Thetford Academy secures £15k funding support to help utilise sporting facilities and increase physical activity

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March 15th 2023

Students from Thetford Academy will soon be benefiting from support and investment to help create opportunities to allow young people to become more active outside of their school day.

The £15,000 funding has been secured by Active Norfolk, who have approached the Academy with an ambition of supporting them to create more physical activity provisions to increase opportunities for students in the area to get active. 

The ‘Opening Schools Facilities’ funding (OSF) is a Department for Education school funding programme to help meet the goals of the Government's School Sport and Activity Action Plan. The programme sets out to provide support for schools to help increase facility use outside of curriculum time.

Thetford Academy will be working with Active Norfolk to transform an existing area of the school site, to allow groups of students to take part in additional recreation activities, such as outdoor Table Tennis, an increased Football provision, and creative fitness activities.

As part of the programme, inclusive and innovative projects will also be delivered throughout the next year, with the goal of increasing student participation. This includes a student-led physical activity intervention, which the Academy’s existing prefects will be trained to deliver, supporting their peers to develop their self-confidence.

Active Norfolk will be working closely with Thetford Academy PE staff, offering additional support, expertise and monitoring of how the projects are going throughout the next two academic years.

Michael Fordham, Head of School at Thetford Academy, said:

“The benefits of participation in sports to physical and mental health are well known and so I am delighted that we will be able to develop the range of activities students can do.”

Simon Hamilton, Director (Interim) at Active Norfolk, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to work more collaboratively with schools across the county. This two-year funding commitment is unprecedented and offers a fantastic opportunity to make a real impact to young people’s experiences of physical activity.


Thetford Academy’s project is a great example of how physical activity can improve experiences for pupils across schools in Norfolk, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to deliver impactful physical activity programmes in the area for both pupils and the community.”

Graeme Richardson, Head of PE, said:

“This funding allows us to be able to offer more opportunities to be physically active outside of PE lessons. It also gives our amazing prefects an opportunity to add to their leadership skills, acting as good role models and interacting with other young students in the school.”

Danny Burton, PE Teacher at Thetford Academy, said:

“As a school, we are really keen to use this opportunity to target some of our most inactive young people with the aim of raising their confidence inside and outside of school, resulting in them becoming happier, healthier young people.”