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Key Stage 3 Students leave staff more than a little emotional after great successes at Parallel Youth Games

On Wednesday 11th May, 39 students and 12 staff travelled to Crawley, to The K2 for the annual Parallel Youth Games.  It is one of the highlights of our year so everyone arrived at the event full of excitement to compete in a range of sports including boccia, new age Kurling, street football, cricket, golf, swimming and tennis.  A group of our students also represented Woodlands Meed in ‘Dance’ where they learnt and practised a dance routine with students from other schools which they would then perform to everyone during The Closing Ceremony.

We were treated to an inspiring speech before The Parallel Youth Games started from Olympian Montelle Douglas who is the only British athlete to have represented team GB at both the summer and winter Olympics in sprinting and bobsleigh respectively.  This inspiring speech set the tone for the whole day as students absolutely rose to the occasion; trying harder, running faster, throwing further, swimming quicker, and executing skills with greater accuracy and all the while with massive smiles on their faces!

There was success all round with medals won in the pool, in boccia, new age kurling and (for the first time in our history) on the tennis court!  Our golfers also did us proud, finishing a very respectable fifth and only a few points outside of a bronze medal position, and similar can be said of our cricket team who finished fourth.  Whilst there was initially heartbreak during the street football competition with us missing out on a bronze medal during a sudden death penalty shoot-out (an English team going out on penalties? I think we’ve been here before!), all five of our boys should be immensely proud of how they have played in a very tough and talented competition. 

Lastly, our dancers, who had spent the day learning and rehearsing a fantastic routine to Katy Perry’s ‘Roar!’, performed amazingly during the closing ceremony to a hall packed of competitors!  It really was a fitting end to an amazing day of competition.  Like I say, The Parallel Youth Games is one of the highlights of our academic year and for me personally is the event that I look forward to most.  It is a brilliantly inclusive day that completely epitomises what sport should be about.  Many never thought it possible that they would represent their school at such a big event, but every day our students continue to surprise us as they grow in to these increasingly confident, always inspiring young people that we have the pleasure of working with. 

It is days like today that remind me that I have the best job in the world!

Pen Gittins

Woodlands Meed HLTA PE Specialist