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SGS community unites for sports challenges


Old Stopfordians, pupils, staff members and figures from the sporting world set some entertaining and energetic tasks for the Physical Education and Sport department’s Sports Fitness Challenges.

The tasks, which covered a wide range of activities and skills, were devised to keep pupils active and healthy whilst they were learning at home.

Director of Sport Mr Danny Thomson set the first task – a running exercise – on 23 March.

He followed this up a few days later with a ladder work activity.

Sports Graduate Mr Michael Elstone then set pupils a couple of footballing challenges.

Old Stopfordian and Great Britain Hockey Women’s Elite Development Programme squad member Holly Hunt (OS 2015) was next up with a hockey challenge.

A netball challenge from Senior Netball Captain Beth was the next activity for pupils to get their teeth into.

Sports Graduate Mr Adam Longshaw’s challenge was all about correct squat techniques.

Old Stopfordian Rebecca Coales (OS 1994), a champion freediver having set five UK records swimming underwater on one breath – including 145m breaststroke and 189m with a monofin – then set a yoga challenge.

Head of Vernon House and Chemistry Teacher Miss Jessica Berry showed off her impressive skills with the hockey stick for the next task.

Ex-professional rugby player and current Coach Mr Chris Jones then set a task to help keep pupils healthy and active.

Former pupil Ed Francis (OS 2013), a professional footballer currently on the books of Wolverhampton Wanderers, set a keepy-uppy challenge.

Physical Education and Sport Teacher Mrs Katrina Wilkinson, Fourth Year Tom and Fifth Year Joseph set challenges on behalf of the Athletics team at SGS.

Old Stopfordian and star of TV’s SAS Who Dares Wins, Rick Stevens (OS 2003) recorded a video looking at strengthening your core and learning how to do a walking handstand.

English Premier League and FIFA referee Anthony Taylor set a task that simulated a referee’s training session.

Former pupil Dr Jess Piasecki (OS 2008), a Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at Nottingham Trent University and the third fastest female in British marathon history, then orchestrated a challenge asking pupils to do star jumps, squats and high knees exercises.

Mrs Laura Goddard, Head of Girls’ Games and Netball, set a netball handling task.

Old Stopfordian George Adams (OS 2010), who studied in American on a golf scholarship and currently works as an Air Traffic Controller, challenged pupils to a tricky keepy-uppy activity.

A five circuit session to improve strength and conditioning was the challenge set by Old Stopfordian, former hockey captain and Personal Trainer Jenna Mottershead.

First Year pupils then set up an exciting golfing challenge – with one of the best reactions to a success throughout the whole Sports Fitness Challenge series!

Old Stopfordian Rick Cotgreave (OS 1988) paid homage to the school’s foundation year with his challenge of doing 1,487 reps of a physical activity.

Pupils were also set a ‘5 in 5’ task where they were asked to try a new challenge each day for five consecutive days. Activities included juggling, sit ups and a Jo Wicks workout.

Video message of encouragement

To help pupils complete these exciting challenges, former Scottish rugby captain and legend Bryan Redpath sent a special video message to the SGS community.

Race to Tokyo

As well as the Sports Fitness Challenges, pupils took part in an Inter-Schools League and they were joined by their family members for the hotly contested ‘Race to Tokyo’ House Challenge.

After 12 weeks of competition – and over 22,600 miles covered – Vernon claimed top spot! Arden picked up second place, Warren ended up in third and Nicholson finished fourth.

It was fantastic to see the engagement across the whole SGS community with participants representing their Houses by either running, walking, cycling, swimming or rowing.

The challenge also inspired a number of pupils to take it to the next level and have their mileage go a good cause. One pupil clocked up 400 miles in June and raised a total of £900 for Alzheimer’s Research UK in memory of a family member.

Netball video

Amidst all of this excellent work, the SGS netball girls created a wonderful video of themselves taking part in drills and practicing their skills at home.

Junior pupils in action

Junior School pupils also stayed active and healthy at home by completing a raft of different exercises.