News Feature: Spectacular Sports Day
By Nasra and Noah
On Wednesday 8th September, we had the first of our two Sports Days this academic year. The atmosphere was incredible, and it was wonderful to watch everyone really embracing the spirit of the day and cheering on their houses with full vigour! As a belated edition of the annual occasion, we witnessed many amazing moments, not least Head Girl Nya in Year 13, whose birthday fell on the day itself, and her victory in the 1500m race. After the race, she said in her interview that she hadn’t run in a long time. Nya cheerfully added she was last at the start but saw people younger than her and didn’t want to be embarrassed on her birthday.
In the first edition of Bolingbroke Academy Sports day at the impressive Millennium Arena in Battersea Park for many years, Smyth finished ahead of the competition with some impressive performances in the lion’s share of the competitions, which saw House Captains Joseph Green and Frankie Martin humbly accept the Sports Day winner’s shield in their house’s inaugural victory at Speech Day.
The track events were held first, with races being held in descending order of length. It was wonderful standing at the start/finish line and watching people race – as echoed by drama teacher Miss Murphy: “It’s been fantastic – it's really nice to see the school back together, a real community vibe, cheering each other on.” Throughout, the runners showed a real drive to race, and some students even ran multiple events. In a few races, there were some incredibly close battles played out on track, a notable one being the 1500m Year 11 race where ultimately Santi came out victorious, with Jacob and Joseph coming a close 2nd and 3rd.
Of course, we must give our sincerest thanks to Kimberley Swim Clinics, a local company run by a Bolingbroke parent. Without their generosity, we would never have been able to enjoy our sports day in this wonderful venue!
And on the topic of the venue, it was wonderful talking with students, teachers and even a parent on the day with such a magnificent backdrop. Millennium Arena is a 400m running track in the heart of Battersea Park, with a stand to one side and an area for field events in the middle. The consensus when gauging people’s reactions was that there was a real community vibe, and a buzzing atmosphere amongst the sun-drenched participants and spectators. Zoe, in Year 11, commented on her hay fever, but summed up her day by giving this simple reply, “I am feeling fantastic!” This sentiment was echoed across the board, with many people also noting how it seemed like everyone was cheering each other on, especially from the main stand which provided overdue shade for pupils and staff alike.
It must be noted that since its creation in 2020, this was the first sports day Seacole house have ran, jumped and thrown in, and it truly was a sight to behold (not least when the occasional teacher completed a relay leg).
Some of the countless sports day heroes on the day included the equipment team and Miss Taylor (Geography teacher) - who escorted pupils to and from the site along with food supplies that kept the hungry Bolingbroke Sports Day machine running smoothly. Caroline Hanson, a parent organising the stall supervision and food for volunteers, told us: “there are a lot of logistics involved … the load is spread between lots of different people.”
Emily, another Year 11, commented on the sunny weather, saying, “It is boiling hot,” but followed it up with how fun the day was, and thoughtfully added, “I think in Year 11 it’s less about the houses and more about cheering your friends, because that’s who you care about.”
Despite a lack of respite from organising more than 800 sugar-fueled people, Ms Emosivwe - our Head of P.E - summed up the essence for the day as a whole: “If I say I was not stressed that would be an understatement but what has been absolutely amazing is the support of every single staff member and every single parent that has come in to run a stall and to watch... the buzz is here, we’ve got ice cream, we’ve got food, it is great.”