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By Laura Taylor, Jan 16 2020 04:18PM

Taunton School are preparing for the regional schools netball finals this month after qualifying at U14, U16 and U19 level at the county finals.

The Somerset school will be the only one in the south west region represented in each age group.

The U14 squad won their county final back in October while the U16 team also had a successful tournament gaining a place in the regional finals after getting the runners-up spot, having only lost one game.

It was the U19’s turn in November where they had a brilliant run in their county finals, missing out on the champions’ spot by the narrowest of margins on goal difference to Richard Huish College, qualifying as runners up.

Head of netball Lisa Manley said: “To have all three teams in the regional finals is very exciting and testament to our hard-working, talented netballers. I’m immensely proud of the way our students have performed displaying respect and determination in all games.”

The three Taunton teams will be heading to the David English Sports Centre in Bournemouth on Saturday January 25 for the regional finals.

By Laura Taylor, Jan 7 2020 07:14PM

It’s the last chance to enter the 2020 School Sport Magazine U15 and new U18 Twenty/20 Girls Cricket Cups.

Such has been the response to the U15 cup and new girls’ U18 competition that the cap on competing sides will soon be reached - so schools need to act quickly to guarantee their places.

In an unprecedented surge of entries, a host of new and returning sides will be battling it out over the two competitions as the growth in girls’ cricket continues.

The 11-a-side hardball competitions, open to both state and independent schools in England and Wales, will be run on a local, county and regional basis in the early rounds to avoid excess travel and will be played mainly in midweek but weekends if preferred.

Both competitions will be played in group stages before the summer half term with the group winners qualifying for the knockout stages.

The U15 finals day (semi-finals and final) will take place in early September. The U18 competition will have its finals day at the end of the summer term.

Further details and an entry form are available on the website or by emailing [email protected]

By Laura Taylor, Dec 20 2019 04:37PM

Putney High School sealed a historic national title after winning the LTA’s prestigious Team Tennis U13 championships.

The London side put on a dominant display at the USN Bolton Arena, winning three matches out of three without dropping a game to claim their first ever U13 crown.

They defeated second-placed Prior Park College, from, Bath, third-placed Sheffield High School and fourth-placed Northampton High School 12-0 to cap a fantastic competition.

(To read the full story on the championships, check out the new edition of School Sport Magazine out next month. Subscribe for just £29 a year/single copies £6 each)

By Laura Taylor, Dec 9 2019 02:49PM

Two Buckinghamshire schools took two of the top honours at the English Schools Cross Country Cup Final at Mount St Mary’s College in Derbyshire at the weekend.

Dr Challoner’s Grammar won the junior boys U13 event just ahead of Oxted School in second and third-placed Eastwood Academy in Essex.

And their neighbours Dr Challoner’s High emerged triumphant in the intermediate girls U15 competition in front of second-placed Coopers Company & Coborn School and Bradford Grammar in third.

Coopers had to settle for second place in the junior girls U13 event behind convincing winners Guildford High School with Sevenoaks School in third.

And Kent side Judd School took the honours in the intermediate boys U15 final with Abingdon School in second and Dulwich College in third.

(To read the full story, check out the new edition of School Sport Magazine out next week. Subscribe for just £29 a year/single copies £6 each)

By Laura Taylor, Dec 3 2019 10:09AM

More than 100 teams will be battling it out at the English Schools Cross Country Cup Final this Saturday.

Squads from all over the country will be landing at Mount St Mary’s School in Derbyshire to take part in the U13 and U15 boys and girls championships.

Organisers will be hoping for dry weather after already being forced to redesign the course and bring in park-and-ride for public cars because of localised flooding.

Twenty seven teams of six runners will compete in each of the four finals with the four best finishers from each side counting towards the result.

They include three of last year’s winners Judd School (U13 boys), Dr Challoner’s High School (U13 girls) and Coopers Company & Coborn School (U15 girls).

Teams qualified from a series of regional qualifiers, many of which had to be rearranged at short notice because of atrocious weather and waterlogged courses.

(A full report with pictures will appear in the next edition of School Sport Magazine. Subscribe for just £29 a year/single copies £6 each).

By Laura Taylor, Nov 29 2019 10:51AM

Primary school children across England and Wales are being encouraged to celebrate sporting diversity in a joint initiative between The Premier League and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The sporting organisations have come together to create ‘Roar! for Diversity’ a curriculum-linked PSHE resource and competition for 7-11-year olds.

Available to download for free from the Premier League Primary Stars website ( and ECB’s schools’ partner, Chance to Shine (, the key stage 2 resource will enable teachers to discuss with their class how diversity within a team helps to make it stronger.

Pupils can then create an advert celebrating diversity which can be entered into a competition and can win match tickets or a school visit from the Premier League or Cricket World Cup trophies.

The Roar! For Diversity pack includes lesson plans and video resources featuring contributions from England cricketers Adil Rashid, Sophia Dunkley and Premier League match official Sian Massey-Ellis.

To mark the launch, World Cup winning cricket captain Eoin Morgan and Liverpool footballer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain surprised children at Lawrence Community Primary School in Liverpool to take part in a classroom discussion about the importance of diversity in sport.

The sports stars answered questions and joined the children in groups to complete worksheet exercises ahead of creating their Roar! for Diversity adverts.

Eoin Morgan said: “You just need to look our World Cup winning side from this summer to understand the strength that diversity brings to a group.

“We are a team from a range of different backgrounds and cultures. By working together, supporting each other and appreciating everyone’s abilities and differences, we’re definitely stronger together.”

Lawrence Community Primary School head teacher Mark Rigby said: “We were thrilled to be chosen to support the launch of the Roar! for Diversity campaign. We’re a large and diverse school, with 28 different languages spoken, so we’re fully on board with the message that a diverse team is a strong team.

“The children were over the moon to meet Eoin Morgan and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and have their photos taken with the Premier League and Cricket World Cup trophies.

“Our children also really got into the spirit of the competition and enjoyed creating adverts to celebrate the theme of diversity. It has been fantastic to have the players here and it will be a day the children will always remember.”

By Laura Taylor, Nov 26 2019 10:13AM

Four new winners broke the dominance of Britain’s big three swimming schools at the 62nd ESSA Secondary Schools Team Championships.

While Millfield, Plymouth College and Mount Kelly picked up eight of the twelve titles on offer at the London Aquatic Centre, the presence of four other schools on the winners’ podium demonstrated how the gap may be closing.

Essex’ Mayflower High School, Ellesmere College, Whitgift and Taunton School all picked up national titles in a high-quality display of relay swimming.

(To read the full story, check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine. Subscribe for just £29 a year/single copies £6 each)

By Laura Taylor, Nov 11 2019 05:02PM

Sports bosses have reacted angrily to the continued exclusion of rounders from the list of activities eligible for assessment at GCSE and A level.

Rounders England have launched an appeal against the decision by the Department for Education and fear the verdict may lead to a further drop-off in participation by school in this most traditional of games.

Katherine Knight, chair of Rounders England, said: “We celebrate the work being delivered by teachers across the country to help children get active through rounders and will continue to support them as we work to get selected back onto the PE GCSE curriculum.

(To read the full story, check out the new edition of School Sport Magazine out next week. Subscribe for just £29 a year/single copies £6 each)

By Laura Taylor, Nov 8 2019 10:43AM

A swarm of eager young players buzz around the football pitches at this vibrant Cambridgeshire school.

Shouts of encouragement rise up from the touchline and exclamations of delight emanate from the pupils whenever another goal goes in.

Yet these pitches aren’t dominated by boys’ teams but by members of the opposite sex for whom football has become something of a religion.

Six years ago, girls’ football at St Ivo Academy in Cambridgeshire was hardly on the radar. Fast forward and the difference is palpable.

(To read the full feature, check out the new edition of School Sport Magazine out next week. Subscribe for just £29 a year/single copies £6 each)