Pupils and staff at New Rush Hall School were invited to take part in a table tennis tournament that was inspired by the Special Olympics GB. The Special Olympics promotes competition and participation for people with an intellectual disabilities. Several pupils and staff who had never played table tennis before entered the competition.
Participation levels were so high that we decided to celebrate the pupil and staff finals by putting on an event at the end of term.
We were incredibly fortunate to have had Laura Davies and Lily Mills attend our final. Laura is the head of projects and events at the Special Olympics GB and Lily is a two-time Olympic gold medal-winning athlete.
Lily participated in the 2019 special Olympic games in Abu Dhabi and gave a talk to pupils about her journey. Lily attended a special school in Hackney and spoke about how she was able to fulfil some of her passions and dreams.
Our pupil final was an incredibly close match, with the match being won by a single point. Both pupils represented themselves and the school well, shaking hands before and after the match. Sportsmanship in the staff final was not so well modelled. Fortunately, our pupil finalists have volunteered to provide lessons to the English department.
The whole day was a celebration of competition and participation, so all pupils who entered the tournament received participation medals and everyone was awarded prizes on the day.
Pupils and staff will continue to be offered opportunities to try new things so that one day they can realise their passions and dreams.