YOUNG people across the county have been given the chance to develop a lifelong love of sport and physical activity thanks to the three finalists in contention for the School Sports Participation award, sponsored by Kingstons Estate Agents.

Lavington School head of PE Lisa Adams forged a massively successful partnership with Fairfield Opportunity College. It encouraged less confident pupils and those with special educational needs to become active during a session run by the college’s young leaders.

The school also took part in the Wiltshire Big Pledge, completing the challenge and exceeding the target required by more than 100 per cent.

The most active class was rewarded with a cycling workshop and the legacy continues to this day. Activity is now recorded and rewards are made to the top class at Christmas, Easter and in the summer.

The impact on the Lavington community as a whole has been amazing and people, including parents and local residents, have had the chance to learn lifelong skills.

One lady who could not ride a bike before the first challenge is now a regular cyclist, while a father and his daughter have celebrated together at the top of Snowdon.

Lisa gives freely her time to plan, lead and organise the challenge, providing individuals with the chance to grow further due to increased self-esteem, resilience and confidence.

Ramsbury Primary School is also going the extra mile to ensure as many children as possible have the chance to enjoy sport, providing social and physical benefits for the rest of their lives.

The school runs sensory circuits sessions every day for selected pupils to develop their confidence, motor skills attention and listening, concentration and sensory processing abilities.

Similarly, one-to-one sports coaching is offered to selected pupils needing a confidence boost or to help manage emotional and social development.

PE teacher Miss Miles works tirelessly to organise sports participation and it is to her credit that all Year 5 and 6 children were able to attend the School Games.

The third finalist is Bitham Brook Primary School, which has been able to provide 530 competition and participation opportunities at local, district and county level.

Pupils are proud to represent their school at sporting festivals and competition and, due to an emphasis on participation, are encouraged to understand that a passion for sport and a healthy, active lifestyle is just as important as winning.

There have been plenty of triumphs, however, with Bitham Brook winning the West Wiltshire girls’ indoor and outdoor cricket titles, a tag rugby shield, the Westbury High 5 netball tournament and Westbury swimming gala, among many other top-three finishes.

Alternative opportunities are provided in sport such as golf, badminton and orienteering and perhaps the greatest reward for Bitham Brook is to witness its former girls going on to perform well at secondary school level.

The 2017 Wiltshire Sports Awards, set up by the Swindon Advertiser, Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times in conjunction with Wiltshire & Swindon Sport (WASP).

Newsquest Wiltshire group sports editor Owen Houlihan, WASP CEO Steve Boocock and 1968 Olympic 400m hurdles champion David Hemery will meet in January to decide the award winners.

All the winners will be announced at the Corn Exchange celebration ceremony at the end of January, which will include an audience with 1985 World Snooker champion and now-television commentator Dennis Taylor, who will be guest speaker.

The evening will be a celebration of all of the winners for all of the categories, and tickets are available priced at £15 per adult and £9 per child, to include a buffet.

Tickets can be purchased by calling Ian Parker on 01793 501731 or email

This year’s Wiltshire Sports Awards winners will be revealed at, and this weekend and in our special supplement in next week’s papers