Priory School in Portsmouth takes over Southsea Common for sports day

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BREAKING away from traditional events has made a Portsmouth school’s sport day the ‘jewel in its crown’.

Priory School in Southsea held its annual sports day on Southsea Common today, which saw 1,000 students from years seven to 10 representing their house in a number of competitions.

Billy Carr, left, and Zaki Sherif during dodge ball.'Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-1105)

Billy Carr, left, and Zaki Sherif during dodge ball.'Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-1105)

But Priory School has ditched events like the long jump, javelin or 100m sprint in favour of more inclusive team events, making the day something that appeals to everyone, regardless of their sporting ability.

Instead, students could be seen taking on football, basketball and even extreme frisbee, all of which were still played to a competitive level.

For some students, such as Year 9 pupil Daisy Reed, this has come as a breath of fresh air compared to sports days of the past.

She said: ‘I only started at Priory School this year, after transferring from a different school.

From left, Sydney Raeside, Jasper Cox and Ahmed Fadlalla during ultimate frisbee. Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-1113)

From left, Sydney Raeside, Jasper Cox and Ahmed Fadlalla during ultimate frisbee. Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-1113)

‘This is so much more fun than the sports days I’ve done in the past.

‘At my old school I was just watching the sporty kids, but now I’m able to take part too.’

Donie Smith, of Year 7, added: ‘This is my first year at the school and I think sports day has been awesome.

‘I’m pretty competitive so the games we’ve played have been pretty good.’

Harrison Austin during dodge ball. Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-1108)

Harrison Austin during dodge ball. Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-1108)

Priory School’s sports days on the common have been taking place since 2012, serving as part of the legacy from that year’s Olympic Games

This year saw two new sports added into the mix, with floorball – an interpretation of hockey – and longball, which is a mix of dodgeball and cricket.

Head of PE James Kent says that having team sports like this means everyone can compete in sports day.

Mr Kent said: ‘Sport isn’t something that’s for everybody, but this format gives everyone a part to play in helping their house to win, rather than just watching a minority run around a track all day.

Sara Riyami, Milly Stiles, Rosa Wilson playing floorball Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-8931)

Sara Riyami, Milly Stiles, Rosa Wilson playing floorball Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-8931)

‘It’s still very competitive though – they really do get stuck into it.’

Headteacher Stuart Vaughan added: ‘There’s a real sense of community to our sports day.

‘The pupils love it because it’s a chance to get out of the classroom and express themselves.’

Tyler Searle during rounders Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-1154)

Tyler Searle during rounders Picture: Sarah Standing (200619-1154)