Killicomaine Junior High School was recently awarded a second place 'highly commended’ in the Youth Sports Trust awards ‘Best Secondary School of the Year’ for its outstanding contribution to the Girls Active programme.
This outstanding achievement was outcome of the hard work and dedication of PE teacher Mrs Hillis and six students called the GLAM girls, acting as the pupil voice for girls in sport, aiming to get more girls active.
Killicomaine Junior High School was the only school in Northern Ireland in the running for a Youth Sports Trust award and PE teacher Mrs Hillis attended the ceremony along with 300 sports professionals as part of the Youth Sports Trust conference 2018. Mrs Hillis said,
“It was an absolute honour to attend the awards and achieve second place.
“A junior high school from Portadown receiving such an award is an outstanding achievement. It’s a fantastic show case of the passion the GLAM girls and I have for getting girls more active in our school, and across Northern Ireland.
“This has all been done whilst the girls continue to study full time and play their own sport and for me, while teaching a full timetable and running extra-curricular activities every day.
“But the hard work has been so rewarding, with a huge increase in the girls’ physical activity within KJHS and we are absolutely delighted”
Mrs Hillis also thoroughly enjoyed attending the YST conference the next day with two special guest speakers, Dame Katherine Grainger and John Ratey MD, sharing their experiences and expertise.
The Girls Active programme is run through Youth for Sport Trust UK to get more girls involved in sport. KJHS took part in the pilot project last year.
Six girls were chosen from year nine and 10 to make up a girls’ leader group, called the GLAM girls, acting as the pupil voice for girls in sport, aiming to encourage girls to get active.
The GLAM girls worked alongside Mrs Hillis, throughout the year on various projects.
They produced questionnaires to get feedback from pupils who do not take part in any extra-curricular sports and the responses led to setting up girls rugby and dance extra-curricular activities.
They held an assembly to promote physical activity for girls and invited a world famous Irish rugby player, Louise Calvin, to speak at it.
The GLAM girls also created a movie, a remake of Always #LikeAGirl.
This year the girls have completed new questionnaires to help them decided on a new extra-curricular activity for the girls, created a display board in the school of poster of the staff and how they keep active and are currently organising a Transition sports activity day for the primary school.