Greenhouse Sports launches in Leicester – pioneering first hub of Greenhouse schools outside London

Published on February 28, 2023 by Ben Wyatt
Multi Sports
  • Leicester schools to benefit from coaching programme which since 2002 has worked with 50,000 children in London, keeping them engaged with education, helping them achieve better results, better jobs and a better future.
  • The charity’s tried-and-trusted model supports an inclusive pathway into sport for children in schools with high levels of deprivation.
  • The two local schools partnering with Greenhouse Sports are Castle Mead Academy and Knighton Mead Primary Academy and will receive the bespoke Greenhouse programme led by Coaches.
  • Greenhouse’s Ryan Evans is the Head Basketball Coach at Castle Mead Academy, with Elley Cummings as Head Multi-Sports Coach at Knighton Mead Primary.
  • Jason Sugrue, Head of Programmes at Greenhouse Sports, says: “We are delighted to establish our first hub of schools with coaching programmes in Leicester and work together in joint partnership with both schools to provide the best Greenhouse support for a generation of young people in Leicester for the duration of their schooling.”

Sports & Mentoring charity Greenhouse Sports has announced its first hub of school programmes outside of London, in Leicester, partnering with Castle Mead Academy and Knighton Mead Primary Academy to deliver coaching in basketball and multi-sports to pupils aged 9-11.

To spearhead the new programmes, Greenhouse Sports’ Ryan Evans has been appointed as the Head Basketball Coach at Castle Mead Academy and Elley Cummings is Head Multi-Sports Coach at Knighton Mead Primary. The programmes begin this September with the start of the new school year.

Throughout the year and as with all Greenhouse Sports programmes, the two schools will receive free immersive coaching sessions for pupils during and after school (including breakfast clubs, lunch clubs and after school clubs) and the Coach is embedded in the school like a full-time member of staff and trusted mentor. This is an important part of the Greenhouse philosophy of delivering multi-hours of intensive coaching and one-on-one mentoring to inspire the children to aim higher.

Greenhouse’s expansion of its programme into Leicester will help to ‘level-up’ the country and enable children in Leicester to benefit from the tried-and-trusted method. This includes improved school attendance and attainment, better mental and physical health, less antisocial behaviour and better job prospects. Children on the programme on average attend 8 days more in school each year and achieve 40% higher results in GCSE Maths and 30% better in English.

The charity focuses on children and communities that need them most, only working in schools where at least two-thirds of pupils live in areas of high deprivation, according to the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) rating. Leicester was identified as a target area due to it being a city with high levels of deprivation and in need of attention.

Coinciding with Greenhouse Sports’ 20th anniversary year, the expansion into Leicester is part of the charity’s ambition to see every school in need across the country benefit from the programme. Currently there are 4 million children in 10,000 schools across the UK living with disadvantage that could benefit from a Greenhouse Coach. The Coaches, successful sports pros who tend to have difficult backgrounds themselves, engage with the kids through sport and teach them the life skills they need during key times in their life.

Jennifer Slinger, Principal of Knighton Mead, says: “Greenhouse’s pioneering work to improve student’s educational performance, attendance and social skills is a huge credit. We are truly delighted to welcome Elley and the team to our school.”

Tom Hague, Principal of Castle Mead Academy, says: “Greenhouse has had great success with school pupils in London and we’re thrilled the charity is bringing its approach and its passions to Castle Mead through sport.”

Elley Cummings, Greenhouse’s Head Multi-Sports Coach at Knighton Mead Primary, says: “I am excited to be supporting the children, introducing these primary school pupils to  a range of sports which is so important for their physical and social development at this age.  I can’t wait to see the positive impact and the results we deliver at Knighton Mead.”

Ryan Evans, Greenhouse’s Head Basketball Coach at Castle Mead Academy, says: “It is an honour to be Greenhouse’s first basketball coach in Leicester at an exciting time for us as we expand outside of London. Working with other Greenhouse Coaches in training I have seen how much kids benefit from our programmes. I can’t wait to get stuck in at Castle Mead and introduce more young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to the game I love.”