Page 34 - Independent Schools Magazine
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Hosting a major gymnastics championship
Teamwork brings all round success
Three busy, exciting, friendly days saw superb gymnastics and sportsmanship and fun. We were delighted to retain our title and indeed to win 5 of the 6 age group titles, coming second in the sixth, but we were equally delighted that a small, compact town school site with no parking facilities, no weekend caterers and only one purpose built space succeeded in hosting such a memorable Championships.
How did we do it? What is
the secret of our success? Unsurprisingly, in sport, commitment was vital. Determination and planning and ambition too. On the logistics side, we began preparing over
12 months ago – for what? Well, ISGA Championships is a 5 piece competition – set  oor, voluntary  oor, set vault, voluntary vault and a group  oor comprising of 4 gymnasts. The competition ran over three days with the youngest gymnasts 7 years old and the oldest 18 years old.
32 different teams competed on each day – 96 in total – with 160 gymnasts per day. And 24 judges! A parent committee of 15 planned the catering, the publicity, the welcoming parties, the lot!
Swimming victory
Laleham Lea School, Surrey, pupil, Jamie Johnson is celebrating winning gold in the Year 5 50m backstroke at the Independent Schools Association Swimming Championships.
The Ten-year-old swimmer secured the title at the London Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, beating her closest opponent by 1.5 seconds.
Over 300 schools took part in the national event, which also saw Jamie win silver in the Year 5 50m freestyle in a personal best time of
34 Sports & Schoolwear
The Director of Sport, Michelle O’Brien, led from the front with
a positive, can do attitude and
a desire that everyone involved would be winners – every gymnast, every visitor, the school. Everyone (60 parent volunteers and 100 girls) had a clear part
to play, from preparing the pre ordered packed lunches for competitors, to manning the no go areas (there had to be some restrictions on movement round the refreshment area in the
middle of a brand new school building that is entirely accessible by open staircases!). The sports coaches and PE teachers were never far behind Michelle, and always working in tandem with her (teamwork being another vital ingredient to success) were our outstanding Premises Team and equally committed timetabler. The detail from Friday lesson room changes, to installation of the tiered seating, to transforming the assembly hall into a gymnastics hall to visitors’ signage, to extra cleaning hours had to be precise – and it was!
On the gymnastics front, we are immensely proud of our success: it is a rare achievement to win so many national titles year
on year - though this year was
33.80 seconds, just 0.38 short of the current record!
Ms K Barry, Headteacher at Laleham Lea School said: “We are so proud of Jamie. All of the staff and pupils at Laleham Lea know what a good swimmer she is, and for her to
win this title at such a prestigious National ISA  nal is an amazing achievement.”
especially successful. And we achieve this with home grown talent and all gymnasts training at school – indeed only two of our top girls train with a club. How do we do it – probably
in much the same way as we hosted the competition. Time and space are put to maximum use, communication between staff, girls and parents is regular and clear, expectations are set - not to win, but to do one’s best
and to support others in the
same pursuit, and this involves exacting standards in time keeping, organisation, reliability and overall commitment: the
girls know not to let themselves down but also not to let each other down. They are privileged in so many ways and they do their best to acknowledge and repay that – many of them only 10 days later were still in school late supporting their friends in the school musical. Life lessons,
not singular to gymnastics or sport, but so easily learned in that environment.
Hosting ISGA was time- consuming and challenging and worth it! Sport is worth it!
Last month (March) Tormead School, Surrey, faced the double challenge of hosting the 39th ISGA Championships and defending its title as ISGA Champions. Headmistress Christina Foord re ects on the occasion and what it took to organise such a prestige event...
ISGA 2017 Team Results
U9 1st Tormead, 2nd Maltman’s Green, 3rd Guildford High U10 1st Kent College, 2nd Tormead, 3rd Maltman’s Green
U11 1st Tormead, 2nd Streatham & Clapham High, 3rd Adcote U13 1st Tormead, 2nd Putney High, 3rd Kent College
U15 1st Tormead, 2nd The Royal Masonic, 3rd St Catherine’s O13 1st Tormead, 2nd The Royal Masonic, 3rd Putney High
On the mark for tennis
The impressive work of the tennis programme at New Hall School, Essex, has been recognised at an awards ceremony.
Mark Crick, Head of Tennis at New Hall, was rewarded for his services to tennis with the Essex LTA Education Award. Mark was selected as the county winner at the 2016 AEGON British Tennis Awards for his work within schools tennis.
Mr Crick leads the tennis programme at New Hall and, with the help of six LTA quali ed and licensed coached, delivers tennis
lessons to over 400 pupils from beginners to top county juniors. The coaching programme at New Hall is inclusive and allows junior players of all ages and abilities to enjoy and develop their tennis.
The school has had a very successful year of tennis, with the Senior Boys Team winning the prestigious Youll Shield
at the Independent Schools Championships. The Year 10 Team also won the Essex AEGON division, the Eton Pairs Trophy and  nished third in the East of England.

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