Eighteen junior schools from across Berkshire and beyond were invited to LVS Ascot on Thursday to share the independent all-ability school’s ethos of sporting inclusion, opportunity and fun at its Junior School Festival of Sport.
Twenty football teams and sixteen netball teams took over the extensive sports facilities at the independent all-ability school’s 25-acre site. Great Hollands, Jennett’s Park, Newbold and St Joseph’s in Newbury were amongst the teams taking part, and the LVS Ascot Festival of Sport’s reputation even drew competitors from schools in Surrey and Hampshire.
Mini-leagues were played out over four football pitches and four netball courts to determine who went through to the knockout cup, plate, vase and shield competitions which ensured all teams played at least four matches throughout the afternoon and gave teams the chance to vie for silverware at the end of the event regardless of their abilities.
The benefit of being an all-through school was demonstrated by LVS Ascot sixth-formers and year 11 students contributing to the event by refereeing matches and helping organise the day, which drew praise from Mark Bennett, Deputy Head at Sherborne House school in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire: “The Festival has been excellent, really well run and very smooth. It is good that there are knockout rounds for everyone even if you didn’t win your group – it means the sport is inclusive but also competitive too, and it is good for independent and state schools to play together like this. I also like all matches being co-ordinated at the same time and some of the LVS Ascot senior pupils refereeing as it gives them good experience too”.
Senior Master of Junior School Ed Dennis said: “It is fantastic to be able to host so many schools for an event of this scale. We are blessed to have some excellent sporting facilities and it is a privilege to share these with the local junior school community. Our junior school sporting ethos is about having fun, providing opportunities and being inclusive and it has been a pleasure to watch that played out alongside so many other school communities today”.
Binfield claimed the overall football glory, winning the Cup tournament for group winners, whilst Sandy Lane, LVS Ascot A and Wooden Hill B won the Plate, Vase and Shield respectively.
In the netball event, Marist A lifted the Cup whilst Wooden Hill, Holly Spring and Meadow Vale were the respective recipients of the Plate, Vase and Shield.