Gareth Lowe discusses the School Games and The Keys Federation

Posted 5th February 2016

Gareth Lowe is passionate about getting more young people involved with sport. The 27-year-old is currently a part of The Keys Federation Multi Academy Trust in Wigan, where he is the Sports Leader of Purpose across four schools – St Peter’s, Abram St John’s, St John’s Hindley Green and Hindley Green Community. Gareth has made quick progress after joining the teaching profession two-and-a-half years ago, taking up his new post at the start of the current academic year and using it as a platform to drive further success in his area. In this article, he discusses his relationship with the School Games and his plans for further development in the future.

Sport has always played a big role in my life. Outside of work, I am a passionate Rugby League fan – and Wigan Warriors fan – whilst I also spend time at a local boxing club and practising my somewhat questionable golf skills. It’s a passion of mine that’s stretched back to my school days at Deanery High, where we were lucky enough to be offered a wide variety of extra-curricular activities and an enriched sports curriculum. The teachers really inspired all the children to succeed and gave us the opportunity to get involved, which ultimately played a huge part in leading me to the role I’m in today.

Working for The Keys Federation has really helped me to grow as a person. It has allowed me to experience a diverse range of situations and, thanks to the Spirit of Purpose Scheme, has since enabled me to pursue my passion for broadening the number of opportunities available for our children. I regularly liaise with all four PE Coordinators at my schools, as well as the excellent specialist coaches and staff available in our area. This means that I ensure our sport is delivered to as high a standard as possible in a safe and risk free environment.

I am very proud that three of our schools achieved the 2015 School Games Mark Award, with two of those schools achieving gold, and we are now aiming to be the first Multi Academy Trust in the North West to receive consecutive gold awards. Hopefully, this can be done by building a solid link throughout the schools with the core sports leaders at each school leading a varied programme which ensures all children have the opportunity to access a broad curriculum and mastery within their skill sets.

It’s important to remember that not every child is academic and sport gives every young person access to a fun learning curriculum. As I always say, ‘winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.’ This balance of healthy competition enables all children with all abilities a platform to showcase their particular talents and allows them to be part of a team. We have an excellent choice of opportunities locally, which are well planned and driven by our School Games Organiser, Lesley McGreevy – who is very helpful and always on hand if we have a problem.

As we move towards the second-half of the 2015/16 academic year and the start of the new Mark application window, I will be aiming to get all four of my schools aiming for gold, whilst our SEN/Pupil Premium Teams will also be hoping to medal at the Manchester Games later this year. On a more personal note, I would like to continue my progression towards becoming a Head Teacher within The Keys Federation and developing the Sports Academy that we have recently set up.

We are inspiring children through exciting schemes of work in our DREAM Curriculum with enthusiastic and expert delivery from our specialist team, who are also providing an atmosphere in which all children can flourish, enjoy and succeed. Considering that the Academy is still in its first year, I’ve been really impressed with the impact it has had so far. Here’s hoping for more of the same in 2016!

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