Children at Ynystawe Primary School in Swansea will be getting a special visit from a sports star after winning a national competition this month.

The competition by Playforce, the UK’s leader in the design and creation of innovative, curriculum-linked play environments, challenged primary school children in England and Wales to draw, paint, sculpt or write about someone that has inspired them to get involved in sport or to be more active.

Year two student Nico’s winning entry named his Dad as his sporting hero because he makes keeping fit and healthy fun.  Nico said his Dad watches him train and play football as well as playing for his own team.  He also takes Nico to the park to run and play on the swings, encourages him to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water, and inspires him to try new sports.

Ynystawe Primary School was also highly commended for entries from Erica who wrote about her 95 year old Nanna, Olga, who has inspired Erica to be active for life, and for an impressive 3D model of Team GB gymnast, Beth Tweddle.  Eloise, a class 11 student from Knaresborough St John’s CoE Primary School in North Yorkshire was also highly commended for her entry which featured creative writing and poetry about Olympic equestrian, Zara Phillips.

Competition entries were judged by the Youth Sport Trust, an independent charity devoted to changing young lives through sport.  Judges from the Youth Sport Trust said: “Nico’s entry really captured the essence of the competition and the importance of parents as role models when it comes to being healthy and active.”

Managing Director of Playforce, Dr. Colin MacAdam, says: “Congratulations to Nico and to Ynystawe Primary School.  We launched this competition to encourage children to be more physically active, tapping into their love of heroes of all kinds.  What a great inspiration the athlete mentor will be to children at the school.  I’m sure they will have plenty of tips on why it’s important to be healthy and active and will get everyone moving.”

Youth Sport Trust Athlete Mentors are current or former international athletes from a range of sports who deliver inspirational messages to young people.  Some have overcome challenges such as bullying, dyslexia, exclusion or living with a disability to achieve sporting success.

Recent research by Playforce amongst children aged 5-11 found that a famous sportsperson would be the person they would listen to most about being more healthy, after a parent/carer or teacher.[1]

Playforce is an accredited Partner in the Youth Sport Trust Business Honours Club which recognises innovation and ability to develop and deliver products and services to help enhance PE and school sport.


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For further information, please contact:

Julie Parmenter, Elephant Creative

T: 01981 251820 / 07775 715936



About Playforce

Playforce is the UK’s leader in the design of innovative, curriculum-linked outdoor play environments for nurseries and primary schools. That means everything from timber trails to outdoor classrooms, musical play to science investigations. We are passionate about getting every child active and making the best use of the School Sport Funding. Playforce are proud to be working in partnership with Youth Sport Trust, as the exclusive Business Honours Club partner for playground equipment and facilities.

For more information please visit


About the Youth Sport Trust

The Youth Sport Trust is an independent charity devoted to changing young people’s lives through sport. We are passionate about helping all young people to achieve their full potential in life and in sport by delivering high quality physical education (PE) and sport opportunities:

  • We work to give every child a sporting start in life through high quality PE and sport in primary schools.
  • We work to ensure all young people have a sporting chance by developing opportunities for those with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • We support all young people to achieve their sporting best in school and their personal best in life.

Find out more

[1] PCP Market Research conducted conducted an online survey with 502 parents with children aged 5 – 11 years on behalf of Playforce. Interviews were conducted between 1st and 8th July 2013. 15.5% of children responding said they would listen to a famous sportsperson (or pop star) about being more healthy vs 56.6% a parent/carer and 16.1% a teacher.