The Power of Inter-House Sports in a Girls’ School
Schools are known for their many sporting achievements. At my school, over the past five years I have seen so many enthusiastic, talented girls ready to take part in many sporting activities at either a lunch time or after school (possibly even both).
We have three hours a week of compulsory Physical Education in Years 7-10, so girls are encouraged to learn new skills and hopefully progress further in sport. For Years 11-13, there’s an even larger variety of sports, which encourages girls to get involved in the sports students love most.
I want to explore the concept of team spirit, and examine how a small school community can come together to create something spectacular.
As well as competing against school rivals, we enjoy healthy competition among the four main school houses here at Queenswood. These are Clapham North, Clapham South, Hartley and Waller and they include all girls from Year 7-13. These House events, in my opinion, are a great and intelligent way of getting as many girls involved as possible, even though some of them see sport as a “form of torture”!
From many intense netball matches to a variety of swimming races, there is a sport for everyone and it’s a fabulous way of encouraging team bonding between many age groups. As the Sixth Formers are so experienced in the world of “Inter-House”, they are seen as good role models for the younger years, especially those who need to learn the new rules of a sport or a skill they want to perfect.
Whether a team wins or loses, the Houses really come together as a community to bring out the best performances and effort from all girls!
The Hurley Cup
The Hurley Cup was introduced in 2015 as a new Inter-House cross country competition. This trophy was donated by my family, as it was a token to the school to show how much we enjoy and care about sport. It was donated in memory of my dad who suddenly passed away in 2014 due to a rare heart condition. My dad did a tremendous amount for both my sister and me at Queenswood and we felt it was a great way to remember such a man who had a huge impact on our lives. This cross country competition takes place on the lawn with all girls competing, not to mention many keen staff runners and even dogs! The event demands a great deal of courage from many girls as some see cross country as a punishment, not a form of pleasure.
Both my sister and I are competitive runners for Hertfordshire County and we were eager to see which of us would come out on top in the inaugural competition, but curiously both of us seemed to record the exact same time (even though we were in different races) and we thought this was a sign of our dad watching down on us! Other than taking the victory, I really enjoyed the event as it showed how each House supported one another, showing the strength of the school community. This really indicates the true family bond that only exists in a girls’ school.
Jessica Hurley is a student at Queenswood School, where this article recently won her the Your School Games competition. Her prize was to assemble a team of reporters and photographers to attend the Youth Games at Loughborough, which was a great success.