In celebration of London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games, Dean Close turned itself into a ‘try-out Olympic sport' zone for the day. Year 9 pupils had the opportunity to attend workshops set up around School which provided introductory sessions to some of the sports that form the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Pupils got the chance to try out archery, judo, fencing, synchronised swimming, mini water polo, wheelchair basketball and boccia, a bowling game played in the Paralympics. Not only did this provide a fun day for the participants; it also gave them a chance to have a go at a sport they would never usually come across and a number have already shown an interest in continuing with one or more of the sports.
The day finished with a very competitively fought mini hockey festival involving seven 6-a-side teams consisting of staff, parents and pupils and afterwards, players and supporters enjoyed pitch-side drinks and barbeque.
Dean Close is running a mixed and varied programme of teaching and activity that embraces the values and sporting breadth of the Games and there is more to look forward to. Two Olympians, sprinter Jason Gardiner and pentathlete Greg Whyte, will speak at the Preparatory and Senior School speech days; there will be the planting of an Olympic Tree; a 2012km challenge has pupils and staff clocking up the kilometres towards a significant total; and there will be a free showing of the classic film Chariots of Fire followed by a quad race round around the School in the style of the film.
Headmaster, Jonathan Lancashire, said: “The whole Olympic try-out day was a total success; everyone really embraced the opportunity of such an unusual day of sport and had a super time. The wheelchair basketball was the biggest hit, which was arranged alongside the National Star College, and we are extremely grateful to them. Our full Olympic programme, which is colourfully promoted all around the School through posters, totalisers and displays, has created a real buzz and interest in the Games. The fact that it is an ongoing series of activities, from sports days, to film shows, to Chapel services embracing the Olympic values means that Dean Close has really thrown itself into the Olympic spirit of the Games coming to Great Britain.”
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