Welcome to Sports the Winner: School-Club Links

Welcome to Sportsthewinner.com which is a website focused on the development of School-Club links. We hope to investigate the different strategies that are currently in place, but also put forward our own. Enjoy.

The idea of this website came about, when my PE department was examining what was on offer for our students locally. It soon came apparent we needed to pool our knowledge together and come up with a definitive list of what was available. Having been at the school for over 18 years I took upon myself to examine this more detail, hence Sportsthewinner was formed .

The name "Sportsthewinner" came from a hockey team that competes in the Durham City Hockey festival. The team brings together both junior and adult players. They encourage anyone to play no matter their age, experience or ability.

The first step was to develop Washington Sports Hub which includes local sports clubs in the Washington area. The theory behind it was to list clubs that are easy to get to. In some cases though certain sports are not available so it was necessary to go a little further a field. Ther the feedback from the clubs has been excellent, with them all keen to contribute.

Designing and putting the information on to the website has been time consuming but hopefully once the majority of clubs have been added it will be just be the case to keep the pages updated. It has been useful to include the club's twitter and facebook accounts as these tend to communicate the latest news. Sportsthewinner will publish a "Club of the week" article which will allow each club to communicate their stories and successes. The article can then by promoted in both Primary and Secondary schools.

The success of this website will be depend on how the schools and colleges use it. The site is a ready made resource for schools to find out what is available for their students and in some cases their teachers. Primary and Secondary schools can contribute to the website and further expanding its depth. Each week the schools will receive notifications of new articles. It is then hoped they can promote the clubs in schools over that week. The club may even take it upon themselves to go into the school and deliver taster sessions. Feedback from pupils and teachers is going to be important for the further development of the project.

In order to develop a Washington Sports network, schools, clubs and communities need to work together. The ideal scenario would be to have a community which uses the local sports clubs on a regular basis thus giving their pupils an insight to what is available to them. Schools are great places to grab pupil's interest in a particular sport. However for most schools they do not have the facilities available to them to further the develop the pupil. This is where school-club links come in.

Finally the site wants to get our local clubs working together to develop a fully engaged community. The vision is to hold a series of Washington Sports Hub meetings to discuss ideas. Clubs are able to help each other through coaching, players and even facilities. Yes some clubs are in competition with each other, but I am sure most clubs do not want to see a fellow club fold.

Sportsthewinner.com hopes to expand the Sports Hub programme to other areas in 2018. A massive thank you most go out to Tyne and Wear Sport for supporting the project, all the clubs that have come on board, my colleagues at St Robert of Newminster RC School and Sixth Form College and finally my family for their patience as I continue to research information for the website, Hope you enjoy it and any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Alan Fisher