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Headmaster’s blog – Sport’s a relief

March 26, 2012

Our Spring Term has just ended in sunshine reminiscent of mid-summer. The final day of the term was an incredibly colourful ‘Sports relief’ day with pupils and staff dressed as famous sporting characters, Olympians and Para-Olympians or simply taking advantage of being out of uniform and in casual sports’ wear. The day coincided with one staff member emigrating with her family to Australia – this one Form group appeared as Aussies for the day – and another Lower Prep year group in Japanese dress for our visiting Japanese staff and students. The day ended with staff / pupil netball and hockey matches – won by the pupils, of course!

This term’s whole-school Assembly theme has been ‘Going for Gold’. We have considered some of the best qualities of sport across the ages. We looked at Lewis Smith, a current British Olympic gymnast who has shown determination on the pommel horse. Then there was an Ancient Roman, Telemachus, who lost his life courageously campaigning against gladiatorial fights to the death in the Coliseum. Eric Liddell, Britain’s 400m gold winner at Paris in 1924, provided inspiration and Christian conviction whilst an Ethiopian 10,000m athlete, taught us about persistence in the face of adversity. Jesse Owens and ‘Luz’ Long, American and German long-jump athletes respectively, reminded us about the importance of friendship which crosses barriers of race and culture. Finally, with some clips from ‘Chariots of Fire’, we saw Harold Abrahams who lost a 1923 100m race to Eric Liddell, learning how to respond positively to disappointment and to rise to triumph in Paris in 1924.

Sport certainly brings relief to many through the characteristics displayed by the athletes above, but it also brings tangible relief to others who have so little by charitable fundraising. Our final day of term saw over £500 raised for these charities, combined with our on-going support for the Ray of Hope children’s work in Uganda. As our junior skiers depart for Italy and our Silver Duke of Edinburgh trekkers for the Brecon Beacons, we celebrate fitness and vitality whilst remembering those less fortunate and in need of our support at this time.

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