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Ballard School put through their paces in virtual Olympics

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A Ballard School pupil takes part in the virtual lockdown Olympics.
A Ballard School pupil takes part in the virtual lockdown Olympics.

THE Tokyo Olympics may have been pushed back to next year, but the community at Ballard School has not let lockdown hold them back after they came together to enjoy athletic and sporting endeavours with their own virtual Olympic games.

From the youngest pupils in reception to the teenagers at the top of the school, along with parents and teachers too, the whole Ballard community has been putting their athletic prowess to the test in the Virtual Lockdown Games 2020.

Pupils and their families at the independent school in New Milton were invited to join in at home, competing across 12 different challenges to be completed any time between 8th-21st June. The games were set by the school’s teachers to test endurance, accuracy, balance, coordination and skill, at home with minimal equipment required.

The events included running, push-ups, bottle flipping, kick-ups, toilet-roll catching and other activities which were all aimed at keeping pupils active and having fun.

Short instructional video clips were created to explain the setup and scoring system, and some of the challenges were categorised into either ‘challenger’ or ‘legendary’ to allow everyone to take part at a level they felt comfortable with.

Participants could try as many of the challenges as they wanted as they tried to achieve their highest score. Pupils’ scores were submitted to win points for their house, winning more according to the number of activities attempted and the points gained.

More than 400 entries were received across the 12 events over the two weeks of the games, with many families recording their efforts and sending in videos and photos to be shared with the school community.

Ballard headmaster Andrew McCleave said: “It has been wonderful to see the energy and enthusiasm with which the pupils have thrown themselves into the Virtual Lockdown Games – not to mention their parents and teachers too!

“I commend the sports department for finding such a fun way to support the children to stay active and healthy at home, and to bring the community together as well.”

Ballard’s director of sports Justin Whitbread said: “At Ballard Sport, we are delighted to offer such a wide range of 'Sport for All' inclusive opportunities with dedicated, qualified staff and outstanding facilities. Pupils can attend breakfast clubs, receive outstanding PE lessons, fixtures for all levels of ability and also after-school activities.

“It all goes together to create an environment where sport and competition can be enjoyed by everyone.”

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