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By Laura Taylor, Apr 8 2020 10:17AM

Eastbourne College’s Tawande Muyeye has been named the 13th Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year.

The talented all-rounder accumulated more than 1,100 runs, including a double hundred, and produced some superb performances with his off-spin bowling.

Previous winners of the prestigious award include England stars Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, James Taylor and Tom Abell.

A full and comprehensive round-up of the 2019 schools’ season by the evergreen Douglas Henderson can be viewed, as always, in the new edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2020 out today.

By Laura Taylor, Apr 6 2020 01:33PM

It should be the build-up to a spectacular finale to the schools’ football season – now only time will tell.

Whether organisers allow – or are allowed – extra time to complete the ESFA 2019/20 season remains to be seen in the fast-moving coronavirus pandemic.

But that hasn’t stopped the English Schools’ FA competitions drawing to a series of exciting conclusions over the last couple of months.

(Full full reports and pictures, check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine out on April 20)

By Laura Taylor, Apr 3 2020 09:44AM

And now for some news - sports teachers and pupils from all over the country are fully embracing the return of the 2020/21 School Sport Magazine National Schools U12, U13 and U15 Netball Cups.

It’s a similar picture for the inaugural 2020/21 School Sport Magazine National Schools U14 Rugby Union Cup which has been welcomed by rugby coaches.

And such has been the response to the news of all four events that entries have already reached the levels needed to meet the criteria for qualifying competitions for the exclusive top 100 sports schools of the year list.

Like the new rugby cup, the netball competitions will kick off in September and are open to all schools in England and Wales and will complement the excellent U14, U16 and U19 cups run by England Netball.

Netball sides from the north taking part include Ashville College, Bourne Grammar, Branston Community Academy, Crossley Heath School, Dame Allan’s Girls School, Fallibroome Academy, the Grammar School at Leeds, Goole Academy, Macmillan Academy, Red House School, Settle College, St John Fisher Catholic High School Harrogate, Teesside High School, Whitby High School, Wirral Grammar School for Girls and Woodhouse Grove.

Those in the Midlands consist of the likes of Bedford Girls, Berkhamsted, Brentwood School, Impington Village College, Norwich School, Oswestry School, Southend High School for Girls, Welland Park Academy and Woodbridge School.

South east and south west teams already include Bennett Memorial School, Croydon High School, Farmor’s School, Farnborough Hill School, Forest School, Gordon’s School, Guildford High School, Heathfield School, Howard of Effingham School, King’s College Taunton, Lingfield College, Notting Hill & Ealing School, Putney High School, Queen Anne’s School, Royal Russell School, Sevenoaks Schools, St Catherine’s School, St Helen & St Katharine’s School, Worth School and Wycombe High School.

The U14 rugby cup will complement the fantastic competitions run at U15 and U18 level by the RFU and the English Schools Rugby Association.

So far the spread of entries encompasses all parts of the country with several counties leading way including Surrey (eleven), Kent (seven), Yorkshire (six) and London (five).

But all regions will be represented from Plymouth College, Torquay Grammar, Mount Kelly and Truro School in the south west, King’s Macclesfield, Cheadle Hulme and Lymm High in the north west and Framlingham, Farlingaye, Woodbridge, Gresham’s, Norwich and Wymondham in East Anglia.

Places in all four competitions are still open and schools can enter by emailing [email protected]

By Laura Taylor, Apr 2 2020 12:45PM

Schools’ basketball is the latest sport to be blocked by Covid-19.

Split into two finals days, the March events were suspended - now the May competitions have been abandoned.

A Basketball England spokesman confirmed: “The majority of our school’s competitions have now been cancelled for the remainder of the 2019/20 season due to the number of games that are still outstanding.

“The only exceptions are the U14 Boys Premier, U16 Boys Premier, U17 Girls & Boys, U19 Girls & Boys Conference competitions.

“These were just one game from completion and should have held their finals on Wednesday 18 March. If there is an opportunity to finish them safely, responsibly and fairly before the end of the academic year then we'll explore that option.”

By Laura Taylor, Mar 31 2020 04:56PM

Schools hockey has been shown the red card by the coronavirus.

England Hockey has decided to suspend all grassroots activities until further notice including many schools’ finals

The governing body originally postponed the blue riband U18 schools’ boys’ and girls’ finals at Lee Valley Hockey Centre on March 19 and the U14 and U16 boys’ finals.

Now they have decided that the main U16 and U14 tier 1 boys’ final stages will be cancelled altogether alongwith the lower tier 2, 3 and 4 U18 boys championships, the U16 tier 2 and 3 finals, the U14 tier 2 event and the boys and girls U13, U12, U11 In2Hockey Championships.

But it is hoped the U18 boys’ and girls’ finals may be staged later in the year when hockey activity resumes.

The girls’ U14 and U16 schools’ championship finals managed to escape the virus – for a full round-up with pictures, check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine out on April 20.

By Laura Taylor, Mar 30 2020 10:24AM

Grassroots football may have been cancelled for the season – but schools’ football is determined to give teams their moment in the sun.

Despite soccer below the national leagues being forfeited, the English Schools Football Association insists they will try and finish the final stages of the current season – even if it means extending matches later this year.

A spokesman said today: “It remains the ESFA’s intention to put on finals for national schools’ and inter-district/county competitions for the 19/20 season if it is at all possible, even if this means a set of early autumn finals.

“We strongly believe that pupils and their teachers have earned this honour and it is incumbent upon us to do our utmost to see these competitions through to a fruitful conclusion. We accept that, ultimately, this will be an issue of timing and logistics.”

The ESFA runs dozens of schools’ competitions each season and most of this year’s cups have reached the semi and quarter final stages.

Watch out for a full round-up with pictures in the next edition of School Sport Magazine out on April 20.

By Laura Taylor, Mar 26 2020 12:26PM

Schools cricket is the latest sport to be hit for six by the coronavirus.

Most national competitions will be delayed - and could be cancelled altogether if there is no change in circumstances in the coming weeks.

To date, no final decision has been made about the School Sport Magazine National Schools U15 and U18 T20 Girls Cricket Cups.

But the schools’ closure programme means ordinary fixtures have been postponed until further notice while regional cup tournaments have also been put on hold.

Ken Lake, general secretary of the English School Cricket Association, explained: “In the light of information from the ECB and Government advice, ESCA is postponing the national rounds of our competitions the David English U13 Cup, the inspiresport U15 One Day Cup, Saracens U11 Hardball and T20 until further notice. The same should apply to our county competitions.

“If it is humanely possible to start up again, we will try to do so but I am not hopeful. It should be noted that some schools are already pulling out of the competitions.”

A spokesman for School Sport Magazine said: “It’s a rapidly changing situation as you can imagine so we don't intend to make any early decision on the competitions.

“At the moment we still hope they may be able to go ahead in some way at some stage as the flexibility of the format may allow schools to organise mini festivals to take place involving three or four schools rather than a series of single matches, even starting in the second half of the summer term.

“But it all depends on the progress of the virus and Government advice. We are all waiting to see currently but are remaining optimistic.”

By Laura Taylor, Mar 23 2020 03:17PM

The ESAA English Schools Track & Field Cup has become the latest casualty of the coronavirus.

Schools’ athletics bosses have decided to cancel the event scheduled for July – while a decision on the ESAA’s blue riband Track & Field Championships will be made in due course.

Hundreds of schools were due to have taken part in the qualifying county and regional rounds of the competition and the final on July 4.

But in an open letter to all teachers, organisers and pupils, Chris Cohen, honorary secretary of the ESAA, said: “We are all aware of the challenges that have been thrown up by the coronavirus in all areas of our lives

“We had hoped that, by postponing the first round of the Track & Field Cup, we could stage this round on the dates of the regional round. It has become clear over the last day or two that, for a variety of reasons, this will not be possible, so the decision has been made that this year’s Schools Track & Field Cup will be cancelled.

“All entries to this year’s competition will receive free entry to the 2021 Cup competition. As the competition is completely staffed by volunteers, as is the whole of the association, we will not be in a position to refund payments to schools that have entered, but this will be held over until next year.

“At this stage, we do not intend to cancel the Track & Field Championships or the Combined Events Regional Rounds. We are working on a variety of contingency plans and hope that we will be in a position to hold an event of some sort.

“The last option for us would be outright cancellation, but we want to give ourselves as long as possible before making that decision.

“We recognise that, for thousands of young people every year, this is their Olympics and for thousands who have gone before, their first memories of major competition are our championships. We do not aim to lose them without a fight.

“The association is already committed to spend more than £50,000 this summer on events that may not take place. But we cannot afford to commit any more until we have some certainty.”

By Laura Taylor, Mar 17 2020 05:33PM

Two more national schools’ competitions bit the dust today because of the coronavirus outbreak..

The National Schools Squash Championships, scheduled for this week from March 18-20, have been postponed following a significant number of schools withdrawing.

Organisers are hoping to reschedule the finals at a later date, taking into consideration the upcoming exam periods.

But England Table Tennis’ Individual Schools Finals in Wolverhampton on April 25 have been cancelled.

With Easter approaching, the English Schools Football Association also announced that all schools’ football was being postponed “for the foreseeable future.”

More than 20 national age group competitions run by the ESFA had reached the latter stages and organisers hope they will be able to complete them during the summer term.

Hundreds of schools all over the country were also taking the decision to cancel school matches and fixtures until further notice in the light of Government advice.

By Laura Taylor, Mar 16 2020 07:33PM

Schools’ rugby and hockey are the latest sports to be hit by the coronavirus.

The prestigious Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens - widely-acknowledged as the world’s largest schools’ rugby tournament and due to take place over five days next week – has been cancelled.

This week’s U18 and U15 national finals at Saracens’ Allianz Park and Twickenham on March 17 and 19 have also been postponed.

England Hockey quickly rugby’s lead by suspending this week’s blue riband U18 boys’ and girls’ finals at Lee Valley Hockey Centre on March 19 and the U14 and U16 boys finals next week.

A spokesman for the Rosslyn Park organisers said: “We regret to announce that due to the recent developments in the situation concerning the novel coronavirus COVID-19, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools 7s tournament.

“In recent weeks Rosslyn Park has done everything in our power to make the tournament happen. However in light of the current COVID-19 crisis, it is now the advice of our medical advisers, who have been in constant contact with Public Health England, that we cancel the event.

“With almost 10,000 children from nearly 1,000 schools due to take part in the tournament, our priority is the safety and well-being of the participants and spectators.

“Thank you for your understanding. We are determined that the 2021 event will be our best ever and look forward to welcoming you all.”