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Schools Case Studies

Frodsham Science and Technology College

Date Added: Wed, 07 Dec 2005

Related tags: Competition, Cross-curricular, ICT Links, Staff, SEN, Health Benefit

Indoor Rowing at Frodsham Science & Technology College has an enviable track record of activity, competition and boating at Runcorn Rowing Club. Their next challenge is to "back-fill" the gaps in their operation so cross curricular opportunities from using the Indoor Rower are available for all Departments.

This is a specialist Technology College for Years 7 - 11, based in North Cheshire and the majority of the 650 pupils live in Runcorn. Frodsham is one of the smaller Secondary Schools in the area and on the campus alongside the College is the Community Leisure Centre.

It's a small College with a big heart. Indoor Rowing was offered to pupils as a club activity in September 2001. Then in January 2002 the Amateur Rowing Association's (ARA) Project Oarsome was launched linking Runcorn Rowing Club with Frodsham and neighbouring Helsby High School, just a mile down the road. Using four Model "C" machines, pupils in Years 7 and 8, were introduced to Indoor Rowing through the ARA Dry Start programme. In addition to involving the teachers with rowing they also had support from the ARA Regional Development Officer and Community Sports Coordinator. With these opportunities quickly unfolding for the pupils and support from coaches at Runcorn RC, there is a steady flow of youngsters moving from Indoor Rowing to going afloat. There is an excellent relationship between the College and the Rowing Club.

The next stage at Frodsham is to enable Indoor Rowing to be available throughout the College by exploiting all cross curricular links for every teacher and the work within their Departments. The change will be driven by the staff who are already involved with Indoor Rowing. This is a summary of their plans to bridge that gap and to enhance these possibilities.

Plans for 2006

It's a great indicator that Indoor Rowing is firmly established in a school when the staff use the Rowers and compete as well. Frodsham's Head of Boys PE Martin Smiddy and administrator Val Edwards are totally committed to the sport. At the recent British Indoor Rowing Championships, Martin was placed 19th with a time of 7.15.2 (Then at the Welsh Championships three weeks later he returned a PB of 6.54.5 and brought home a well deserved Bronze medal) He started rowing several years ago after a long career, firstly as track and field athlete, a rugby player, weightlifter and later as a club runner. A recent tendon injury restricted his running so it was an easy cross over to training on the Indoor Rower.

Val Edwards who heads Frodsham's Indoor Rowing Club, won bronze at both the 2003 and 2004 BIRC and then brought home a gold medal this year in the 45-49 hwt category. Her winning time was 7.27.2. This was more than 11 seconds faster than last year and saw her almost 14 seconds clear of her nearest rival and was at her fastest over the final 500m of the race. Val took up rowing both on water and indoor in March 2003, as her daughter joined the junior section with Runcorn Rowing Club based on the Weaver Navigation. At the BIRC Toni Edwards 17, clocked 7.49.6 to win the women's Junior-18 lightweight title.

Racing at BIRC was 12 year old Luke Kelbrick, who finished second in the Men's J13 three-minute category after completing 827 metres. He was awarded his silver medal by Olympic champion Sir Steve Redgrave. Agonisingly, Luke was just one metre behind the gold medal winner, Daniel Barber - a 13-year-old athlete from Farnborough School, Nottingham.

However, Luke's story to success begins in September 2004 when he joined Year 7 from his local primary school. Luke's weight at the start of term was 15 stone (95 Kilos) and there wasn't much he could do in PE time. Even walking at lesson changeover around Frodsham's large campus from class to class was a hard struggle. When his mates were running around the playground or playing basket ball in the gym Luke had to take a back seat and watch them enjoying themselves. During these first few days, as a very bewildered Luke was still adjusting to his new School, Head of Boys PE Martin Smiddy introduced him to the Indoor Rower. And as they say, the rest is in the history books. Twelve months on Luke is still living his success story and has lost an amazing 3 stone (19 Kilos). He has regained his life, a love of sport and is integrated back into the mainstream of his class and year group. Achievement for Luke is measured both by winning a Silver medal at the BIRC and an awakening for a life of health and activity. We all wish Luke the very best for the future and we'll follow all of Frodsham's entries racing at the next BIRC.

There are strong links with local schools and rivalry between nearby Helsby High School - the other school in the Project Oarsome partnership. They have great competitions between the two schools and a lot of camaraderie. The two schools collaborate very well together. They also entered mixed teams at the BIRC and train together regularly on Monday night at Helsby, Tuesday and Thursday at Frodsham on the Indoor Rowers.

In 2003 Val and Martin challenged Frodsham pupils to an Inter House Competition for all the groups. It is organised at Christmas and again in March. They also arrange a biathlon run, row event at the end of the cross-country season. And all the teachers are very good at supporting the Inter House challenge.

Viv Shaw, Head of English is also a keen Indoor Rower and follows the student's progress with interest. Keith Bosson Head of Physics is keen to explore opportunities in his Department for KS3 and GCSE modules.

A great feature at Frodsham is the enthusiasm by staff and the support pupils give each other. One of the boys in Year 10 spends most of the day in a wheelchair - his friends help him onto the Indoor Rower when he's at the lunchtime club. Staff are on hand to guide him with training as the activity helps strengthen his bones and stimulates his muscles.

Update; Frodsham Science and Technology College closed in 2009.

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