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Extracurricular activities like sport hold benefits for students both in and outside the classroom. At Ark, we’re committed to giving all our students opportunities to participate in sports activities, and we are actively working to expand our provision.

Inaugural netball tournament

In early January, we held Ark’s first inter-school netball tournament. Two hundred students from Years 7, 8 and 9 took part from Ark Academy, Ark Alexandra, Ark Elvin, Ark Globe, Ark Greenwich Free School and Ark Pioneer.

The competition was fierce, with teams playing a total of 45 matches to decide the winners. Ark Alexandra came out on top in the Year 7 and Year 8 competitions, and Ark Greenwich Free School took home the Year 9 trophy.

Matilda from Ark Alexandra shared how sport has impacted her personal development and enjoyment at school: “Netball gives you something to look forward to as you know you’re going to be playing after school. It helps me to focus and get through the day quicker. We all work as a team well, so it helps us build confidence, win games, and talk more with each other. You have to work really hard to get to where you want to be – there’s a lot of skill involved.”

Sidonie Paterson, Head of Year 9 and PE Teacher at Ark Pioneer, said: “It’s been fantastic to see everything they’ve been working on this year put into practice today. When the students play other school teams, they get to experience different levels of netball. Trips like this will stay with them forever. It’s a great day out for all of us! I would love to see more tournaments in the future – our students learn so much during these tournament days. It would be great to extend the tournament to other year groups too – I know my Year 10 students are very keen to take part.”

Birmingham Football

On 27 January, the Ark Birmingham Football Championship brought together boys’ and girls’ teams from Ark Victoria, Ark Kings Academy, Ark St Alban’s and Ark Boulton.

It was an action-packed day with lots of competitive football on display. The championships were in a round-robin format that offered each team the opportunity to play a minimum of two or three times in the group stages. In the afternoon, the highest two scoring teams progressed into the finals. There was a great atmosphere, with students cheering each other on from the sidelines.

Results table:

Year 7 Girls

Year 7 Boys

Year 8 Girls

Year 8 Boys

Year 9 Girls

Year 9 Boys

Fatima from Ark Boulton said: “We just won 5-1! I like playing football, but I think my favourite sport is cricket, which we play during the summer. We’ve been playing football since reception. I’ve played so many sports at Boulton – hockey, tennis, cricket, and volleyball. Today, at first, I was scared because there were so many new people. But now I feel much more confident – you realise that you’re better than you think. I like days like this as you get to miss lessons! But you also meet different people and play other Ark schools.”

Joseph is the Year 10 Sports Leader at Ark St Alban’s and won an award for his leadership on the day. He said: “It’s so important to encourage respect and sportsmanship when playing other Ark schools. I was part of a football tournament back in Year 7. We didn’t win either, so I know how it feels to be a runner-up. We actually haven’t had a match in our year in ages, so I would love to be part of more tournaments like this. I definitely want to carry on playing football. Ultimately, it’s not about winning all the time, but taking part and building on your team’s strengths.”

Enrichment opportunities like our network-wide sports days are made possible through generous support from partners like Salesforce.

If you would like to help us support more students, please get in touch with Holly Mumford, Head of Development.