On July 20 1969, Neil Armstrong uttered the immortal words ‘One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ after climbing down the lunar module ladder to set foot on the moon’s dusty surface for the very first time. It was a significant moment in history.

Excuse the similarity of the analogy but these might well have be the words used when Long Jumper Bob Beamon jumped a distance of 8.90m in Mexico City or when Jonathan Edwards triple jumped his way to 18.29m in 1995. All for completely different reasons, their leaps were a ‘first’ at the time but their legacy has lasted beyond the moment and their impact etched into sporting history.

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on individuals, society and the world as a whole. We as a school have struggled at times collectively and individually. There have been times when the social, emotional and physical effects have been a real challenge.

Back in May, our first few step towards resuming something approaching normality came in the form of a return to sporting clubs, societies and Saturday morning sport. After a few blips and ‘curve balls’ thrown in along the way since then, our first Sports Day in over two years came to fruition for pupils in years 7 to 10, albeit in somewhat different circumstances and under heightened levels of Covid control to those previously held at Witton Park.

Significant adaptations had to be made. Firstly, the requirement to avoid Witton Park this year and stage the event in house, on grass, at Lammack. Then to mark out a 400 m track (never an easy task) that best fitted the geography of the site and would allow for a finish in front of the pavilion. Unlike most conventional track meets, this necessitated running clockwise in order to map out the most appropriate finish point.

A further need to then stage a track & field event that demanded year groups be kept apart but that would still allow for a coordinated programme of both track and field events operating at the same time. These had to be supervised under strict Covid guidelines in separate year group bubbles at different times during the day. It ended up years 7 & 8 competing in the morning and years 9 & 10 in the afternoon.

And finally, a move away from the house event that has typified the event for decades to an inter form event. This was significant given that form time contact had been the only mode of communication possible over the academic year. All in all, plenty to think about and organisationally, a real challenge.

And so, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School Sports Day 2021 began to take shape and for once the weather was glorious in Blackburn, not the usual Trinity term hazy drizzle that often masquerades as British summertime in these parts. The sun shone, the sky was blue and we had a terrific day.

It was lovely to see pupils laughing, smiling and participating in organised sport once again. A friendly atmosphere, plenty of positivity, loads of excitement and an abundance of inter form comradery: everybody cheering each other on. A further small step in the return to normality.

There were excellent performances across all track & field disciplines in each of the year groups. Particular year group highlights of the day included:

  • Caitlyn McKay in the Year 7 girls 1500m
  • David Bowlin in Year 8 winning the triple jump
  • Jacob Velutheppilly in the Year 8 1500m
  • Jaya Asal in the girls 800m
  • Molly Caffrey jumping 3.68 m in the Year 8 long jump
  • Abdul Mallik pipping primary school champion David Bowlin on the line in the Year 8 100m in a time of 13.8 secs
  • Oscar Kelly running 13.2 in the year 9 100m and his performance in the relay making up a deficit of 30m on his final leg to win the race for 9PTH
  • Grace Brook’s determination in the Year 9 300m
  • Hassan Mughals 67m throw in the Year 10 cricket ball throw
  • Bilal Yasin’s race in the boys Year 10 100m
  • Maisie Roberts run in the girls Year 10 200m

Perhaps the real highlight of the day was the Heads of House 100m fun race to cap off what was an excellent morning in front of the Year 7 & 8 pupils. Messrs Gould, Peat, Braime, Butterworth, Goodall and Miss Bowker really entered into the spirit of the event and demonstrated their fine individual athletic prowess. That said, Mr Gould was walking with a limp for a fortnight afterwards and Mr Peat did end up on crutches two days later! Congratulations Mr Goodall on your Usain Bolt like sprint performance. All that was missing was the ‘Lightning Bolt’ celebration at the end.

Champion Athletes

For each of the year groups (pupils gaining most points for their form in a year group) were as follows:

Year 7 Boys Sahil Iftikar
Year 7 Girls Olivia Walker
Year 8 Boys David Bowlin
Year 8 Girls Molly Caffrey
Year 9 Boys Sydney Chadderton
Year 9 Girls Omar Juma
Year 10 Boys Oliver Jenkins
Year 10 Girls Molly Cookson
Head of House Race Mr MD Goodall


Inter-form Champions 2021

Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
10 10RSC 10JLM 10JJP & 10JCA 10FMD

In summary, a most entertaining and enjoyable day had by all. No records broken this year but plenty of effort, enthusiasm and pupil participation.

A very big thank you to all the form tutors for selecting your teams. Similarly, a big thank you to all the Heads of House, Heads of Year, support staff, groundsman and PE faculty for making everything run so smoothly on the day.

We shall see next year whether this format will continue or we return to the tried and tested event at Witton Park. Either way, we have made ‘one small step … and arguably one giant leap’ towards QEGS sporting normality.

Dr ME Butler
Head of PE & Sport Faculty