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Leah Millard

 

Leah Millard, 15, is a talented athlete and pupil at Graham School in Scarborough

 

Monday

 

The English Schools Athletic Championships are the biggest competition for young athletes in the country and I’ve realised they are four days away. I’m quite nervous already. I cut down on all unhealthy foods which includes not eating chocolate for all of this week. After school I head to York which is where I train every Monday with other sprinters at the local track Huntington Stadium. It’s an 80-mile round trip and I don’t get back to Scarborough until 10pm.

 

Tuesday

 

It’s three days before the English Schools and I’m looking forward to it. I don’t have to travel to York tonight to train but instead I train on the school field in the evening to do a session my coach has set me. My session includes things like press-ups, crunches and sit-ups. It’s raining which I hate but I have to train in all weathers.

 

Wednesday

 

I do my last session before the championships and go to train at Scarborough College. My session is doing two sets of 6 x 40m which is a good last session before my race on Friday and I’m very excited.

 

Thursday

 

English Schools is tomorrow and I’m quite nervous. I’ve set off today with the rest of the North Yorkshire team to Newcastle and stay at a college in Durham University, where other counties such as Humberside and Derbyshire are all staying at. I’m given my North Yorkshire kit and find out what heat I am in tomorrow. I am, unfortunately, in the outside lane in heat two with the fastest girl in the UK in the lane behind me. Hopefully I will run a quick time.

 

Friday

 

I arrive at Gateshead International Stadium and the weather is quite bad as it has been raining heavily in Newcastle. Around 4000 people are at the championships and I’m very nervous. Unfortunately my 300m race doesn’t go as well as I would have liked it to. The conditions aren’t great and it’s cold and wet. The fastest girl in the country collapses with 100m to go in the lane next to me. But I still don’t manage to qualify for the final and I don’t run a personal best. However I am happy to have been selected to run at these championships and it’s a good experience. I still have another year in my age group so I’m hoping to reach the final next year.

 

 

Jermaine Graham

 

Jermaine Graham is a 14-year-old year 9 pupil at London’s Dunraven School and one of the country’s most promising young triple jumpers.

 

Friday

 

I wake at 6pm and pack my stuff for the Lambeth Schools Competition. But when I arrive at school for 8 I get sent home because we have to be in school uniform and I am not. At Tooting Bec Track, I have the long jump first and manage 5.81m and my third was 5.54m. I go on to win the 100m but we come second in the relay due to a bad change over.

 

Saturday

I wake up at 8am and go for football training in Crystal Palace from 10-12pm. Home for pasta, sleep, TV and revision before packing my bag for my athletic competition with my club Herne Hill Harriers tomorrow.

 

Sunday

 

I wake up at 7am, get to Toothing Bec Track for 9am, then a double decker coach to Lee Valley track in Tottenham for 10am where I am in the relay, 100m, 200m and shot put. I come fourth in the shot put, joint second in the 100m but win the 200m. We also win the relays so overall it’s a really successful day for me and my club.

 

Monday

 

Bank holiday so I sleep. Listen to music and to the cinema with friends. An enjoyable afternoon.

 

Tuesday

 

Training after school with drills included high knees, lunges, straight legs and some heel flicks. Then off to the sand pit with more drills to improve my strength such as bunny hops, left and right leg hops and strides. This is all done twice then I work on my technique for triple jump and long jump.

 

Wednesday

 

Rest day today

 

Thursday

 

Normal school day then get ready for training at 6.30pm. I work on the blocks tonight and practise my 200m and 100m sprints. I then conclude with different distances such as 2x 100ms, 2x 150ms and one 200m sprint in one training session.

 

 

Charlotte Gale

 

Charlotte Gale is a pupil at Trent College, Nottingham, and a keen netballer and hockey player.

 

Sunday

 

Derbyshire county hockey today, so no lie in. I have to leave at 7.45am for Birmingham, where we play two matches and lose against Birmingham but beat Warwickshire. I get home at 3pm in time for exam revision.

 

Monday

 

Four exams today. We should have a practice for the national schools netball finals this Saturday but exams must come first. Get home at 6pm and do some last minute revision for tomorrow’s exams.

 

Tuesday

 

Exams all morning, then netball training in the afternoon. We are supposed to have a netball match today, but it is postponed for exams. At least we have training instead of exams though. Later I play tennis with friends for two hours. Get home at 6.30pm for more revision. No rest for the wicked!

 

Wednesday

 

More exams. Have to have an extra piano lesson for my exam in a couple of weeks too. Should have hockey training tonight but I just don’t have time. Last night of revision! Fish for tea and quite a late night.

 

Thursday

 

Last day of exams. Now I can just focus on the netball. Play more tennis with my friends this afternoon as I have no more work to do. Go to hockey training in the evening and pack for tomorrow night.

 

Friday

 

Field day at school today but the netball team aren’t going as we are travelling down to Essex in preparation for nationals tomorrow. The rest of the team get a lie in but some of us still have to come in early to help prepare for the trip. Three of us spend the morning pumping netballs up but pump one too far and it explodes. After lunch we have a five-hour bus journey to Essex, where we stay in a nice hotel. We have a healthy tea consisting mainly of pasta and watch television before having an early night.

 

Saturday

 

Netball national finals day. Up at 6.15am and have a huge buffet breakfast. Arrive at the tournament along with 17 other teams in our age group. The weather is awful, raining and very cold but we manage to win two games in our group of nine. We come eighth in our pool, which is not as good as we could have done. The competition was very strong and we learn heaps of lessons to take forward. Parents have brought us loads of food and cakes. Exhausted from this week, I sleep the whole way home. More county hockey tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Joe Kidd

 

Joe Kidd is a year 8 pupil at Southend High School for Boys, who took part n the ESAA National Schools Cross Country Finals.

 

Monday

 

I kick the week off with rugby training before school at 7.30am. I enjoy rugby but I could do with being a few inches taller and broader. After school I head off to Basildon Athletics Club with my two sisters Laura and Emily. After we warm up, my coach gets me to do interval training which involves running four times 1km around the track with just three minutes break between each run. It’s very tough but we know it will help us perform better. We all have a delicious milky hot chocolate on the way home which is even better.

 

Tuesday

 

It’s the national schools cross country finals this weekend so we practise cross country at 7.30am at school. We practise running three laps around our school course which is 3.3km. All our practice runs are timed so we can measure our progress and we keep a top 150 board for each year.

 

Wednesday

 

Hockey training kicks off the day at 7.30am. No matches this week but we have to keep training. At lunchtime it’s basketball and I finish off the day with badminton. After dinner it’s off to Basildon again. This time it’s hill training. My target tonight is to run 16 times up and down Church Hill. This will help us with cross country as often a lot of places can be made up going up the hilly parts of courses.

 

Thursday

 

We arrive at school at 7:30 for cross country. But today it’s just to get our spikes checked. It’s important if the team is to do well that we all have the proper footwear for the big race on Saturday. At lunchtime we have the traditional table tennis tournament for each of the teams that are going to be sent to the national final. I do much better than last year and I win just enough games to be joint champion. The evening is spent frantically making sure I have everything packed and ready.

 

Friday

 

I give basketball a miss this morning on the advice of my dad. At midday we board the bus. We are being sent to Coventry. At least that’s where we are staying on the eve of the big race. Everybody is excited but a little nervous as well. Southend High School has three teams going, our junior team and intermediate age teams for both boys and girls.

 

Saturday

 

The day of the final at Princethorpe College in Rugby. It is a fantastic venue and we are lucky with the weather today. We walk the course. It’s tough with a very long steep hill. At least the hill training should help me. As captain of the team I rally the team and make sure they know this will be the toughest race that they have ever faced, as the competition will be from the strongest 24 schools in the whole country who have all done well to get here. We run well. I lead the team home in 15th place. The team gets fifth place overall with 111 points, which is very pleasing and reflects the hard work our PE teachers put in.  Our girls school team comes away with first place and our inter boys with fourth so there is much to celebrate on the coach home.

 

Sunday

 

Back to normal. We have a 10 o’clock kick off today. I still play for my local football team Catholic United FC, which my dad manages. In a very eventful game we just narrowly lose by 9-7. My friend James, who is also in the cross country team, scores a hat-trick. The rest of the day is spent chilling out with a well-deserved rest and getting myself fit and ready for next week.

 

 

Alice Read

 

Alice Read is a 14-year-old pupil at London’s Godolphin & Latymer School, who swims at national level.

 

Monday

 

I love swimming but, without it, I would probably be sitting on the sofa eating ice cream and crisps. This is the only day I don’t swim so I’m having a lie in. On Mondays I am just a regular schoolgirl.

 

Tuesday

 

I get up at 5.30 and am often asked ‘how do you manage to get up that early’. I guess I am just used to it.’ Tuesday is land training and probably my favourite session because we can talk during exercises. After school I swim from 5.30-7:30pm, get the tube home, eat dinner, do homework and am in bed for about 10.

 

Wednesday

 

No swimming in the morning. Tonight I swim with my friend Bella with the Crystal Palace Beacon Programme for two hours until 8.30pm. I swim all strokes but butterfly is my favourite.

 

Thursday

 

I swim in the morning from 6-7.30am and have another two hour session at night. School is really good to me because they often give me private study time instead of a PE lesson so I can catch up on my homework.

 

Friday

 

I get to school and people say ‘you smell like chlorine.’ Well of course I do. I have been swimming for almost two hours before you have even woken up. Swimming is a big part of my life but the school help me a lot with my fitness through PE lessons, food nutrition and food technology.

 

Saturday

 

I spend the first few hours of daylight at Crystal Palace from 6-8am. This is a very hard session because it is for all the national swimmers in London. I try to finish my homework in the morning so I can do what I want in the afternoon.

 

Sunday

 

I watch what I like on TV and do what I like during the day. Swimming is from 6-8pm unless I have an overnight meet.

 

 

Emma Jarvis

 

Emma Jarvis, 14, is a pupil at Southend High School for Girls and a talented athlete.

 

Monday

 

I’m in Belgium on a history trip and we look around some trenches today and see where the Battle of the Somme took place. It’s a big week from an athletics point of view as I am representing my school at the national schools finals on Saturday. I have a good sleep on the coach and a healthy dinner and arrive home at midnight.

 

Tuesday

 

There is no training today but I practise my field event for 20 minutes. I also continually refill my water bottle as it is a hot day and I don’t want to get dehydrated. In the evening I have training at Southend Athletics club. I do 10 x 300m to improve my stamina for the race day. A quick shower then in bed by 9pm.

 

Wednesday

 

Cereal, toast and yoghurt for breakfast and a large glass of water. No training as we need to ensure we are rested for the big day on Saturday (rest is an important part of a balanced training programme). I am really excited and want the day to come as quickly as possible. We have a team meeting at school and are given our vests that we are to run in ready for race day.

 

Thursday

 

After school I pack my bag with all the essentials I need for Saturday, especially my spikes. I do my homework and have pasta for dinner to carb load for energy. I try to get an early night and stretch before I go to bed so my muscles don’t get tight.

 

Friday

 

The team travel to Oxford. Everyone is really excited as we are going to stay in a hotel. After a swim we have dinner with pasta and plenty of water to drink. I am exhausted from the journey and asleep at 8.30pm.

 

Saturday

 

My alarm goes off early at 7am. I have a shower then beans, sausage, toast and a fruit salad for breakfast. At the track, the atmosphere is really good and there are lots of schools there already. As my race is late in the day I try to conserve energy and eat and drink at regular intervals. Before I know it I’m on the start line ready to run the 800m. It’s a good race even though the back straight is really windy. I run 2m26.8s although my personal best if 2m22s. I also throw the shot putt 7m 33cm. Our team do not do quite as well as we hope but we work well as a team and keep our spirits high. The junior U13 girls do excellently and win the national competition for their age group. The weeks of progressive training and continual support from our amazing PE teachers Mrs Simpson, Mrs Quinn and Mrs Garard pay off and we are very grateful for the hours and effort they put in for us. We could never have done it without them.

 

Sunday

 

The nationals are over now which is really sad. However we have only another year until it comes back round again. It’s my birthday today so I am just going to relax after all the training and work. I feel exhausted but have a tennis match in the afternoon. I am now looking forward to the cross country season and still have some personal targets to try to attain while running for my club over the rest of the season.

 

 

Jazz Brown

 

Jazz Brown, 15, is a pupil at Ernest Bevin College in Tooting, south west London, and a member of the England cadet (U16) volleyball team.

 

Monday

 

The last few weeks have been a bit manic with nationals, matches and training but we have a match tonight against a men’s team. Lunchtime session is good today, really fun. The match is really good too as we win two sets to one.

 

Tuesday

 

At lunchtime we have a 45 minute muscular endurance session. One thing people don’t know about volleyball is the fact that there is a lot of muscular endurance training such as press ups, squat holds etc. I finish school at 3.30pm but have to coach the younger volleyball squad with another one of my team mates Gervaise. Then it’s my own session with the team. Today’s session is all about rotation which is always fun (not).

 

Wednesday

 

It’s an early start with a pre-school session from 8-8.45am. It’s always hard getting up early (6am) to make it on time. This morning session focuses on basic defence training and tactics play. The after school session is more tactics and defence training in preparation for the nationals and a school volleyball trip to Italy.

 

Thursday

 

The lunchtime session isn’t good mentally and I find it hard but I try. After school training is much better. Darius Setsoafia (a volleyball coach and a member of the England senior volleyball team) takes the session. There is a lot of diving practice and defensive timing which is fun. I get a short break after training and then I have to score a league one men’s match which starts at 8pm and doesn’t finish until 10pm but I do get paid for it. Another 13 hour day at school.

 

Friday

 

We used not to do much training on Fridays so it was a good chance to take a break. However today there’s an hour of training with the year 9s and 10s but it is fun.

 

Saturday

 

I’m in school for a two hour session mainly hitting and combination play, followed by two and half hours of fitness training with a lot of running, press ups etc. After that it is time to relax.

 

Sunday

 

We haven’t had a volleyball match for a couple of weeks so it is time to look forward to another week of volleyball. We leave for Italy on Wednesday and we have a match tomorrow after school so there will be plenty more volleyball to come.

 

 

Austin Lipman

 

Austin Lipman combines studying at Brentwood School in Essex with playing for Arsenal and England U16 football teams.

 

Monday

 

A really busy day which includes basketball first period then football training in the evening. I eat as much as I can for lunch so that I can stock up my energy for the night ahead. I train for two hours with Arsenal and get home at about 9pm. A bowl of cereal and quite a lot of homework then sleep at 10.15pm.

 

Tuesday

 

I woke up at 6:30 feeling really tired. I have rugby second period and also football training straight after school and get home at 6.30pm which is quite early for me. Homework then dinner then bed at 10pm

 

Wednesday

 

A big breakfast with a bowl of cereal, two bananas and a glass of orange juice as I am playing rugby at 9am this morning. Lunch is pasta and fruit so I have the energy for football training for two hours without getting tired. It’s a very high standard and I don’t want to fall behind.

 

Thursday

 

Today we have an Independent School’s Football Association Rensburg Sheppard Cup tie. We won the cup last year as U15s and now we’re trying to the title at U18 level. We win 5-3 away at Colfe’s School in south east London. I score a hat- trick and am really pleased with my performance. I get home at 7.45pm, get my homework done and go to bed aching, tired but happy.

 

Friday

 

I need a rest today and there is no sport. Just Combined Cadet Force (CCF) which is just as tiring as we walk around all day in heavy boots. Next week I’m playing for England U16s in the Victory Shield. It’s very exciting.

 

Saturday

 

A very big day in the calendar for anybody who plays for Arsenal as we are playing against Chelsea at home. I wake at 8.15, have a big breakfast then leave for the match which kicks off at 11am. We beat them 4-2 after a hard fought match and deservedly come out on top. I don’t score but am pleased with the result and my performance.

 

Sunday

 

A nice lay in unto 10am. It’s the one day I can recharge my batteries. Let’s hope mum and dad don’t want to go shopping. I’m looking forward to next week and doing it all again.

 

 

Jennifer Wheal

 

Jennifer Wheal, 17, a promising netball player, is currently studying for a BTEC National Diploma in Sport at Canterbury College

 

Monday

 

Decide to walk briskly to my netball training for Canterbury Academy. Session consists of two hours of warm up exercises, netball training drills, twenty minutes technical skills and practice games. Learn a new drill that will help movement and reaction which involves rapid side steps on alternate sides. Another drill I learn is practising shooting – stepping forward and backward on one foot leaving the other one up then shooting. This will help me to gain better success with my shooting.

 

Tuesday

 

Take part in sporting activities at college. Today is basketball. Two pupils do their coaching session so I take part in numerous drills and basketball games. Training methods prior to the game include sprinting drills and a passing game where we are put into a grid and pass the ball to each other without moving using different passes – low to high, high to low and one handed.

 

Wednesday

 

As a team member of Canterbury College, I play in a one day netball tournament held at North West Kent College (Dartford). I play goal attack, a position I have enjoyed since the age of seven. We play right matches, each lasting eight minutes long. The team comes third overall. I am very satisfied with today’s play as we come up against some good teams.

 

Thursday

 

Get asked to play netball for a team in the Thanet and District League in Margate. Am put in as wing attack. Feel I play well and am the key feeder to the two shooters. Feel happy with my agility, speed and balance. Settle in quickly with the other team members which helps the game run smoothly. No win but give the opposing team a challenging match.

 

Friday

 

Prior to my shift as a lifeguard at local swimming pool, I decide to take a 30-40 minute swim. Want to develop high endurance resistance so try to push myself to swim non-stop at a fast speed. Find that swimming relaxes my mind as well as maintaining my overall fitness. Will try next time to beat my time for a faster length.

 

Saturday

 

Attend my weekly dance aerobics at my local gym. Am getting better with my coordination and not so out of breath. Really enjoy this fun exercise routine. Beginning to feel the benefits of strengthening the body and toning body muscle. Find it’s a great stress buster and that the time flies by with the rhythmic beats of the music.

 

Sunday

 

Play in a competitive netball match in the Canterbury District League in the morning. Arrive early enough to practise shooting skills prior to warm up exercises with the team. Begin match in a positive frame of mind. Tough opposition but manage to be one goal up at half time. Drop a few goals in the second half. Overall happy with today’s play. Feel the team passed well and kept up the momentum to the end.

 

 

PUPIL DIARY

 

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