Tuesday, 12 July 2016


Students’ hard work and triumphs recognised during night of sporting celebrations

Another fantastic year of sport for Congleton High School was celebrated this evening in the company of a football legend. Former footballer Cyrille Regis was the evening’s special guest and not only presented the awards, but inspired students as he reflected on his remarkable career and life.
The evening started with a delicious three-course meal for the guests, award winners and their families, provided by Year 10 catering students. After the meal the awards ceremony commenced, which was an opportunity for CHS to celebrate the sporting success of students both inside and outside of school.

Mrs Salt, curriculum team leader for PE, started the evening by giving a brief summary of what has been another “really busy year” for the school’s PE department. She said that there have been “many sporting successes and leadership opportunities” for students that have contributed to the school’s “growing reputation” in the local area in addition to the school being represented both regionally and nationally.
Mrs Salt added that highlights of the year had been the ski trip to France, the recent football and netball tour to Barcelona and finishing runner-up in the School of the Year award at the Everybody Sports Awards. She also revealed exciting plans for the year ahead including the creation of a sport academy combined with improved facilities, including a 3G pitch and a 150 seat stand.

The evening’s special guest was then introduced to the audience who were treated to a video featuring the many highlights and goals Cyrille Regis scored in his illustrious career. The video could have easily been extended by another 20 minutes considering he spent 19 years as a professional footballer, including 16 years in the top-flight, playing over 600 games, scoring 158 goals and representing England on five occasions.
Regis gave students and parents an insight into how football has changed from the 1980s, how he stayed motivated during the many challenges he had to face, including racism. He explained how faith had a huge impact on his life following the death of his friend and teammate Laurie Cunningham and how God has given everybody a gift.

The former footballer certainly knows talent when he sees it having become a football agent after he retired in the late 1990s. His clients include some of the world’s most talented footballers, including the world’s most expensive player Gareth Bale. However, he said that talent alone is not enough to succeed in football and only counts for 10% to 15%, adding that the rest comes from a person’s passion, desire, character, perseverance and attitude.
Students’ commitment, passion and talent for school sport were then recognised with over 120 students presented with awards including Contribution to Sport, Extra Curricular Awards, Player of the Year, Athlete of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year. Within ten minutes of the awards ceremony starting it was evident why Congleton High’s PE department has so much success in a wide range of sports. A number of students were invited to the stage, all of them playing for football academies, competing in sport at county and regional level with some students even competing nationally.

Team of the Year Award
Boys: The boy’s team of the year award went to the year 8 football team. The boys won their league, reached the final of the South Cheshire Cup and represented the school brilliantly on the recent Barcelona tour, not just on the pitch, but also their support for their colleagues from the stands.

One notable performance was their victory over Sandbach when they showed determination to succeed and ultimate resilience to come from two goals behind to beat their local rivals in extra-time.

Girls: It was difficult to choose the winner of the girls ‘Team of the Year Award’ with a number of teams excelling in netball. However, one team stood out with the year 8 netball team performing exceptionally well throughout the year.
They were not only crowned South Cheshire champions, but they dealt extremely well with the challenge of competing in a new and more competitive league. They more then held their own, winning the league and being promoted to the ‘A’ league next season.

Daniel Sturridge Rising Star Award
‘The Daniel Sturridge Rising Star Award’ is named after former CHS student and Liverpool and England striker, Daniel Sturridge and this year the award went to another student who represents England, Ramtin Musah.

Ramtin excels in boxing and is certainly one to watch out for in the future as he looks to become the next Anthony Joshua. A record of just one loss in 12 fights (the one loss coming to the Commonwealth champion) this year has seen the year 11 student ranked number one in the UK for his age category. He has represented England on the international stage and is also a two-time North West champion and currently holds two belts for the region.

The Lynda Arnold Award
The ‘Lynda Arnold Award’ is the most coveted award and is named after former PE teacher Lynda Arnold and is awarded to the student who has shown outstanding contribution to school sport. I was very surprised and honoured to receive this year’s award for my work promoting and recognising school sport through the CHS sports blog.

Mrs Salt ended the evening by thanking the PE staff before paying an emotional tribute to PE teacher Mr Cross who is leaving to take up the role of director of PE and sport in a school in Spain in September.
Written by Adam Bailey

Saturday, 9 July 2016


Students inspired by trip to Wimbledon

Eight lucky year 9 students were inspired recently after having the amazing experience of visiting Wimbledon on semi-finals day. The school had applied for tickets through the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) ballot for school tennis members and won ten tickets for the prestigious tennis tournament.
Soaking up the atmosphere at one of sport’s most iconic venues is enough to inspire anyone and the chance to watch the world’s best players was a dream come true for members of the school's  tennis club.

The students were allowed the unique opportunity of watching world number two Andy Murray practising before his semi-final match against Tomas Berdych. They then came within touching distance of the 2013 champion as he made his way from the training court to the locker room, signing items on his way.
The students then took their seats on Court One to watch both ladies doubles semi-finals, including superstar sisters, Venus and Serena Williams. Away from the tennis stars, the students kept their eyes peeled for other celebrities and sporting stars as they wandered around SW19 and posed for a photograph with Welsh rugby player Dan Biggar.

Written by Adam Bailey

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

SPORTS DAY 2016 - 5th July

Sports Day 2016 ‘one of the closest in a long time’

The world’s best athletes will go head-to-head in Rio de Janeiro next month, but while there may not be an Olympic title at stake on school sports day, the competition was just as high as students looked to claim both individual and team glory. In fact, Mr Barlow said that it was the closest sports day, in terms of points between form groups, for a long time.
The first part of the morning saw the field events take place with students participating in high jump, long jump, discus, javelin and shot put. After the conclusion of the field events, the whole school made their way onto the field to support their friends and colleagues. The opening events on the track were won by Josie Robertson (year 8) and Ruby Spencer (year 9) in the girls 800m, while Spencer Sheard (year 7) and Matt Owen (year 8) triumphed in the boys’ event.

Although the rain did hold off for the day, the events took place in difficult conditions; with rain in previous days leading to soft and damp conditions underfoot. The conditions didn’t, however, stop school records being broken.  Year 7 students Joe Ayre and Fin Stratford set new records in the 200m and 1500m respectively. Joe beat Elliott Darman’s 2013 time by 1.03 seconds, while Finn set a new 1500m record in a time of 5 minutes, 20 seconds, beating Jack Farrall’s record from last year by 9 seconds.

The one event that only a small minority want to compete in is the 1500m, the dreaded three and three quarter laps around the track. Harper Whitehead, however, made the event his own in the year 9 race. Harper is used to difficult conditions having represented Cheshire in the English Schools’ Cross-Country Championships earlier this year and he ran a strong 1500m. The field was bunched crossing the finish line for the first time, but Harper soon increased the tempo and was unchallenged as he pulled out an advantage over the rest of the field.

100m and 200m
The 100m is the most prestigious and shortest running event on the schedule and saw Meera Shanati (year 9), George Johnson (year10) and Lydia Eardley (year 10) all record convincing victories. In the 200m, Lexi Harrison won by some margin in the year 9 girls race, while Daniel Sturridge’s 200m year 9 school record still stands despite a strong performance by Lewis Eaton.

Megan Sheard changed disciplines this year, but still managed to win just as emphatically. The year 10 student has previously run the 1500m and still holds the year 7 school record for the event, but she opted to switch from endurance to sprint this year. She won the year 10 girls 200m convincingly proving her ability as a strong all round athlete. In the year 10 boys 200m, there was an unconventional technique on show as one student ran the event backwards! I wonder whether we will be seeing any athletes running backwards in Rio?

Overall standings
Heading into the relay events the tutor standings were very close with just a couple of points separating the top few tutor groups in each year. However, with relays worth double points, that could still have all changed.

After the relays had been run and all results had been verified, the moment everybody was wanting for arrived...the final results.
There were just two points separating the top-five tutor groups, with 7ZGr beating 7HV and 7CT by one point to claim the year 7 title with 130 points. Year 8 was not as close, however, with 8KJE’s total of 136 points beating 8CE by six points. Year 9 was much more convincing with 9SDR taking the year 9 title by a 20 point margin, while 10JC were the victorious tutor group in year 10 once again.

Written by Adam Bailey

Friday, 17 June 2016


Students learn from South Africa’s young rugby stars
Five of South Africa’s next generation of rugby union stars provided students at Congleton High School with a rugby masterclass on Thursday (16 June).

The Junior Spingboks are currently competing in the World Rugby Under-20 Championships in Manchester and booked a place in the semi-finals with a 40-31 victory over France on Wednesday night.

Fresh from securing a semi-final spot, vice-captain Junior Pokomela, winger Mosolwa Mafuma, prop Kwenzo Blose, lock Eduard Zandberg and scrumhalf Marco Janse van Vuren all took time out from their busy schedule to share their knowledge and passion for the sport with close to 80 CHS students.
The South African’s led a training session for the students where they taught the pupils a range of rugby skills and participated in a series of touch rugby matches. Their visit to Congleton also coincided with South Africa’s Youth Day.

Speaking to the South African rugby's official website, Pokomela said: “Youth Day is an important day in South Africa’s history, so it was special for us to mark the occasion by spending the morning with the Congleton High School pupils. We may be far away from home, but it was important for us to celebrate the day, especially since we also represent the South African youth.”
South Africa play England on Monday (20 June) at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium for a place in the final in what promises to be an entertaining and enthralling game of rugby that sees CHS’ loyalties split!

Written by Adam Bailey

Friday, 10 June 2016

2016 BARCELONA TOUR - May 2016

Unforgettable days of sport and fun in the Spanish sunshine

There are many sporting enrichment opportunities offered to students at Congleton High School, but not all trips provide unforgettable days of sport and fun both on and off the field in glorious Spanish sunshine.

But over sixty students experienced just that on a fun-filled sports tour to Barcelona during half-term. The school’s football and netball teams developed their skills during training and fixtures and had the added bonus of experiencing a different culture and exploring the iconic city of Barcelona.

After what turned out to be a mammoth coach journey (24 hours, 20 minutes to be precise) following air strikes in Europe forced the PE department to change their travel plans at the last minute, the staff and students enjoyed glorious weather and an action packed three days.
Not only did CHS have to adapt to the climate, but also the sporting culture and style that Spanish teams are renowned for. The “tiki-taka” style of play (short passing and movement, while maintaining possession) was a very different sort of contest than what they were used to back home in Cheshire playing against other local schools and local clubs.

CHS more than held their own, though, in what were, as expected, very competitive games. Year 8 particularly impressed and were reminiscent of FC Barcelona in an emphatic 4-0 victory in their second fixture with a brilliant performance to match. Off the pitch, The “Congy Ultras” were in fine voice supporting CHS’ boys and girls from the stands as can be seen here.
Meanwhile, CHS’ netballers participated in training sessions with England Netball qualified staff, who said that they “really enjoyed” working with the students because of the “high standard” of coaching and discipline the students have received back home, which is a testament to the PE department. They also took part in fixtures against local Spanish teams and modelled their new kit.

As well as the sporting fixtures, the students also experienced the Spanish culture including a day in Barcelona visiting the vibrant La Rambla, a Segway tour of the city and of course no football tour would be complete without a visit to the iconic Nou Camp stadium, home to Barcelona.
Written by Adam Bailey

Friday, 13 May 2016


Excellent individual performances in ESAA Track and Field Cup

Nearly 50 students represented Congleton High School in the first round of the English Schools’ Track and Field Cup held at Macclesfield Athletics Track this week. The inter boys finished fourth overall, while the junior boys and girls finished sixth and there were some outstanding individual performances.
On the track, George Johnson finished first in the 100m with a time of 11.8 seconds, while Harper Whitehead, who competed at the English Schools’ Cross Country championships earlier this year, finished second in the 1500m. Harper had to show determination and a turn of speed to beat Sam Hanson from The County High School, who finished just one second behind Whitehead’s time of 4 minutes, 44 seconds.

In the junior category, Jack Farrall finished fourth in the 1500m with a time of 5 minutes and four seconds. Ruby Spencer produced an impressive performance to win the 800m in two minutes, 44 seconds, while Abi McCusker finished third in the 100m with a time of 14 seconds exactly. Recognition also goes to Mia Donathy who completed the 1500m in five minutes, 57 seconds.
In the field events, Lewis Halliday was edged into second in the shot putt by just one centimetre after throwing a distance of 11.68 metres. There was no beating Ru Morgan in the junior boys’ competition. The year 8 student won the shot with a distance of 10.54 metres, while Joel Whitehurst finished fourth after throwing 9.37 metres.

Well done to everyone who participated in the English Schools Track and Field Cup you can all be very proud of your performances!
Written by Adam Bailey

Friday, 6 May 2016


Spirited comeback earns College victory

The Congleton College’s Football Academy moved to third in the English Colleges Football Association league on Wednesday after a spirited comeback against Wellacre Academy.
The newly formed college has only been offering the BTEC Level Three diploma in Performance and Exercise course since September and they showed great character recovering from a goal inside the first minute to take a hard-fought three points.

Congleton could be forgiven for thinking it was not going to be their afternoon when Wellacre took the lead after just forty seconds with a long range effort, but there was still a lot of football to be played in what turned out to be an entertaining affair.
Adam McHale drew the visitors level with a low driven shot and either side could have taken the spoils in an end-to-end game that saw both teams thwarted on several occasions by the woodwork. Daniel Needham saw his volley ricochet off the crossbar, while, Congleton goalkeeper, Hallam Carslake had to be on top form to deny Wellacre retaking the lead.

Congleton’s determination was rewarded, however, when George Hooper clinically steered his left footed shot past the Wellacre goalkeeper at the back post. The win moves the College into third in the league with one league game left in what has been an extremely encouraging debut season.
Manager Mr Donnelly commented: “I was really pleased with the players' efforts and I think it is probably our best performance of the season. The players showed great commitment and stayed very disciplined, maintaining the team’s shape.”

Congleton College: Carslake, Buckley, Laird, Guillon, Lynn, Hooper, Archer, Reed, Needham, Meeten, McHale.
Written by Adam Bailey