GIRL power is in focus at Weaverham Primary Academy, with a new drive looking to promote team sports.

The Northwich Road school has set up a number of girl-only sporting events, aimed at increasing participation at a young age.

PE lead Janine McAughey has forged links with teams including Winsford’s Oak View Academy to stage an all-girls tag rugby tournament at Winnington Park Rugby Football Club (WPRFC).

A Northwich Victoria Football Club coach will also be visiting school to work with the teams.

It's all designed to get the children having healthy fun and enjoying long-term benefits in physical and mental health.

Executive headteacher Fiona Whittaker said: "We already have a strong sporting provision but we’re putting additional focus on girls’ team sports.

"It's well known that boys spend significantly longer playing sport each day, but this is something we want to change at our school. Evidence shows that both boys and girls who participate in sport enjoy it equally, so it’s important that we give them the encouragement and support at an early age to make physical activity part of their lives.”

The World Health Organisation says girls who play sports have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and lower levels of depression.

Ms Whittaker added: “Being physically active has both immediate and long-term benefits in physical and mental health.

“As part of a team girls can socialise with friends who are also active and form good habits.”

The school – previously UPAW – became part of North West Academies Trust in November.

Other schools within the trust, which foster the same approach to sport include Oak View Academy, Delamere Academy and Chester’s Grosvenor Park Academy and St Martin’s Academy.

Trust CEO Steve Docking said: “All our schools offer fabulous sporting opportunities for children, I have seen the huge benefits sport is bringing to the children at Weaverham and the confidence it develops in every aspect of life.

"Our teachers and staff work extremely hard to make sure children have the opportunities and encouragement to try something new and we consistently see the benefits that come from this.”