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

A few years ago, Alan Beard (Forest of Dean School Games Organiser, Dene Magna Community Cooridinator 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 in 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 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 Archie Eaton from crusaders Boccia Club. Archie has been successful in boccia in the last 10 years, starting at an after-school club run by Forest Pulse of the Forest School. 

Over the last few years, he has competed at a national level, including in the Healthcoat Cup which forms the English National Championship for several of the disability classifications in boccia.

He finished last season as the BC5 champion, winning the finals event and bringing home a gold medal. 

He has developed his skills as a coach, achieving a degree in Sports Coaching with Disability Sport. 

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. 

 Councillor Dale added: “It goes to show that sport is for everyone, it brings people together and can be a true leveller. A truly inspiring day.”