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On Sunday 19th November, 29 committed St James’ pupils and their faithful parents turned up on en-mass at Rossmore Leisure Centre in Poole. The year 3 and 4 girls, boys and mixed were in the first round which required them to be there at 7.45am!! Mr Brown, Miss Bowen and Mrs Finnigan were all extremely excited to be getting up at this time on a Sunday morning and made the obligatory visit to McDonalds on the way through! The year 3 and 4 girls demonstrating their skills were Izzy , Alina , Alexa , Neve and Bella. The girls were competing against 14 other school teams and so the competition was held in rounds with the top 5 going through to the final. When the results were announced, St James had made the top 5 and were ranked 4th. After a very tight and tense final, the girls were awarded the bronze medal for their fantastic efforts!

The mixed team were against 12 other schools entered in the competition and this was held across 2 rounds. The girls demonstrated a hard working attitude and welcomed Tom with open arms. For many of these children this was their very first experience of a competition and it is quite a daunting one at that! The audience was at capacity and with 29 other teams in this first round and the staff accompany them, it felt like there were a huge amount of people watching!! The team displayed their very best work during their round but unfortunately narrowly missed making it through to the final five.

Competing for the boys were Toby, Jonathon, Milton and. There was a last minute change with Tom moving to the mixed team to allow Taylor to join the boys. The sportsmanship shown during this change made the adults proud to be with the children. Taylor arrived with a significant attack of nerves and there were moments when we were not sure if he was going to be able to compete but after learning that one team would be disqualified if he didn’t compete he made the decision to give it a go. Tom very kindly and maturely moved to the mixed team to allow Taylor to join the boys. There were 3 teams in the boys’ competition so no need for heats. Coming 3rd were St Katharines’, St James took home the silver medal and were closely pipped to gold by Hampreston.

The competitors for the Year 5 and 6 competition arrived in good spirits and were ready to take on the challenge of the next round. The boys arrived ready for the challenge, with some of them having already taken part in other Sunday morning sports!! Well done in particular to Jack who arrived having played a match for The Poppies, covered in mud and needing to clean and up and change before being allowed in the gymnasium. There were not a large number of teams entered for the boys round so they went straight to the final competition. The boys displayed fantastic sportsmanship, watching their other team mates and congratulating them with high fives and pats on the back when they returned. When the results were in St James had placed 3rd and took home another bronze medal with Chickerell and Allenbourne coming 2nd and 1st respectively.

In the mixed competition, a total of 13 teams entered and Laras, Jasmine, Mia, Tyler and Hannah were ready to represent St James’. The competition was held in 2 heats before the final 5 were announced. The team put in a fantastic performance and showed dedication and hard work, narrowly missing out on placing in the top 5.

Representing the girls were Poppy, Amber, Jess, Lois and Verity. There were a phenomenal 21 teams entered into this round and it was broken down into 3 heats. After nearly 2 hours of competing the results were announced; coming 5th were Muscliff, 4th were Chickerell, 3rd was St James, 2nd was St Katharines’ and 1st were St Walburgas’. The girls willingly competed again and were eager to know the tiny details that they could tweak to do their very best in the final. The girls put in a sterling performance, pulling out their very best routines that Mrs Finnigan and I had ever seen and we were eager to know the final results. The girls did not disappoint, placing 3rd and taking home another bronze were the St James’ girls, 2nd was taking by St Walburga’s and 1st by Muscliff Primary.

We could not have been prouder of the achievements of all the children that attended. Not only those that were awarded medals but those who achieved personal triumphs; overcoming all consuming nerves and having the confidence to put themselves in front of such a large audience in an unfamiliar setting. This was a challenge not to be underestimated. The children showed perseverance, sportsmanship, bravery and a fantastic attitude and it was a true pleasure to be there to witness it. Well done St James’.

Miss Bowen, Mrs Finnigan and Mr Brown.


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