News  |  Features  |  Events

WPT Features on BBC Look North

We’re now well underway with the 2022 WPT Residentials. Across three weeks, each Y5 and Y6 student from WPT’s primary schools will take part in a three day and two night residential, which includes water activities at Ulley Country Park. 

This year we’re lucky to have the team at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue deliver water safety talks and workshops prior to the students starting the fun watersports on the reservoir. This is to ensure that the students are equipped with the knowledge of what to do if they find themselves or others in danger around water. 

This morning, the BBC Look North film crew joined the students from Aston Hall Junior & Infant School during their water safety briefing to highlight the dangers of open water. 

David Walker, Sports Development Manager, said: “This year it’s been great to link the Y5/Y6 residentials with the workshops from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue. 

“The main aim of the sessions is to get the message out there that there’s a difference between safe and controlled water sessions compared to real life scenarios without safety equipment and qualified teachers. 

“Thank you to the team at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue for taking the time to educate our students and ultimately enhance the safety of our outdoor provision at Ulley.”

Fleur Holland, Community Safety Manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, commented: “We’ve always gone into schools to deliver talks on road, fire and water safety but due to the pandemic, a lot of students missed out. 

“We knew that Wickersley Partnership Trust had an outdoor provision in place at Ulley so we jumped at the opportunity to get involved and educate over 600 of its students over the three weeks of residentials. 

“When it comes to water safety, not many people know what to do. There’s a procedure in place so it’s important for us to get the message out there, especially to students who are moving on to secondary school, where they may start to find themselves under peer pressure. Hopefully they’ll remember the key messages and procedures from these sessions if they ever got into a situation where they have to help themselves or others around water.”

One of the volunteers from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, Simon Haycock, has been a key part of the water safety sessions. Simon’s son, Sam, unfortunately lost his life at Ulley last year due to the dangers of open water. 

He added: “It’s important for me to do this work because I don’t want what happened to Sam to happen to anyone else’s child. 

“I’m proud to be just a small part of the WPT Residentials and share the key messages to its young people about how they can keep themselves and others safe around water.

“I hope the things they have learned through these sessions stick with them if they ever need it.”

Watch the short lunchtime interview – featuring our Sports Development Manager, David Walker, here –

Keep an eye out on BBC Look North at 6.30pm this evening for the main programme. 

Well done to all of the students from Aston Hall – they were a credit to their school and the Trust during the day and while the cameras were rolling!