A council sporting initiative introduced two years ago is going from strength to strength and the Monmouthshire Games is now firmly established as a highlight of the holidays for the county’s youngsters.
As well as physical exercise, among the benefits offered are an appreciation of teamwork, healthy eating and the impact of role models.
The Monmouthshire Games takes place in each of the county’s four leisure centres during school holidays for children aged 5 to 12 and its activities focus on learning new skills, developing confidence, meeting new friends and most importantly, having fun while participating. Among the 40 sports offered are swimming, football, netball, basketball, cricket, hockey, rugby, golf, rounders and tennis. In addition, all children take part in the Daily Mile which entails a 15 minute run or jog every day. Fully-trained staff supervise proceedings assisted by volunteers – often physical education students seeking experience.
Even though Monmouth Leisure Centre has been undergoing a major refurbishment since last November the full games programme has been run in an adjacent temporary sports hall.
Over 100 youngsters take part each day across the county’s leisure centre sites at a cost of £16.50 per day (9am to 3pm) or £19.50 (8am to 5pm). Discounts are available for siblings, children in receipt of free school meals and for parents who book ten days in advance. The programme has seen approximately 11,000 attendances since its launch in summer 2016.
Councillor Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said:
“I’m thoroughly impressed by the service offered by all four leisure centres and salute the staff as well as those volunteering. The Monmouthshire Games is a very important programme for the county as it not only delivers activity for children but also helps in the development of education and life skills.”
This summer’s Monmouthshire Games has received funding from the Abergavenny and Chepstow town councils to enable even more children to attend and the council’s leisure team has expressed its grateful thanks for this support. The current sessions run until Friday 31st August but further games are scheduled for October’s half-term and the Christmas holidays.