14 December 2022  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in: ,

A group of six Year 7 students are celebrating after being highly commended in the Character and Leadership category of the Youth Sport Trust Changemaker Awards. The girls were nominated for the prestigious national award by their former Deputy Headteacher at Michael Syddall School in relation to a sports leadership project they excelled in as Year 6 students.

The girls created and led a ‘Drumba’ group to encourage students throughout their school to engage in the high-energy and fun activity which is not only a great exercise routine but also has a positive impact on co-ordination, memory capacity and teamwork. They worked together to create, learn and perfect a 40-minute Drumba routine which they delivered throughout Year 6 to their peers on a regular basis and to paying parents as part of a whole school fundraising initiative.

Drumba involves a mix of drumming and dancing to create a fitness routine. It’s an upbeat and high-intensity workout that includes warm ups, cardio circuits, balance, stretches and maximises step count. Huge congratulations to Lexi, Annabelle, Millie, Tegan and Jess  from Richmond School and Lauren from St Francis Xavier School, who said that they made great memories and had lots of fun while dancing.

They not only learned routines to songs to fill a 40-minute activity but they even created their own routine to ‘High Hopes’ using the principles they had been taught by Adam and Claire Rockley from Drumba. This can be seen here.

Neil Saunders, Deputy Headteacher at Michael Syddall School who nominated the students for the award, said: “It seems easy to watch, but this is no mean feat! The level of dance and musical understanding to create their routine is impressive. They had to overcome issues remembering the routine, showing amazing determination and resilience to set backs and not once did they give up. The self-belief and confidence that they built up throughout their journey was huge – from performing the routine in front of their peers to follow on numerous occasions, to leading the class for school staff, other adults and parents. Teamwork skills were certainly tested but they were always able to find solutions to the problems that presented themselves, giving up their own break and lunchtimes to work through issues and add to, rehearse or enhance their routine.”

“Some of the members of the group would be the first to tell you that they weren’t particularly ‘sporty’ but it was clear from the start of the creation of this group that that was irrelevant – this was about more than that. The group were determined to ensure that being active as a young lady was something that was inspirational, should be encouraged by all and that they could be proud of.

“We had conversations throughout the year around girls’ activity and ensuring they have a voice around what they want to do, mirroring some of the principles of the ‘Girls Active’ and ‘This Girl Can’ movement. They were so inspirational across the school that several of the ‘sporty’ boys wanted to create a ‘Boys Active’ group to replicate what the girls were doing.

“We are incredibly proud of what these young ladies achieved last academic year and were so desperately sad when they left us to move on to the next stage of their education. A legacy has been left behind however, with our next group of Drumba Leaders ready to go this year!”

Youth Sport Trust’s Young Changemaker Awards recognise young people across the country who have transformed their own life or the lives of others using the power of sport and play. You can find out more about the Youth Sport Trust here.

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