in our area. Doing it at this level, when young people are at a critical stage in their development, is a really great idea.”
The H2-O programme focuses on the relationship between water, hydration and physical activity. It combines a physical and mental workout for pupils, emphasising the importance of staying hydrated and physically active.
Each 90-minute session is delivered by the Clubs’ professional club community coaches who are affiliated with the SPFL. The session is split into two parts and involves a 40-minute interactive classroom based session focusing on ‘The Water Cycle’ and ‘Our Bodies and Water’.
This covers how water is essential to our lives, how the water we drink is drawn from and returned to the environment in a continuous cycle, and the importance of staying hydrated.
Pupils then take part in a 40-minute physical activity session which can involve a game of football (or dribbling a football around cones in different ways depending on what water-related word is shouted out) or participating in games where they practice what is learned in the classroom.
After the session, each pupil is given a certificate confirming they have taken part in the programme, a sports water bottle to encourage them to drink water and keep hydrated, and a voucher for a free family match ticket to Greenock Morton FC game at Cappielow Park.
Scottish Water and the SPFL Trust have been working in partnership with three professional football clubs, Greenock Morton, Queen’s Park and Kilmarnock, at primary schools in their areas. Each club is aiming to deliver the programme to 1000 pupils, meaning about 3000 will have taken part. Water and the body is a subject that is covered in the school curriculum so H2-0 is particularly apt.
Derek Allison, the SPFL Trust’s operations manager, said: “It is crucial kids know the importance of hydration and physical activity from a young age. We were keen to get involved from the start and help spread the message as football is a great way to teach school children important life lessons in a fun, enjoyable way.
“Local football clubs do great work in the community and it is great that Greenock Morton have been on board with this project. At the end of it all, the pupils will get a chance to get out on a Saturday and support their local club. ”
Joanna Peebles, Scottish Water’s regional communities team manager in the area, said: “Working with the SPFL Trust helps us to engage with and educate children about the world of water that we all need every day. We are investing in future generations so that they understand the value of Scottish drinking water and the vital role that drinking water plays in keeping us properly hydrated.”
“This is an exciting programme to be part of and is part of our on-going commitment to education at Scottish Water.
“Our website has dedicated pages, modules and activities to download at www.scottishwater.co.uk/education which support learning and teaching for the school curriculum in Scotland.
“We are also involved with the Water Ways exhibition at Glasgow Science Centre and Go Safe Scotland, a safety initiative for Scottish Schools.”
Scottish Water and the SPFL Trust’s H-2O programme was a shortlisted finalist at the recent Football Business Awards, held at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium in London, under the Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scheme category.
More information on this can be found at Scottish Water’s education pages.
Article written by Keith Sinclair.