Imagine England running out tonight to face Croatia in the Luzhniki Stadium wearing a variety of old, mis-matching shirts and everything from flip-flops to plimsolls on their feet.
Wouldn’t do much for team spirit would it? Or for the morale of the millions of fans watching back home. A convincing win in such chaotic circumstances would be even more surprising.
Yet one Portsmouth school has managed the equivalent of just that.
Children from Westover Primary School had plenty of fun in the sun while celebrating all sorts of sports.
Workouts, golf, archery, football, netball, tennis – even traditional games like hula-hooping – were all on the sporting timetable at the Baffins school, as children and staff put themselves through their paces.
The A Celebration of Sport event was the idea of staff and parents who wanted to reward the Westover sports teams for a successful year and inspire other pupils to take up new activities.
The event also provided the perfect opportunity to present the school’s hard-working sports teams with well-deserved new kit at the Westover Road school.
The Westover girls’ football team won a city-wide tournament and went on to represent Portsmouth at the Hampshire Games, while both the boys’ football team and the girls’ netball team came third in city tournaments.
But despite the impressive results, the teams’ outfits were less eye-catching – the children were wearing old mis-matching kits. So with the help of supportive local businesses – HPS (Heating Plumbing Supplies) and Waitrose, the school raised the money to buy new, modern kit.
The sporting event was kick-started with the children wearing their new strips for the first time and taking on staff with a teachers versus pupils netball match.
Two former Westover pupils returned for the occasion. Lucas Fuller, of Fullers Fitness, put the children through their paces with a fitness session while others tried to beat the Fareham FC goalkeeper, Adam Puckett.
Teacher, Natalie Snook, said: ‘The school teams have been amazing this year but we wanted to give them the kits and equipment they deserved. Everyone has been so helpful and supportive. We raised the money and bought new kits really quickly.
“We thought we should have a presentation and try to get more of the children involved in sport as well. Today has been amazing – seeing all of the children getting stuck in, trying new games and having fun was fantastic.’
Westover staff and parents would like to thank the following for their help: HPS (Heating Plumbing Supplies), Waitrose, Baffins Fit Club, Fullers Fitness, Pompey in the Community, AS Goalkeeping, Portsdown Archery Club, the Village Gym, Tesco, Portsmouth Water and the Plinky Plonk Shop.