The high level of sport delivered by Upton Junior School in Broadstairs has been nationally recognised with a top award.
After achieving five gold School Games awards in succession, Upton has qualified for the coveted ‘Platinum Award’ achieved by less than one per cent of schools in the UK.
Deputy Head of School Dave Walker has run sport at Upton for a decade. He said: “This is a fabulous achievement and it underlines our consistent commitment and enthusiasm to deliver a multi-faceted sports programme of the highest standard for all of our pupils. The award is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication by a number of different staff who have been involved in Upton Sports across this period.”
“It is a top award from the national School Games team and the Youth Sport Trust and it places real value with what we offer our pupils.”
Michaela Lewis is Executive Head Teacher of the Viking Academy Trust that includes Upton. She said: “This award is testament to the commitment, enthusiasm and energy of the entire Upton Sports staff, our children and their parents. It recognises the strength of team spirit at Upton which is fundamental to our success.”
Upton offers children the opportunity to become involved with 40 different after-school sports clubs across the school year and competes in over 50 different sports events outside of school hours. Sporting events happen across 20 weekends each year and can involve travelling across the county.
As well as traditional games like netball, soccer, rugby and athletics, Upton provides for lesser known sports including archery, handball, go-karting and orienteering. With a swimming pool onsite, pupils are also able to swim for free every week as part of their PE lessons.
Year 6 pupils Joe and Jemima are among the hundreds of pupils who enjoy Upton sports. Joe said: “There is such a variety to choose from,” while Jemima added: “I have been able to try all sorts of sports that are not so well-known at schools, such as archery.”
As well as competing locally, pupils also take part in county and regional competitions and often reach national finals.
Head of School Darci Arthur is thrilled at the award. She said: “Maintaining such a high standard of sports to earn the gold mark five years running is a great achievement – to top it off with one of the few platinum awards in the UK is something very special.”
Mr Walker added: “Upton are proud of our sporting success. In addition to our own in-house sport we also have a comprehensive Community Sport Programme that offers competition and involvement to schools using our facilities. Primary school sport in Thanet has flourished over recent years. School sports opportunity for children has never been higher and compares favourably to other Districts throughout Kent. We are also fortunate in Thanet to have the excellent Thanet Passport Association who oversee sports opportunities for our children.”