The Sports Train and Stay and Play Programmes 2023 have today been launched officially by the Minister for Sport, the Hon Steven Linares, with a fresh new look.
Both elements of the scheme can now be identified with the brand new logos that will form part of all signage, uniforms and all other associated matters. The new and fresh branding provides an insight into the innovations for the coming summer. At the end of every programme, teams debrief and evaluate the seven weeks and planning for the next edition starts straight away in the autumn.
The major addition this summer, is the use of the recently inaugurated Lathbury Sports Complex. Going back to its roots The Programme will now be heading to the south district several days a week with activities (depending on the age groups) now split between the Bayside Sports Complex and Lathbury facilities.
The second innovation for this summer is the earlier start time of 9:00am. This will not only enhance the product on offer but will allow parents or guardians of children who have sessions scheduled at both locations plenty of time to get to both, given that the actual activities will not start until 9:30am.
The final addition for summer 2023 is the fact that the extremely popular Tots Corner (5 to 6 year olds) will be available every day, increasing in frequency from the three days in previous editions.
The information booklet, which is now available in digital format from the GSLA website on www.gsla.gi, will provide all the necessary information plus another extensive offering from many of the registered sports associations in the form of camps and taster sessions.
In the pursuit of offering equitable opportunities, children who attend Learning Support Facilities in schools and who require extra support to enjoy the Programme can also register and arrangements will be made accordingly. This has been made possible as a result of the collaboration between the GSLA and PossAbilities, who will be providing the staff support to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for these children.
As advised on the 8th of June, the Programme will start a week or so earlier (Monday 3rd July) for the children of St Mary’s and Governor’s Meadow Lower Primary (Reception and above) and Bishop Fitzgerald Upper Primary Schools.
Registration for both start dates will be available from the links on the GSLA website and social media sites. The links will also be distributed by schools using the Seesaw App.
The Stay and Play Programme will also commence on Tuesday 11th July. This year the GSLA has benefitted from a reinforced multi-agency approach in terms of planning and implementation. The input from the Care Agency (who now have onsite presence at the Bayside Sports Complex), the GHA Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy teams, the Department of Education and St Martin’s School as well as the Special Needs and Disability Office at No6 Convent Place has been crucial in crafting the Stay and Play Programme.
2023 sees the return of the highly effective communication app where parents and leaders have almost live feedback and information-sharing that ensures the enjoyment and more importantly the well-being of the children on Stay and Play.
Induction training for both programmes will start in earnest on the 30th June with more cross training than ever amongst both elements of the scheme. This ensures more awareness on sensory issues, allowing leaders to adapt sports sessions accordingly. This is an extra layer of preparation which also includes safeguarding and child protection as well as sports specific workshops and training.
Upon launching the summer activities, the Minister for Sport, the Hon Steven Linares, has praised those involved: “Every summer I wait in anticipation to learn what the new additions will be. 2023 is clearly a year that will prove to be a point of inflexion for the programmes with the addition of fantastic facilities and the expansion of the sessions and services on offer. I would like to thank all our partner agencies and PossAbilities for their invaluable assistance and input. However, great credit must go to the Sports Development Team including our summer staff who work tirelessly not only during the summer but all year round. The programmes, whilst on many occasions physically and emotionally challenging, are in turn extremely rewarding and the team does it all with a smile on their faces as a consequence. My thanks to all involved and I hope everyone enjoys all that is on offer!”
3rd July 2023: Start of the Sports Train for children of St Mary’s and Governor’s Meadow Lower Primary (Reception only) and Bishop Fitzgerald Upper Primary schools.
11th July, 2023: Start of the Sports Train and Stay and Play.
Link to Online Registration: