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Ground-breaking partnership with Loughborough University to support Laurus student-athletes
The Laurus Trust is proud to announce a new partnership with Loughborough University aimed at supporting the sporting stars of the future.
The Trust, which has Ofsted-outstanding Cheadle Hulme High School in Stockport as its founder school, has developed its brand new ELITE Pathway initiative to help talented students thrive and excel in the sporting arena while being fully supported in their academic achievements.
The ELITE Pathway is run by the Laurus Trust and supported by the Law Family Educational Trust.
The Laurus Trust is sponsored by the Law Family Educational Trust, founded by Andrew Law. Andrew Law said: “We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic partnership. It is a great example of our progress in trying to level the playing field in education relative to private schools, with particular focus on co-curricular initiatives.”
The Pathway will provide specific opportunities not usually available within state education to those students with the potential to participate in sport at the highest level.
In January, our GCSE and A Level cohort attended Loughborough University. As part of our unique partnership with the University, our PE exam students get to experience the campus and partake in activities which enhanced their learning and understanding of the PE syllabus. We also believe this experience is aspirational for our young people – to access the world class facilities and work with some of the leading professors in a sporting environment is something that is simply not viable nor accessible to state school students. The day was broken down into four parts:
Our students worked with, Jonas Dodoo whose CV consists of work with England Rugby, Manchester United, Great Britain Athletics and many more. Jonas’ sessions were focused around sprint technique but looked at working muscles and antagonistic pairs.
We then moved on to biomechanics, in a sporting technology environment. Our students had the privilege in working with Professor Mark King; Mark has strong links with the England and Wales Cricket Board and the International Cricket Council. Mark is accredited as a Human Movement Specialist for both the ECB and ICC and Loughborough is accredited as an ICC testing centre for suspected illegal bowling actions. Furthermore, in racket sports Mark has strong links with Badminton World Federation, the Tennis Foundation and the Lawn Tennis Association. His knowledge was clear to see for our students, Marks session was interactive, allowing our students to see first-hand what it would be like to work in a technology lab as well as visibility seeing all aspects of biomechanics. Mark, also allowed time for a question-and-answer session which our A Level group particularly found very useful.
The third aspect to the day was the VO2 Max session – Some of our students were lucky enough to experience this first hand. When you breathe, you inhale oxygen into your blood. Your heart pumps the blood into your muscles. That oxygen fuels chemical reactions that give your muscles energy. You breathe more quickly and deeply while exercising because your muscles need more energy to work harder. VO2 max measures how much oxygen you breathe in while exercising as hard as you can. The more oxygen you inhale, the more energy your body can use. Higher VO2 max usually means better physical fitness.
We felt there are two benefits of our students partaking in such an activity, the first being practically – both our PE GCSE and A Level students have opted to take part in said course; Your VO2 max shows how well your heart and veins push blood to your muscles and the rest of your body. Knowing your VO2 max can help you measure fitness and heart health improvements over time. VO2 max is especially helpful for athletes like runners, swimmers, cross-country skiers, and rowers to guide their training. Understanding the physiology of the heart and how it works will not only benefit our students in the classroom but also during the practical element of their course.
For those students who didn’t take part in the experiment, they were asked to collect and analyse data which allowed for a clear connection and correlation with the activity and PE syllabus.
Last but not least, the final session of the day was a tour of campus, led by two Masters students. The students had already completed at the their under graduate degree at the university and are now in the process of completing their Masters degree. Not only did our students visit the world class facilities but they got to see University sport being played – an eye-opening experience for many of our students. Whilst on the tour, our students asked plenty of questions to further understand what life would be like to study at a university.