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World Cup fever means that sports coaching company has seen surge in demand for Glow in the Dark and Zorb Football sessions in primary schools

Football fever is gripping the nation – and school children in Derbyshire are finding wacky and wonderful ways in which to get involved.


Derbyshire sports coaching company Progressive Sports in the East Midlands has seen a surge in demand for its Glow in the Dark and Zorb Football sessions, with coaches’ diaries almost fully booked until the new year.


The business, which has its offices in Willington, says that primary schools can’t get enough of the sessions. Last year they delivered Glow in the Dark sessions to almost 15,000 children across the region and that number is expected to be even higher this year.


Director Adam Holland said: “Our Glow in the Dark sessions are a fun, lively and inclusive way, and are always popular as enrichment activities in schools. The children play in a darkened room with a special glow-in-the-dark ball, high-vis kit and fluorescent face paint.


“Zorb Football is also really popular with schools; each player is encased in an inflatable ‘bubble’ and then it’s football played in the way that you would normally. It’s fun, physical and an unforgettable experience.


“This may be one of the most controversial World Cups yet, but it’s being fully embraced and celebrated by schools in Derby and Derbyshire and demand for our sessions is at an all-time high.


“Our coaches – including Lauren Whiteman, a former England international who is also a qualified referee – are having so much fun delivering the sessions and feedback has been extremely positive.”


One of the schools who will be hosting a Glow in the Dark Football session later this month is Zaytouna Primary School.


Headteacher Amy Storer said: “We are absolute champions of Progressive Sports, who work with us on a host of projects and, in particular, our enrichment programme that we offer all of our children. It enables them to nurture and develop their skills and their talents.


“They come in and offer activities that we can’t offer ourselves as a school – for Glow in the Dark football and the Colour Run - they also work with staff, encouraging them develop their confidence in teaching PE, school sport and fitness.


“Our school is brilliantly multi-cultural and the World Cup is a chance for us to celebrate that, to learn more about other nations and to have fun. The Glow in the Dark football sessions will give children the chance to get physically fit, get their hearts racing and, above all, enjoy themselves.”


Progressive Sports, who were recently shortlisted for two business awards, work with primary schools including ones in Findern, Derby city, Alfreton and Newhall, to deliver PE sessions. Their coaches provide lesson plans, evaluations and assessments which are in line with the Ofsted framework

They also host after school and holiday clubs around the region and, to help with the rising cost of living, have decided to reduce the cost of their clubs in January.


Adam added: “Children’s health – both physical and mental – has never been more important and we want ensure as many families and young people across Derbyshire can access our provision over the winter months.

“All our venues – we’ll be hosting sessions in Swadlincote, Matlock, and Etwall – have warm, indoor facilities for the children to enjoy, and we also do a 10% discount for siblings.


“Sport should be fun, inclusive and that’s what we pride ourselves in offering at Progressive Sports.”