The MSSP Inclusive Multi Sports Festival took place on Friday 1st November 2019 at the superb facilities of the AELTC Community Courts, Raynes Park with 34 teams from 27 schools in Merton borough. In 2018 we had 25 schools take part, so it is wonderful to see more teams able to come along. We had so many schools interested that we continued with the format of splitting 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 10 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, Slalom Skills, Seated Volleyball, Kurling Spin, Target Golf, Bean Bag Throw, Basket Ball, Flight Path, Ten Pin Topple and Tic Tac Toe Tennis.

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, in particular, Mark and Nick for supporting us by bringing the specialised sports equipment for the day’s events, plus medals and certificates for all! Panathlon were also happy to announce a new Multi-Sports Challenge event coming to our Merton schools in the Spring term. Panathlon will be in touch with those schools available to enter this and are willing to represent Merton at the regional finals should they progress.

The attitude of all the pupils taking part was wonderful. Everyone 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 teams at the festival were; Abbotsbury, Benedict, Cranmer, Cricket Green 2, Dundonald, Haslemere x 2, Hillcross, Links, Merton Abbey, Morden, Poplar x 3, St. John Fisher, St. Mary’s, St. Matthew’s, St. Teresa, St. Peter and Paul, St. Thomas of Canterbury, William Morris x 2, Wimbledon Chase and Wimbledon Park, Malmesbury, All Saints, Pelham, The Sherwood, Liberty, Bond, Gorringe Park, Joseph Hood.

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 Liberty (AM) and All Saints (PM) for being voted the REFSPECT award by their fellow schools for the 2019 festival. All the teams were presented with a participation certificate and a big, shiny ‘Panathlon’ medal for taking part - well done to all.

Special thanks go to the 10 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 at the AELTC Community Courts for going above and beyond to help us host and for facilitating a special atmosphere making the school pupils and staff feel so welcome.

We are looking forward to the 2020 festival already!

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