While the return of sport in schools provided a lift for pupils and staff last term, inter-school fixtures and mixed year-group sports are still prohibited due to Covid restrictions. We spoke to the Sports Department about their plans for the return of fixtures in the Summer Term, when the restrictions are sufficiently lifted, as well as plans to give pupils the opportunity to play sports they might have missed out on over the first few months of 2021.

Over the past year, sports fixtures played between our rugby, hockey, netball, cricket and all other sports teams have had to be cancelled to curtail the spread of the virus. However, with the gradual easing of restrictions, it is hoped that in the Summer Term restrictions on competitive sports fixtures will be lifted and therefore sports fixtures between the College and other schools in the area can resume. And, as you would expect, the Sports Department here are fully organised and are planning on a full fixture list as soon as it is permitted.

Director of Sport, Nick Gandy, said: “It’s great to have the pupils back in school and playing sports. They need that sort of experience; it’s what being young is all about. They’ve pretty much got back into it. We’ve had Senior games and Junior games and have franchise tournaments planned every week.

“I think it’s very sensible that the government has chosen to allow pupils to play sports just as they would in school. We are taking every precaution, making sure everything is sanitised and not mixing year groups, so that provides an extra challenge but it’s positive.”

Mr Gandy is adamant that for the development of players at the College, competitive fixtures against other schools are crucial. He adds: “Hopefully by the summer, a lot of the restrictions will be lifted. We are really positive for next term, we want to play fixtures.

“There might be a chance for our rugby players to get some fixtures in the summer as there are some tournaments that may still go ahead.

“The only concern that we have is whether other schools will be as positive as we are. We have already had a few schools drop out of fixtures in the Summer Term, but we are going to stay positive and are planning to run a full schedule of fixtures until we hear otherwise.”

Mr Gandy says that over the last few weeks, the focus has been on reigniting pupils’ enjoyment of games and PE as much as possible, while giving pupils a chance to become active again. It is also the ambition of the Sports Department to ensure that pupils who have missed out on playing their sports over the past few months, like hockey and rugby players, will get a chance to play these traditionally winter sports in the Summer Term too.

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