Ali Oliver, CEO of Youth Sport Trust and Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England stood either side of Active Devon's Rebecca Skinner and Lisa Alford who are holding the Impact Award presented to them at the School Games Impact Awards ceremony

Active Devon and the Devon School Games Organisers Win National Impact Award

Active Devon and the Devon School Games Organisers celebrate national win at Award Ceremony held on the 3rd August 2022.

Active Devon and the team of Devon School Games Organisers are celebrating after their Devon based Neon Run event, created specifically to encourage young girls to be more physically active, scooped a top accolade in the national School Games Impact Awards held yesterday.

The Commonwealth Games Impact Award was presented in recognition of their innovative project, highlighting the legacy of the Commonwealth Games and inspiring young people that need the most support to engage in physical activity.

Hundreds of girls and pupils identifying as female from across Devon took part in the Neon Run activity event. School based programmes such as ‘Couch to 5K’ were followed by a celebration event which brought all the Devon youngsters together for a fun day involving a 2K or 5K walk or run and other Birmingham 2022 themed activities. Many of those taking part hadn’t been keen participants in school sport before getting involved.

Lisa Alford, Partnerships Officer at Active Devon, who worked alongside the Devon School Games Organisers to deliver the Neon Run event said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this amazing award!  At the start of the post-pandemic period, as large scale events were not able to run in the same way as before we looked at different ways to reach those who were inactive.  As the drop off rate in girls taking part in activity grows as they get older, we worked closely with Youth Voice Consultation who helped us to design our Neon Run event to target this specific group.  The event we created was female focused, fun, relaxed, non-competitive and each girl could take part in the Neon event at their own pace – whether running or walking – and also enjoying taster activities along the route.  We even encouraged everyone to design their own t-shirt on the day, bringing in a creative element too.

“This award means so much as we all worked hard to get the messaging right for school staff to enable them to target the right audience and give all those who attended a really positive experience.  It is great to be recognised nationally as a county and as Active Devon too.

“We are running the event again during the next school year with a few tweaks – our ultimate aim is to introduce more younger females into physical activity and show them the benefits.  The Lionesses have shown everyone what females are capable of and their success can only act as an inspiration for other young women out there who want to take part in physical activities too!”

Clare Warburton, Development Manager at Youth Sport Trust and Impact Awards judge commented:

“We received over a hundred entries across the academic year but Active Devon’s really stood out.

“It was clear from the results and feedback of the activity that real positive impact had been made. By working with children and young people and wider partners, they have created an innovative opportunity to engage with their target audience and it’s a great example worth of celebration!

Charlie Crane, Senior Manager in the Children and Young People team at Sport England and Impact Awards judge commented:

“The School Games network does incredible work in schools across the country, which has an amazing impact on the lives of children and young people.

“It’s so important that we celebrate and shout about the fantastic work those in the network, such as Active Devon, do. Not just so we can all see the scope of what the network achieve together, but also to allow the School Games to continue to grow and adapt to changing needs of young people.

Launched last year, the Impact Awards are designed to celebrate the impact achieved for young people by the network of local School Games representatives (called School Games Organisers), Active Partnerships and Schools. There are five categories based on the overall School Games’ outcomes, plus a special category for this year based on the Commonwealth Games.

The School Games is a programme delivered by the children’s charity Youth Sport Trust, that aims to inspire children and young people to be physically active for life through positive experiences of daily activity and competition.

To watch the video of the Neon Run celebration event, click here.

To find out more about the School Games Impact Awards, and all the winning activity please click here.

The photo above also shows Ali Oliver, CEO of Youth Sport Trust and Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England stood either side of Active Devon’s Rebecca Skinner and Lisa Alford. Rebecca and Lisa are holding the Impact Award presented to them at the School Games Impact Awards ceremony.