School children and families turned the streets of Byker yellow, green and blue this morning by participating in a Brazilian-style carnival.
The event, which was organised by the Newcastle charity, Hat-Trick helped to raise awareness of this year’s Olympic games and gave children from local communities the opportunity to participate in sporting activities.
Hat-Trick secured an £80,000 grant from Children in Need in March this year to enable them to continue to engage and deliver sporting programmes across the City for the next three years.
The charity aims to change children’s lives through the power of football and sport and is working in partnership with Children in Need, Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association and Change for Life East to engage young people of all abilities to improve their fitness as well as teaching them about healthy eating and positive thinking.
Staff from Hat-Trick have been working with children from Byker Primary School, Welbeck Primary School and St. Lawrence’s RC Primary School, teaching them Brazilian culture and traditions, history, language and food as well as the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, which will be held this August.
As part of their preparations for the carnival, the youngsters aged 8-16 made instruments flags which they used to parade through the Estate to Brazilian music before participating in a range of family activities and Olympic sports at Priory Green. There was also a host of other activities on hand such as Brazilian food, stalls and face-painting for all visitors.
Hat-Trick has been working in partnership with the BCT over the last three years to successfully deliver sporting programmes and activities on the Byker Estate. Keith Parsons, Hat-Trick Sports Manager, said: “Our aim is to engage with local communities across the City that will benefit from structured programmes and sporting activities that will help to develop their skills and learning. We have been working with children from the Byker Estate for a number of years and our programmes have always been very well attended and received.
“The aim of the Brazilian-style carnival was to bring colour and fun to the Byker Estate and the children have all worked really hard and helped us to organise this event. The miserable weather didn’t dampen things and it was great to see it all come together but more importantly seeing the children engaged in activities, having fun and enjoying themselves.”
Paul Brown, Head Teacher at St. Lawrence’s School, said: “First and foremost, this event has engaged all children in a common topic that will stimulate the imagination. They have learnt about the wider world and the culture of a really fascinating country like Brazil. Events like this are a tremendous stimulus for unity and encourage a thirst for learning among children.
“It’s a great idea and we have planned some fun and stimulating lessons and all of the proceeds go towards an excellent cause.”
The parade started at St. Lawrence’s RC Primary School on Headlam Street finishing at Priory Green where they participated in a range of mixed activities such as football, tag-rugby, basketball and tennis and there was also a special guest appearance from Newcastle Eagles boss Fab Flournoy.