27 Feb

The annual Horsham District Primary Schools Cross Country Championships were held recently at Christ's Hospital School near Horsham. Greenway School organised the event with support from students at the famous educational establishment. 24 local schools participated so with six boys and six girls each a total of 288 competitors were involved and giving their all across the expanse of CH's superb sports fields. Greenway's Chris Gunn commented, "Competitors created an excellent atmosphere and did their schools and parents proud."

On 22 February at Millais School a group of year nine sports leaders hosted a New Age Kurling Festival for primary school children to participate in. The turnout was amazing with a total of twenty teams from four schools: Arunside, Kingslea, North Holmes and Southwater. The schools arrived at 12:30 and enjoyed half an hour of playing games, run by the sports leaders, to get used to the game and improve their skills before the tournament got under way bringing out the competitive sides of the children. They played in group stages with two Northholmes teams, a Kingslea team and a Arunside team then progressing to the semi-finals. This was followed by a close final whereby Kingslea narrowly missed out on first place to Northholmes in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

Heron Way School is the first ever winner of of the Horsham District Primary Schools Dodgeball Competition emerging as top dogs out of a field of seven enthusiastic, skilled and well disciplined teams that competed in the sports hall at Farlington School yesterday. The Herons managed to achieve the feat of going unbeaten in their six matches played under a full round-robin system. They beat much fancied Southwater A early doors by four ends to nil, displaying powerful throwing skills, agile avoidance manoeuvres and clever tactical acumen to achieve their success. Southwater managed to gain a share of one end and fought gamely but they were always reacting to rather than dictating the play.

25 Feb

A progress report on the government’s Sporting Future strategy has been overshadowed by the omission of more than £300m in cuts to a programme for boosting pupil’s health. While sports minister Tracey Crouch told Parliament there had been “good progress on a number of fronts” since the plan was introduced, her latest report failed to detail changes to the Healthy Pupil Capital Programme.

Sport England is setting a series of ambitious targets to realise its vision of a more active nation for everyone. Their target is to get half a million more people active, with a focus on women and those in lower socio-economic groups. By 2020, they want to: (1) Increase the numbers of people in England who are regularly active by 500,000 nationally; (2) Increase the numbers of women who are regularly active by 250,000 nationally; (3) Increase the numbers of people from lower socio-economic groups who are more active by 100,000 (within targeted locations).

This latest release from the Office for National Statistics provides an analysis of the UK Time Use Survey. This looks at the amount of time children spend engaging with the outdoors and sports activities. A key finding is that children aged 8 to 15 years in the UK spent just over an hour (68 minutes) of their leisure time on average per day taking part in an outdoor activity, sports-related activity or travelling on foot or by bicycle.

Southwater A are the Horsham District Primary Schools Year 3 Open Football Cup winners after beating Greenway A 3-0 in the final on Friday at Horsham Park. Southwater blasted through their group and only near neighbours Castlewood were able to contain their power in a goalless draw. Castlewood narrowly missed out on top spot however because although they remained unbeaten they only drew against Leechpool in another goalless game. Castlewood's consolation was to beat Heron Way 1-0 in the third place play-off. On the other side of the draw in Group B Greenway came through with the key game being their 1-0 victory over Heron Way. Well done to all involved and thanks to the volunteer referees for their support of the event.

24 Feb

There’s just no stopping Shelley A in the top tier of the Horsham District Primary Schools Netball League. After another two wins on Wednesday at Collyer’s they stand on the precipice of glory, with only fourth placed Plaistow and Kirdford standing in their way in the final meeting to come in late March. It's been no cakewalk for the Shells though since their promotion at Christmas and the latest of their matches saw them pushed hard by St Andrew’s Nuthurst and Southwater A, a scoreline of 5-2 resulting in both. Tyler Muttick and Eleanor Smith were both resolute in the Shelley defence whilst time and again the versatile Charla Flint provided moments of attacking inspiration whether it be from a centre or goal shooter position.

St Peter's Henfield have retained their champion status in the Horsham District Primary Schools Basketball League. On a final meeting at Collyer's Sixth Form that was interrupted by a 10-minute fire evacuation of the hall St Peter's was a team that showed no sense of panic despite the pressure brought to bear by some highly motivated and skilled opponents in Division A. They took everything in their stride to maintain their unbeaten record not just for the third night but throughout the process.

The final chapter of this season’s Horsham District Primary Schools Indoor Athletics Competition season was provided by the year 5+6 event at Forest School last week. In an excellently contested day it was Leechpool’s team that pipped Northolmes by just six points to become the winners, a hair’s breadth considering that a total of 703 points were scored in total across all the disciplines involved.

Southwater B enjoyed a good night at the third meeting of the Horsham District Primary Schools Table Tennis League Division B. They started the evening in second spot but by the end of it sat top with the previous leaders, Kingslea B, sinking down to third. Yes, a really tight and interesting competition is emerging this season in the second TT tier. Southwater B’s first stop in the latest meeting was indeed the Kingslea B team that lay above them. Julian Lansbergen was in great form taking out the dangerous pair of Connor Swain and Josh McDonough. Sam Abrehart also provided vital support with another couple of wins including the 21-20 nailbiter with Zach Robinson. 34-20 to the Southies, a vital win. The only consolation to Kingslea B was that they picked up consolation points from four close matches.

Next Friday (2nd March, 4-6pm) brings the Year 5+6 Girls Football Cup to Horsham Park. Seven schools, entering a total of 11 teams between them, have thrown their hat into the ring and it promises to be an occasion with lots of fun and endeavor. Teams have been split into two groups, one of five and another of six. Place finished in the group will dictate what level of play-off each team contests in the last round. May the best team win!

20 Feb

Time on the curriculum for Physical Education is being squeezed, new research from the Youth Sport Trust shows. The findings suggest that 38% of English secondary schools have cut timetabled Physical Education for 14-16-year-olds since 2012 while almost one in four (24%) have done so in the last academic year.

Tapping the Potential is the latest publication from the Richmond Group’s Doing the Right Thing programme - an approach to building meaningful collaboration between the voluntary sector and public bodies.  Tapping the Potential captures learning from the initial stages of the Richmond Group’s collaborative work in Somerset. This includes success factors for collaboration, consideration of collaboration challenges, and reflections for local and national decision-makers beyond Somerset.

Southwater Junior Academy's superpower status in local primary schools athletics was reinforced today at the Collyer's year 5+6 indoor athletics competition where they headed off the challenge of four other schools to win through. They finished with 351 points, 25 ahead of second-placed Heron Way. Collyer's sports leaders officiated the event again under the direction of coach Dave Ingram and yet another smooth event proceeded as a result.

16 Feb

Those community innovators at the Horsham and Shipley Community Project have been busy recently. Football, walking football, petanque, conservation, Men in Sheds, facility improvements, constitutional development are just some of the things they've been up to which have been summarised in their first newsletter. What an example of people coming together and achieving things for the benefit of health, connecting with others and having fun. Keep up the great work.

13 Feb

Dodgeball is the latest sport to get the competitive treatment in the HDSD primary schools sport calendar, responding to a request from one local primary school desperate to let its dodgeballers loose on the wider world. In total seven teams from four schools will be attending the inaugural event running at Farlington School on Monday 26th February, 12-2pm. Local dodgeball maestro Louis Power will be lead official and three courts will be used. May the best team win.

12 Feb

As part of their 'Beyond 30%' campaign for gender equality in the workplace, Women in Sport are for the first time, asking men and women working in sport from field to board level to fill in their Workforce Culture Survey. The survey is open to everyone who works in the sport, physical activity and leisure sectors and is completely anonymous.

The third and final basketball meeting of this year's primary schools league takes place at Collyer's on Thursday 22nd February, 4.30-6.30pm. Teams have been split up into two divisions, A and B, based on their placing from the full round-robin over the first two meetings. An extra team, Shelley C, join the Division B fray. It's going to be frenetic, interesting and a lot of fun. May the best teams win.

10 Feb

Another brilliant meeting of the Horsham District Primary Schools Basketball League took place last week, with Collyer’s Sixth Form being the host venue for the second instalment of three. The 10 team round-robin was completed in order to inform a two division structure for the final meeting running at the Horsham college again in two weeks’ time.

North Heath's year 3+4 athletics team will be the toast of their school after winning last week's indoor athletics event run at Forest School in Horsham. They went up against three other schools - Leechpool, Northolmes and Kingslea - in a smashing exhibition of throwing, jumping and running events overseen by a well drilled and mature crew of year 7-9 boys from the host school, with experienced athletics coach Dave Ingram making sure the event jigsaw stayed whole throughout.

All Saints (Horsham) A and St Andrew's (Nuthurst) B fought out a ding dong match at Collyer's this week in the first Phase 2 meeting of Division B of the primary schools netball league. It finished 4-4 and leaves both of them on eight points as the leading two in a division reduced in size by the unfortunate drop-out of two Billingshurst teams. St Andrew's coach Michelle Jones was impressed by the performance of her charges, "We showed great movement around the circle and the shooting of Holly Jones and Sammy Shepherd was exemplary. Tomas Hutchinson and Katie Kenny made some great interceptions too."

The battle for glory in the Horsham District Primary Schools Table Tennis League Division B is hottingup nicelyafter the latest round of matches at Collyer’s. It’s not very often you see two B teams contesting for the top honour but this appears to be one of those occasions, with Kingslea and Southwater B teams bucking their second string status. However whilst the good news for them is being in front the bad news is that their front sides appear to be waking up after their first night slumber. Kingslea A posted a maximum to narrow the gap and Southwater A also got into gear by adding 74 points to their account. Yes it’s getting interesting.

6 Feb

The latest release from the Office for National Statistics provides an analysis of the UK Time Use Survey. This looks at the amount of time children spend engaging with the outdoors and sports activities.

On the weekend of Friday 26th January and Saturday 27th January 2018, over 250 members and non-members attended the annual Bluecoat Sports’ Open Day, which the club reports as a huge success. The team hosted a range of popular activities for attendees, some of whom were visiting for the first time, all of which were available to pre-book. The busy weekend included a wide range of fitness choices, including Power Yoga, GRIT Cardio, Kettlebells, Body Combat and Body Balance. Throughout this year’s open day, there were new classes in the line-up that were a welcome addition to get the whole family involved. These sessions included Junior Fit Club, Junior Circuits and Junior Squash, as well as Boxercise.

5 Feb

The FA have announced a series of new initiatives and investments which will have a significant impact, both on the FA itself, and for all of English football.

Local authority leaders have urged the Government to expand its sports funding in order to help tackle the child obesity problem. According to the national health body Public Health England, almost a quarter of reception children in England are overweight or obese, leading to potential health problems in later life. One way to help improve the health of children – and the long-term sustainability of the health and care sector – is outdoor play and exercise.

The Swan Walk Ping Pong Parlour has been busy engaging passers-by in table tennis fun. The two tables in the unit opposite Marks and Spencers have attracted plenty of people of all ages and fitness levels. Bats and balls are freely available in there so no need to plan ahead to have a game. Horsham Table Tennis Club and Horsham District Sports Development coaches have been engaged by the centre to run some lightly structured and supervised coaching sessions over the next two weeks in order to provide a few tips from those interested to receive them and perhaps talent spot! No need to book, just drop-in at any time.

3 Feb

Hot on the heels of Division A finishing last week Division B of the Horsham District Primary Schools Table Tennis League got out of the starting blocks on Friday at Collyer’s Sixth Form College in Horsham. Kingslea B reacted best to the starter’s gun and after the first two fixtures have established themselves as early favourites, hoping to follow in the footsteps of their A team last year which cruised to the title.

Shelley and St Andrew’s, Nuthurst have emerged as favourites for the Division A title in the Horsham District Primary School Netball League after an exciting first meeting to the division’s second phase. Newly promoted Shelley A made a powerful entrance to the top flight, thrashing Greenway 20-1 and then seeing off perennial top tier side Holbrook 7-3. Two big wins put them in top position courtesy of superior goal difference over St Andrew’s A who yet again are set to belie their small village school status in contesting for glory against many much larger schools. They also beat Holbrook but by 3-1 in a much tighter game. Plaistow and Kirdford A were their other victims on the first night 6-3.

More than 30,960 boccia balls have been thrown and 200 seated volleyball games taken place in a bid to get primary school children across the UK thinking about how they can be more inclusive at school. There are around 770,000 children in the UK living with disabilities - equal to around one in 20 children. National children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust and Allianz Insurance are celebrating a successful partnership which brought together 2,580 young people with and without Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND).

Sporting Future set out a new government vision to redefine what success looks like in sport by concentrating on five key outcomes - physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development. The second annual report on the strategy sets out the progress that has been made in the past year, and focuses on ten key themes and areas of progress.

Taking part in sport protects children who are abused or neglected from developing mental health problems in later life, according to a major public health study. People who had adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) but regularly played sports as children were less likely to have a mental illness as an adult, the study found. People who had traumatic childhoods were also more likely to be mentally healthy if they took part in sport as adults.