A Spring Fling Challenge and sports sessions to get children active are among the events organised by students from Staffordshire University’s Institute of Education over the Easter school holidays.
Children and parents can try their hand at lawn tennis, lawn bowls or quick cricket, plus there will be Easter fun for the tots including egg and spoon races and bean bag races. There will also be Easter bonnet making on Good Friday with Fine Art students while the Spring Fling quiz encourages visitors to discover facts and explore the park.
BA (Hons) Education Studies student Emily Machin is one of the volunteers who is running the Easter activities. The 21-year-old from Cannock explained: “We are hosting activities with children and talking to parents, making sure we create community links with the park and families in the area. It’s just a lot of fun so come and get involved!
“It is very good experience for us. On our course, you often go to a school on placement but education goes beyond the classroom, so it is good get some experience doing different kinds of education outreach.”
Course mate Tasha Burns added: “I think it’s really important to use our public spaces and parks. This is a great way for people to get involved, have fun, get some exercise and meet others.
“I’ve not done anything like this before so for me it is great experience. It is not only building the children’s confidence, but it is also building mine.”
Just minutes from Staffordshire University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus, Hanley Park has undergone a multi-million pound restoration and features the Pavillion Café, a restored Boathouse and a range of sport and leisure facilities. In October 2020, the park was awarded Green Flag status and recognised nationally as a quality green public space by the charity Keep Britain Tidy.
Staffordshire University has successfully partnered with Hanley Park since last summer, offering placement opportunities to students across education, art and sports courses. Future events include a mini Commonwealth Games run by Sport and Exercise Science students to coincide with the event taking place in Birmingham in July.
Caroline Evans, Park Liaison Officer for Hanley Park, added: “It is a complete win-win for the students, the park and the community. Students get to put what they are learning into practice and develop their confidence, it’s great for us having volunteers because we can put on more activities and increase engagement, and families are enriched by the students being here.
“It is a new relationship but we’re on the right path and hopefully there will be lots more to come!”
Collect your free Spring Fling Challenge from the Pavilion Café or take part in Easter activities on the following days:
Wednesday 13 April
10am – 12pm, Lawn Tennis at the Sports Zone
1pm – 3pm, Lawn Bowls at the Community Hub
Friday 15 April
Easter Bonnet making at the Community Hub
Wednesday 20 April
10am – 12pm, Quick cricket at the Top Field
Friday 22 April
10am – 12pm, Multi Sports at the Sensory Playground
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