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International Day of Disabilities: PNECET Supporting Royal Cross Pupils

2 December 2021

Preston North End Community and Education Trust [PNECET] has been working with Royal Cross Primary School – Lancashire’s school for deaf children – this term to support pupils in their PE lessons.

The club’s registered charity has delivered wide-ranging sessions, covering different sports, to help pupils develop their skills.

The partnership with Royal Cross covers both the Premier League Primary Stars programme and the Every Player Counts programme.

Through the Primary Stars programme, PNECET works in primary schools across Preston to deliver cross-curricular lessons that utilise the power and appeal of Preston North End to inspire pupils in their lessons.

Meanwhile, the Every Player Counts programme provides opportunities for disabled children and adults to play football for free across Preston.

As part of enrichment programme, PNECET has recently been delivering both gymnastics and football sessions to Royal Cross children.

Health and Wellbeing Officer Hannah White explained: “Every Monday, we deliver an enrichment programme of dual delivery, which forms part of our Premier League Primary Stars programme and our Every Player Counts programme.

“We’ve been doing some basic football skills and drills with them and having a match at the end. We’ve also been delivering gymnastics and doing things such as balancing and using the beams. They seem to be really enjoying it.

“It’s really important to be working with Royal Cross as one our local schools. It’s been really nice to go in and help tackle some of those health inequalities across Preston

“It’s been a really rewarding session and has certainly been eye-opening for the staff, trying to pick up some British Sign Language along the way. It’s been really good and you can tell that the young people and the staff are all really benefitting from what we’re delivering.”

Royal Cross Teaching Assistant Mrs Marsden added: “Royal Cross Primary School is a school for children who are deaf and have other additional needs.

“We help children with learning British Sign Language, which most of the staff are qualified in, and we also use speech to develop their language as well.

“Every Monday, PNECET has been coming in and doing enrichment with our children, with football and gymnastics, and that’s helped to support our normal PE lessons on Wednesdays.

“The children are more confident in the skills that they have learned and they really enjoy it, especially some children who already go to gymnastic lessons, they love it.”

On the excitement caused by the PNECET staff working in the school, she continued: “They think it’s fantastic. I know that one of our children does actually go to Preston North End. He thinks it’s amazing that you come here and work with him.

“All the children love it, especially the ones who take part in gymnastics outside of school, and football, they love it and think it’s fab.”

As well as gymnastics and football, the Trust has also delivered rugby league at Royal Cross since the start of the current academic year.

Rugby League Development Officer Ryan Allen explained what that delivery involved, and why PNECET is working in the area of Rugby League.

He said: “We’ve been delivering our Rugby League sessions to the school, to a couple of different classes, just working on our skills of pass and catch, running with the ball, scoring tries and having fun and enjoyable sessions.

“With the Rugby League World Cup in 2021, which has now been pushed back to 2022, Preston is one of the host cities for the teams, with the Wales National Team to be based in Preston. We’re just trying to get more people involved in sport, and it’s such an inclusive sport, so we’re trying to show it around Preston and get more interest in rugby league.”

For more information about the Every Player Counts programme, email hannah.white@pne.com, or for the Premier League Primary Stars programme, email jack.mountain@pne.com.


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