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Game on: the triumphant comeback of live, competitive sport

Brookes school sporting fixtures football Suffolk

After nearly two years, competitive sports fixtures are coming back into play, with pupils at Brookes UK School raring to go.

Lower and senior students from across Brookes School near Bury St Edmunds, from Year 3 to Year 11, are excited to start playing teams from across Suffolk and beyond, after more than a year and half of ‘locked down’ sporting activities.

Graham Ellis, Director of Sport at Brookes UK School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Graham Ellis, Director of Sport at Brookes

Currently it is the season for rugby, football, netball and hockey, Graham Ellis, Director of Sport at Brookes, knows how much it means for the children to have an element of competition.

“Like in the classroom, there are gaps from one-and-a-half to two years of COVID restrictions, and now is the time to catch up,”  says Mr Ellis, who knows a thing or two about competitive fixtures – being a former Scottish rugby union player.

“We’re close to getting back to what it used to be – slowly, and carefully, starting fixtures versus other schools in the area. It was all halted due to the pandemic, and lockdowns, yet our school fitness and PE programmes kept developing in whatever way we could.”

Football on pitch suffolk school kid children

The sport fixture programme – taking an afternoon to play games against other teams – was paused yet the PE (Physical Education) programme continued, involving outdoor periods focused on athleticism and performance, fitting in with the National Curriculum with a plethora of different activities, including badminton, golf, fitness for life and athletics.

“The PE programme and sports fixtures are interlinked – importantly so – feeding into, and from, each other,” continues Mr Ellis, “It is so important for the children to get out and have a rounded experience of the whole sporting fixture.”

“This includes softer, personable attributes such as communication, listening skills, responsibility and teamwork, developing crucial life skills, learning these things in a competitive and, sometimes, pressured sporting environment.”

“The kids mix with other peers after the match, building on social skills, talking among teams about the fixture, sharing juices and refreshments, being good hosts,” adds Mr Ellis.

“It is more than the match. The whole afternoon, fixture experience is a great way to help our pupils develop. They love supporting from the sidelines – it’s like a little field trip, with new people, social interactions.”

“Sport and physical activity is so important to childrens’ development, mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.”

Brookes is once again offering sports scholarships for senior years (Years 7-10), across a range of sports.

If your child has a particular sporting ability or prowess, do get in touch with the sporting department here

Brookes is a unique independent school for children ages 2 to 16, near Bury St Edmunds, offering a distinctive child-centred approach, small class sizes, and a culture focused on pupil wellbeing.