Carrying the Torch for Great Barr

Mrs Abbott’s latest column in the Great Barr Observer was published on Friday 30 March. Here it is in case you missed it, along with a footnote about some other notable sporting achievements:

Every day in our busy school of nearly 2,400 young people, we are all focused on one pretty straightforward aim; giving our young people the skills and the opportunities to achieve their best and helping them to be successful adults who contribute positively to their communities.

A large number of our young people are involved in activities which really make a difference to their lives and the lives of others. Once in a while, one of these achieves public recognition for their efforts.

Once such student is Beth Broadhead. Last week, Beth received confirmation that she has been chosen to be one of the 8,000 people who will carry the Olympic torch on its relay around the UK in preparation for the summer’s games.

This is a privilege which Beth thoroughly earned.

For the last four years since Year 9, Beth has been a great ambassador for sport, not just in school but in the wider community, inspiring and enabling other young people to get involved in sport. A keen sportsperson herself, Beth regularly takes part in football, basketball, badminton, table tennis, netball and athletics.

But it is Beth’s leadership ability and her dedication to helping others that has really set her apart from many of her peers.

Beth has trained to become a Platinum Sports Ambassador for the School Sports Partnership and has excelled in her role. She has been a key voice in the campaign to reverse the Government’s cuts to the funding of school sports, addressing school governors and meeting with MPs to tell them about the huge positive impact sport has had on her life.

Last year, Beth ran the netball & football teams at Great Barr almost singlehandedly. Whilst she continues to study in our Sixth Form, all her spare time is taken up supporting the PE teachers in the delivery of lessons; she is considered to be one of the team. The PE Department in particular are thrilled that Beth has been recognised for her outstanding contribution.

Beth will be opening the local partnership event on World Sport Day in June in which over 600 primary school pupils will be participating in sporting events. This will be followed by our very own torch relay with Beth taking the final leg at Great Barr School on the last day of National School Sports Week.

Beth is a shining example of what we are trying to achieve with every one of our children at Great Barr School. In the summer, she will carry the torch for all of us; for her own endeavours, for the children she has helped, for her School and for the nation.


As a footnote to Mrs Abbott’s article, since going to press, we’ve found out about another couple of notable sporting successes.

On 18 March 2012, Luke, a Year 11 pupil, won a gold medal at the National Judo Championships having won all four of his bouts. This has earned him a place in the national squad and he will be competing at the 17th ‘Houvast’ Judo Tournament in Holland in May.

Luke has his brown belt and has been doing Judo for 11 years now. It runs in the family as his dad runs his own club (Cobra Judo Club) at which Luke is a junior instructor. Over the years, he has won many competitions and has a very full cabinet to show off his medals and trophies. We wish Luke all the very best in May! Let’s hope there’s room in the cabinet for the medal we hope you’ll be bringing home.

And finally, on 30 March 2012, for the third year running, our football teams scooped all of the trophies at the Aston Cup finals. Four finals were entered; four cups are coming home! A massive congratulations to the Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 football teams and to Mr Brickwood and his tremendous team of staff.

Beth is clearly not the only one carrying the torch for sporting achievement at Great Barr!


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