This year’s outreach activities have so far been centred around the Vincent’s and Atalanta’s summer sports camp. Now in its fifth year, the camp took place in 9th week o f Trinity term, and was again an all-round success. Working closely with representatives from Atalanta’s, our preparations began early in Trinity term. This year we worked with two year six classes from St Michal and St John Primary, and one year five class from East Oxford primary, totalling 89 children. Through establishing an early dialogue with the schools, we were really able to tailor this year’s camp to the teachers’ and students’ needs and desires. Most notably this involved running introductory sessions for each of the classes at their schools during the week preceding the camp, and focusing each of the camp sessions around particular pre-established learning objectives.
The camp itself was run out of the Iffley Road sports complex. We were gifted with fantastic weather, allowing all but one session to be held out on the astroturf. Each class attended three sessions, themed teamwork, leadership and strategy. On the final afternoon of the week, all the students attended our presentation session – an opportunity to discuss the positives and negatives of the week, and a chance to hear from our guest speaker, Olympic medallist and OUWBC athlete Caryn Davies, who also presented the children with their certificates. Throughout the week, the 16 Vincent’s and 13 Atalanta’s volunteers got to know all of the children well, something which since its infancy has really made the camp stand out for both the students and their teachers. Again, this year the feedback from the schools was fantastic, and both the Vincent’s and Atalanta’s volunteers unanimously had a great time working with the kids too.
This Michaelmas term, we will be looking to expand our outreach activities to a larger number of children in Oxford and hopefully provide some more continuity throughout the year for the children involved. The summer camps are logistically limited to schools close to the Iffley Road area; our current plans are therefore to expand by enabling groups of Vincent’s members to head out to schools or youth groups around Oxford to run shorter, but hopefully more regular, sessions on their own sites.
Vincent’s Club Outreach Secretary