Hadleigh: Volleyball champ Jake Sheaf visits Hadleigh High School

GB beach volley ball player Jake Sheaf and PE teacher Sarah Clarke, left with pupils at Hadleigh Hig

GB beach volley ball player Jake Sheaf and PE teacher Sarah Clarke, left with pupils at Hadleigh High School. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

IT may be some distance from the coast, but Hadleigh High School was transformed into a virtual beach volleyball court for a special visit.

Twelve handpicked students were given a one-off opportunity to learn how to play the game and pick up tips from a British champion.

Athlete, mentor and beach volleyball champion, Jake Sheaf, visited the school to coach the lucky Year 8 and 9 pupils, as part of the Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport’ initiative. The programme operates in secondary schools and uses sport stars to help boost students’ confidence, change behaviours, increase attainment and improve life skills.

Jake sees the initiative as a great chance to help raise awareness of beach volleyball as a sport. He also enjoys encouraging students to achieve their full potential.

In a series of classroom-based and practical sessions, he was able to share his experiences and skills with students Hannah Bowers, Michael Collis, James Courtney Couch, Anna McLellan, Ebony Rivers, Olly Smith, Harley Taylor, Jordan Aris, Victoria Butler, Jackson Crisp, Jake Smith and Stacey Wray.

Headteacher Caroline Gibson said she hoped Jake’s story would give the students the confidence to dream big and overcome any obstacles they might face. She added: “We recognise the importance of pupils having the confidence and skills to lead effectively at an early age. We believe aiming for excellence and never giving less than your best is the key to being successful.”

PE teachers Adam Cook and Sarah Clarke have been working with the 12 students at weekly lunch-time sessions. The ultimate aim is for the group to organise and run a ‘Multi Skills Festival’ on March 18 for around 100 children from the eight feeder primary schools in the area.

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