Leicester Tigers and England legend Neil Back delivered a unique PE lesson to Year 7 pupils at Rawlins Community College in Quorn on Thursday 27th February, as part of the World Cup winner’s work with the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust Stop Smoking Service’s ‘Balls to Stop’ campaign.
The class of 30 pupils were given the opportunity to hone their ball skills with the former Leicester Tigers flanker, who delivered a fun session encouraging young people to maintain an active lifestyle. Mixing rugby and football, participants had the chance to work on their passing skills with a rugby ball, before Neil invited pupils to take penalties against him at the end of the football exercise.
As the lesson came to a close, Back provided pupils with the task of designing a poster highlighting the health risks associated with smoking, promising the designer of the winning piece of artwork tickets to a Leicester Tigers game of their choosing in the near future.
Back, who has coached since hanging up his boots in 2005, is one of several high-profile sporting names to have signed up to support the Stop Smoking Service’s ‘Balls to Stop’ campaign. Other ambassadors include boxing star Rendall Munroe, Leicester City midfielder Andy King and Leicestershire CCC one-day captain Josh Cobb.
Following the session, Neil Back said: “It was a pleasure to work with the Year 7 pupils at Rawlins Community College.
“Everybody taking part was keen to get moving and thoroughly enjoyed the work we did with both the rugby balls and footballs. To see the level of enthusiasm and competitiveness on display was very encouraging and highlighted the importance of maintaining enjoyment in an active lifestyle.
“There was a great deal of excitement with regards to the competition that was launched, so I look forward to seeing what the pupils’ research brings in the form of posters highlighting the health risks associated with smoking, and hope to welcome the winner to a Leicester Tigers game in the near future.”
Nuala Taylor, Stop Smoking Advisor for Young People with the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, added:
“With a number of young people taking up smoking through various influences on a day-to-day basis, it was wonderful to see Neil providing an insight into the importance of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.
“Neil is a wonderful ambassador for our ‘Balls to Stop’ campaign and a brilliant coach; you could really see the enjoyment on the faces of the pupils at Rawlins Community College.”