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A Spectacular Festival of Sports

“The Special Olympics motto, ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,’ really speaks to me because it embodies exactly what I have pursued in my life. Really, that’s all any of us can hope for – a chance to be brave and to pursue a dream”. Hannah Teter

This year, DESC expanded the traditional Sports Day in a completely fresh and ambitious way. On Tuesday 29th and Wednesday, 30th January 2019, we embarked on the first ever DESC Sports Festival, an opportunity for students to compete in the traditional track and field events and also, for the first time in a whole school event, to explore the spirit of the Olympiad.

On Tuesday, students competed in Javelin, High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put and Discus. Angus McLay from Desert House promised to jump “Like a Gazelle” for his House, whilst other students bravely pursuing their dreams of javelin glory had to fight against the unseasonably strong gusts of Dubai wind blowing in their faces and sending javelins skittering.

The outline of the new Sports Festival Day on Wednesday included a range of team sports for the students in each House. The variety of sports offered something for everyone, with students presented with the opportunity to compete individually in Athletics or to work as part of a team, exploring the Olympic spirit with sports such as Volleyball, Touch Rugby, Water Polo, Handball and Football. A fitness challenge was also available and a shaded Rest and Recovery area for students to have a well-deserved break during the course of the day.

PE staff had an early start, ensuring the site was ready for all of the events, and students commenced the 1500m races at a cool 7.15 a.m. The team events provided students with the opportunity to participate together in the collective goal of representing their House. Teams were a mix of ability and expertise and the students enjoyed exploring a range of sports. For some, the challenge of taking on some new sports was enjoyable and brave attempts were made to quickly develop tactics in unfamiliar sports: to score tries, win penalties and volley shots. There was clearly a competitive element amongst students and a sense of entertainment in working with others to pursue their dream of House glory. Mr Roberts, Head of History, commented: “This day is a fantastic opportunity for students to engage in team spirit and tactics, there’s a clear sense of House camaraderie.”

Tutors were busy managing their teams of students, ensuring the squads worked effectively and substitutes were slotted in.  The DESC site was abuzz with activity across the pitches, around the newly appointed track and in the swimming pools. Mr Randall used his expertise as commentator on the athletics track, encouraging students to personal bests and school records. Students from Year 12 demonstrated their independence and leadership skills by supporting the Houses and PE staff by being “Games Makers” for the day, helping with timing, refereeing and scoring. This was a fantastically well organised day, which many students commented was “Just brilliant.” Special thanks to all of the PE Department and staff who refereed, supported and encouraged students. Congratulations to the winning House, Coast, with Earth coming second, Desert in third and Sky in fourth place.

Please watch the Vlog by clicking HERE.

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