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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

Language & Sport

East of England

On 15th December Routes East ran its first Language & Sport Day jointly with the Anglia Ruskin University AimHigher Office, Youth Sport Trust and our Health & Wellbeing Department. A fun day was had by one and all on the Chelmsford campus as 80 Essex year 8 pupils from 7 local schools tackled Capoeira in Portuguese, Wing Chun (martial arts) in Chinese, Handball in Spanish and Sitting Volleyball (a Paralympic sport) in German. It began with a fun cartoon warm-up in Japanese to get everyone in the mood. On hand all day were two of our Student Language Ambassadors, Stina and Pilar to help with the sports and use every opportunity to convince the pupils of the importance of languages and the opportunities they offer. The day gave the pupils valuable insights into the importance of languages, the sports they tried and the language and cultures associated with them, as well as life on a university campus. This included lunch in the Sawyers restaurant, kindly donated by the Anglia Ruskin AimHigher/Widening Participation Office, who also ‘lent’ us AimHigher Development Officer Rhys Bearder, himself an ex-Student Language Ambassador from Routes North-East who ran the Spanish Handball with great professionalism (linguistically and sports-wise!). The day was deemed a huge success, not only by the participants themselves, but also the teachers, one of whom wrote straight after the event to thank us and report the impact that the day had had on her teaching with the ideas generated by what she had observed and the impact it had had on her pupils.