A student from Penzance has returned from India where she set up her own PE programme in deprived Mumbai schools.
Nicola Ellis, who attends the University of Worcester, developed a multi-skills programme for children aged between four and eight.
The scheme, designed to be a fun and challenging starting point for children’s involvement in sport, was first carried out in Cornish schools, with Nicola leading sessions involving both parents and children.
After winning an award for her contribution to health in schools, Nicola met with teachers based in India, and was invited over to Mumbai to carry out sessions to help children develop their PE and sport skills.
Prior to her trip, Nicola raised funds to provide the school with the equipment needed to continue the scheme after her departure. She was helped in doing so by a University Scholarship, as well as donations of equipment and materials from local schools and businesses in Penzance.
She said: “I am grateful to the University of Worcester for the scholarship I received. The funds helped to buy equipment for the school in Mumbai, whose PE cupboard had previously consisted of one punctured football!
“With no outdoor space, the school wanted to see how they could develop sport, and, having observed me delivering the multi-skills programme I had set up at St Just Primary School in Penzance, they invited me to train and teach their staff.
“The school’s intake is varied, with the majority of pupils coming from slum areas within Mumbai. They were, therefore, incredibly grateful for all that they were given, from pens, pencils and activity books to football kits, all of which were donated by HSBC Penzance, the people of St Just, Praze-An-Beeble and Crowan School.”
Nicola is now hoping to continue the project by promoting the programme in other schools across Mumbai.