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By Laura Taylor, Jan 16 2019 03:34PM

A well-resourced and thriving state school PE department have kickstarted a debate about just how far schools go to achieve success.

The school (they have asked us to spare their blushes by remaining anonymous) were proud of their coaching programme and the progress that many of their students make during the five or seven years spent with them.

But they rarely made it past the county finals of any national competitions (not for the want of trying) and reckoned they knew why.

They named six schools within 40 miles of them – four independent and two state institutions – who they claimed spent huge resources in terms of time and money recruiting players to join them.

This, they claimed, started at junior school level and went right through to sixth form. Not surprisingly, they were frustrated and rather annoyed.

But how big a problem is this – and frankly does it matter? Are sports scholarships a force for good or just a polite term for playier poaching?

(To read the full report in the new edition of School Sport Magazine out on Jan 21, subscribe for just £29 a year by emailing [email protected])

By Laura Taylor, Jan 16 2019 03:25PM

Last year, eighteen-year-old snowboarder Ellie Soutter tragically killed herself after suffering from depression and stress.

Family members said their daughter’s problems had been brought on by the pressures of trying to build an elite sporting career.

And even though Ellie had left school, many young talented athletes are still in full time education and these young people need assistance with their wellbeing, as well as their sport and education.

Schools, with everyday access to young people, are in an ideal place to provide that support and to coordinate any external agencies, involved. But only, experts say, if school staff know what to look for.

“For a young person, balancing education and sport is fundamentally stressful and without the correct support, these pressures can manifest themselves in psychological distress,” says Kelly Jones, athlete support officer and Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) lead at Solent University.

(To read the full report in the new edition of School Sport Magazine out on Jan 21, subscribe for just £29 a year by emailing [email protected])

By Laura Taylor, Jan 15 2019 05:46PM

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has called on the country’s leading sporting organisations to work in partnership with the Government to improve school sport and ensure all children have the opportunity to take part in competitive sport and increase their activity levels.

At a summit of top sporting organisations including the Premier League, the Rugby Football Union and England Hockey, Mr Hinds and the sports minister Mims Davies asked the country’s biggest sporting institutions to advise the Government, ahead of the School Sport Action Plan next year, on how to help children to harness the benefits of sport.

These include greater self-belief, working towards long-term goals and recovering from setbacks – alongside well-documented benefits to their physical and mental wellbeing.

(To read the full report in the new edition of School Sport Magazine out on Jan 21, subscribe for just £29 a year by emailing [email protected])

By Laura Taylor, Jan 15 2019 10:13AM

Girls should be given as much chance to play football in schools as boys, according to a new report.

Initial research conducted by the Youth Sport Trust has shown that opportunities for girls are limited and that the right environment is not always created to support girls that have never tried the sport.

Now a programme led by the children’s charity and delivered in collaboration with The FA is aiming to rectify the discrimination.

The Youth Sport Trust has teamed up with The FA to roll out Game of Our Own in 86 schools across England, part of The FA’s Gameplan for Growth strategy, to double participation in the sport by 2020.

(To read the full report in the new edition of School Sport Magazine out on Jan 21, subscribe for just £29 a year by emailing [email protected])

By Laura Taylor, Jan 14 2019 06:26PM

Every primary school in the country should have a trained PE teacher to inspire and coach the next generation.

Using special funding provided by the Government, schools have a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to transform PE across primary schools in England, according to a leading children’s charity.

The Primary PE and School Sport Premium funding provides schools several thousand pounds a year to boost PE provision.

Now the Youth Sport Trust (YST) – worried that primary teachers currently receive an average of just six hours of initial teacher training in physical education - has called on the money to be used for more training for teachers, more varied activities and new equipment to get classes moving.

And it has set out five goals to improve children’s formative experiences of PE and school sport for a generation.

(To read the full report in the new edition of School Sport Magazine out on Jan 21, subscribe for just £29 a year by emailing [email protected])

By Laura Taylor, Dec 13 2018 06:03PM

Twenty schools will be making their debuts in next season’s School Sport Magazine National Schools U15 T20 Girls Cricket Cup.

Farlingaye High School, Reigate Grammar, Sherborne Girls School, Holyrood Academy, Sydenham High School and Sedbergh are among the latest new teams to join the exciting competition.

They will be joined by other debutants including Bede’s School, from Sussex, Huntingdon’s Kimbolton School, Monmouth School for Girls, Ripon Grammar and Ipswich’s Royal Hospital School as well as a host of returning sides as the growth in grass roots girls’ cricket continues.

The 11-a-side hardball competition 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.

Run in group stages before the summer half term, the 16 pool winners qualify for the knockout stages with finals day taking place in early September 2019.

The draw for the 2019 competition will be made after Christmas.

By Laura Taylor, Dec 10 2018 09:00AM

Exmouth Community College (U13 boys), Culford School (U13 girls), Bournemouth Collegiate School (U15 boys) and Queenswood School (U15 girls) took the honours at the LTA’s National Schools Team Tennis Finals at Bolton Arena yesterday.

(For a full report and pictures check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine)

By Laura Taylor, Dec 8 2018 04:57PM

An unsung Devon tennis squad were daring to dream of national glory today at the LTA’s National Schools Team Finals.

Exmouth Community College’s U13 boys’ team were taking on some of the biggest names on the schools’ tennis circuit at the Bolton Arena.

Standing in their way were top seeds Culford School, from Suffolk, Edinburgh’s Merchiston Castle School and Nottingham’s Trent College.

The team - Benjamin Johnson (currently ranked seventh in the country at U14), Chris Denton, Lucas Urquiza, and Alfie Woodger – earned their place by winning the competitive south west region.

They needed a final set tie-breaker to dispose of Bournemouth Collegiate School in the last 16 before thrashing Millfield 6-0.

All the players put in hours of training each week at the Exmouth Tennis Centre, with which the community college have close links.

By Laura Taylor, Dec 7 2018 05:23PM

Wellington College defeated Epsom College 24-16 at Allianz Park to clinch their first-ever RFU U18 Champions Trophy rugby union title.

Just one point separated the sides at half time as a Wellington try from Tobias Scalabrini was met with two penalties from the boot of Epsom's Jack Jesty.

Epsom showed moments of brilliance, as Jesty converted his own second-half try, but three scores via Fin Baxter, Marcus Rhodes, as well as a sublime second from Scalabrini sealed victory, and Wellington's first Champions Trophy.

(For a full report and more rugby news check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine)

By Laura Taylor, Dec 7 2018 05:20PM

King’s Ely’s equestrian team will be representing the school at both the National Schools' Equestrian Association (NSEA) show jumping finals and the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2019.

Some of the school’s riders will also be competing at the Hickstead Elite Qualifiers following their stellar efforts at the NSEA show jumping qualifiers, held at Forest Edge Arena in Swaffham, Norfolk.

In the 70cms class, Ellie Grimsey came second, qualifying for the county championships. Ryan De Sousa came fifth. In the 80cms class, Ryan qualified for the county championships after coming fifth.

In the 90cms class, the team of Adele Shaw, Ryan De Sousa, Ellie Grimsey and Emily Gredley came second, qualifying them for both the county championships and the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Adele Shaw won the class, qualifying her for the county championships as an individual.

In the 1m class, the team of Adele Shaw, Emily Gredley, Katie Cameron and Eleanor Fairey won, qualifying them for both the county championships and Hickstead International. Katie Cameron came second individually, qualifying her for the county championships.