Twenty teams from Hammersmith & Fulham primary schools took part in one of the noisiest, most frantic sporting competitions – the borough’s dodgeball tournament.
Staged at Ark Burlington Danes Academy in White City, the fast-paced non-contact game pits two teams of six players against each other as they try to eliminate their opponents before they themselves are eliminated.
The teams taking part were drawn from Addison, Ark Swift, Greenside, John Betts, Melcombe, Miles Coverdale, Queen’s Manor, St John’s, St Paul’s, St Stephen’s and Wendell Park.
By the semi-final stage, the competition had been whittled down to Queen’s Manor, Melcombe, St John’s and St Paul’s, with St John’s Waltham Green primary triumphing in a hard-fought final against Queen’s Manor.
“It’s a high-energy, high-intensity team sport that focuses on the core skills of catching, throwing, movement and agility,” explained Calum Fairley, the borough’s school sports and games organiser.
“Whatever your level, dodgeball enhances your physical, psychological, social and personal well-being; it’s noisy, it’s loads of fun and absolutely anyone can play.”
From Calum’s perspective, dodgeball is a fun, quick and inclusive sport, giving an opportunity for activity to pupils who may not otherwise get a chance to compete.
“It wasn’t about the winning,” he added. “It’s really a fun, enjoyable and highly active experience for everyone who took part… and was just as breathless for those of us watching. By the end, there were a lot of smiling, tired, happy, satisfied children!”
He said that the dodgeball event – one of two staged at Ark Burlington Danes Academy – summed up the school games values of teamwork, determination, honesty, passion, self-belief and, above all, respect.
At the end, all the competing schools were invited to score their opponents on the values… and all ended up with high marks.
The winners of the ‘values valuation’ were the pupils of Melcombe primary’s second team, who were presented with fitness wristbands by Calum Fairley.
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