The MSSP Inclusive Multi Sports Festival took place on Friday 2nd November 2018 at the Sports Hall facilities of the Harris Academy Morden High School with 30 teams from 25 schools in Merton borough. In 2017 we had 20 schools take part so it is wonderful to see more teams able to come along. We had so many schools interested that we had to split the sessions into two; a morning and an afternoon session, to enable all schools to enter.

‘The festival is an event designed to encourage participation in sport with the focus being on providing pupils with a fantastic opportunity to try a range of sports in a fun and enjoyable environment.’

There were 7 stations for pupils to take part in and each school team played against or alongside a different school throughout the areas. The stations consisted of Boccia Blast, Football Skills, Seated Volleyball, Kurling Spin, Target Golf, Bean Bag Throw and Basket Ball. Plus a rest break was added for the morning session with various personal challenges the pupils could try including speed bounce, standing long jump and balance beam.

Partnering the MSSP team for this event was the ‘Panathlon Challenge’ company – a team that provides inclusive sporting opportunities to over 13,000 young people each year! We would like to say a big thank you to them and James in particular for supporting us by bringing the specialised sports equipment for the day’s events.

The attitude of all the pupils taking part was wonderful. Each individual represented their school team with great joy and tried their best at each station. This energy filled the arena and gave the whole day a great feeling for all who attended.

The 30 teams from 25 Schools at the festival were; Abbotsbury, Benedict, Cranmer, Cricket Green, Dundonald, Garfield, Haslemere, Hillcross, Links, Lonesome, Merton Abbey, Morden, Perseid x 2, Poplar x 2, Singlegate, St. John Fisher, St. Mary, St. Matthew, St. Teresa, St. Peter and Paul, St. Thomas of Canterbury x 2, West Wimbledon x 2, William Morris x 2, Wimbledon Chase and Wimbledon Park.

To encourage participation at the inclusive festival we did not record any official results or placings, however, during the day, we strongly urged schools to use their nomination for the REFSPECT certificate – an award for the school or individual showing outstanding fair-play, encouragement and sportsmanship towards others. Congratulations to St. Matthew (AM) and Lonesome (PM) for being voted the REFSPECT award by their fellow schools for the 2018 festival. All the teams were presented with a participation certificate and a big, shiny ‘Panathlon’ medal for taking part - well done to all.

A special thanks goes to the sport leaders from Rutlish School who supervised and delivered the activities superbly throughout the festival and ensured the pupils had an incredibly enjoyable experience. Thanks also for all the support from the staff Harris Academy Morden for going above and beyond to help with a last minute venue change and for facilitating a special atmosphere making the school pupils and staff feel so welcome.

We are looking forward to the 2019 festival already!

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