A St Austell-based multi-academy trust, which has received a national award for its PE in a Box project, says the initiative is making a real difference and could spread across the country.

The accolade from the Youth Sports Trust acknowledged the work of the Wave trust which is using physical education to help young people in schools outside of a mainstream setting.

Its project to provide high-quality PE “any time, any place“ in alternative provision academies received the award at this year’s Youth Sports Trust conference.

Over 120 nominations were received in seven different award categories, with judging panels of experts reviewing all the entries to create finalists.

The PE in a Box test and trial project, led by Wave deputy director of education Lucy Holloway, was presented with the Outstanding Inclusive Practice Award for the innovative way in which it has supported the use of PE, sport and play to re-engage young people.

Lucy said: “We recognise the joy that exercise, movement, play and physical literacy can bring as we re-engage and prepare our pupils for life beyond our academies, and in the wider world.

”We also recognise the barriers that some academies can face in trying to provide these opportunities for their pupils. These can include limited or no outdoor space and difficulties in accessing shared public facilities.

“We were determined to find solutions to barriers and so, working in partnership with the Youth Sports Trust, we developed the PE in a Box project.”

PE in a Box contains equipment that can be used in any classroom, where traditional spaces like a hall or the ability to be outdoors might not be available.

The project is now being delivered across all 11 Wave academies in Cornwall and Devon, providing pupils with the opportunity to learn how to experience “play”, co-operate as a team and find out how to stay healthy.

Lucy said: “PE in a Box has already made a real difference in our academies. Pupils are engaged in physical activity in a way they never were before, with enjoyment of and achievement in PE growing.

“Non-specialist teachers in both primary and secondary settings are increasingly confident in delivering PE and are creating space in their curriculum for PE which is non-negotiable.”

Wave chief executive Rob Gasson said: “Having seen the success of PE in a Box in our academies, we are now working with the Youth Sports Trust to share the project with others across the country.”

In Cornwall, Wave provides alternative provision for youngsters through the Restormel Academy in St Austell, the North Cornwall Academy in Bodmin, the Caradon Academy in Liskeard, the Penwith Academy in Penzance and the Nine Maidens Academy at Redruth.