Leytonstone School, who do not boast so much as a blade of grass on their playground, have celebrated an unprecedented year of sporting success.
The school’s end of term sports awards evening celebrated a year which has seen school records tumble and a number of triumphs on a county and London-wide scale.
Commenting on Leytonstone’s memorable year, head of physical education Jamie Sains said: “The biggest point I want to make is that we don’t have so much as a blade of grass at the school. We’re competing against sports colleges, private schools, schools that have their own athletics tracks and so on.
“We’re doing the long jump on crash mates and the javelin into the wall. We’re doing the hurdles with two set up in one direction and two going the other way. For other schools, perhaps they can train their 800m runners properly; we haven’t even got 800m of space in the whole school.”
He continued: “As head of the departmant, my involvement has been minimal. I want to congratulate our staff, particularly those who aren’t even PE staff but have been a big part of our success.
“Sometimes, teachers, governers and parents don’t understand the value of sports within school. I try to re-enforce the message that sport is not just about sporting success, it’s about what they get out of it as personal development: discipline, respect, teamwork and so on.
“It’s no coincidence these will be our highest achievers academically by the time they leave the school,” Sains added.
The Year 7 boys’ football team were among those to see their achievements recognised after a season in which they won their league and reached the final of the Waltham Forest Cup, in doing so, becoming the first Leytonstone side to do so in ten years.
There was more success in Year 7, where the athletics team finished as runners-up at the borough’s championships.
For the girls, the Under-15’s volleyball team not only won the Waltham Forest volleyball tournament but went on to become London borough champions after beating off stiff competition from other boroughs.
In Year 10, the girls’ basketball team retained their title as Waltham Forest champions once more, beating Lammas Sporting College at the Copperbox Arena at the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park to secure the title.
Interim head teacher Bruce Roberts commented: “I am particularly proud that boys and girls and students from all different ethnic backgrounds partake in a whole variety of sports.
“They are superb representatives of our community and show more affluent and less diverse communities what our students are capable of achieving.
“I am pleased to get updates about our athletics and cricket teams taking on private schools and beating them on a regular basis,” the head teacher added.