In a flash, the first term is over. What a term it has been and I am pleased that the cold weather has stayed away until this past week. Last Saturday there was certainly a feel of the winter chill amongst the winter sunshine as the girls embraced the Astro for their final Saturday fixtures of the term. Our Senior Hockey girls welcomed Nottingham High School and we welcomed local schools Ashville College, Harrogate and Tranby, Hull for the younger age groups’ Hockey matches. On Sunday the Yorkshire U15 Lacrosse players battled the elements playing in their Inter-county championships here at school.
As we approach Christmas we can reflect on what a joy it’s been to see the girls participate in competitive sport on a weekly basis. Their progress since September is positive and very encouraging. All girls in Years I and II have been given the opportunity to represent the school on the sports pitches and I encourage all girls to make the most of this opportunity as we go into the Spring Term.
Teams of the Half Term
I have to commend the girls who have worked tirelessly over the term and this is reflected in the ‘Teams of the Half Term’ feature in which effort, improvement and performance have been considered. Congratulations to all of you who make these teams. It is certainly a highlight as we come to the end of the term to see which names will appear on the final team sheets.
Some Highlights of the Autumn Term
- York & District XC. The initial day was postponed due to the rain (what seemed to be over 72 hours of constant rain!). The following week the course still resembled a mud bath but our girls must be congratulated on their efforts in their races with over 100 runners per age group. Winter training will continue for two QM girls - Amanda (Year IV) and Emilia (Year I) as they are due to represent the York schools at Skipton on Saturday 14th January. It will be a tough, testing course with some sharp climbs but I know both of these girls will take on the challenge and do themselves, and Queen Margaret's, proud. Wishing them well for a good holiday of preparation before their competition at the first weekend back.
- All Year I and II girls have been given the opportunity to represent the school across the sports
- Although the 1st VII Netball team did not progress onto the Regional Round of National Schools, they certainly gave it their all at the competitively and closely fought County Round at Ashville College. They held themselves high and gave the opposing teams some tough decisions to make. Some games did come down to the wire, QM ended up in a credible 5th place.
- All girls in Years I-IV are developing their understanding of the importance of physical activity and wellbeing, and are experiencing numerous ways to remain active beyond team sports.
- Omnikin continues to thrive and the engagement amongst the girls is commendable in what is a hotly contested and tactical game played at pace. The younger age groups have taken to the sport well and are challenging one another in various aspects.
- Pau (LVI) must be thanked for the weekly Running Club she leads, she is an inspiration to those at the school.
- Scarlet (Year IV) has been training hard with Leeds Gymnastics Club as a member of the Display gymnastics team, developing routines and displays hoping for opportunities to go on to national and potentially international events.
- The recently qualified Lifeguard girls - Bonnie, Cherie and Kitty (UVI) have worked tirelessly with Miss Whittle to undertake their assessment this term. Well done girls, your hard work has paid off and you now have a very useful qualification to add to your CVs.
- The Badminton squad (and non-squad players) have been working hard in training sessions and must be congratulated on their wins against HLC and Ripon Grammar School.
- Congratulations to all girls who have competed in their sports at County and Regional levels, and to those of you who have just finished the rigorous selection process. I hope your trials and matches have gone well and we await to hear what we hope is pleasing news.
- An advent calendar was created (See last week’s Weekly Window) to engage the whole QM family in undertaking a simple activity to support the body and mind. As a community, we need to take these opportunities and do something each and every day. This is a fun way to test you all no matter your age or ability on the journey to Christmas Day. Please do share any pictures or videos you may take of the daily challenges.
As a Department, we are looking at providing as many opportunities for girls to participate in sporting trips. I am pleased to announce that the ski trip (December 2023) will be going ahead and we will be hitting the piste in Italy next Christmas! Plans are in place for a Netball Weekend run by Leeds Rhinos in May - please respond to the letter that has been sent out by 11th December. We are also in the process of a potential trip to see another Super League Netball match in the upcoming season and also a trip to watch Great Britain Hockey play against the world’s best teams in the FIH Pro League in the summer as a countdown to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
South Africa Trip Logo
I would also like to officially announce the logo for the Senior Sports Tour to South Africa in August. This has been designed by Jennifer (LVI) and I hope you agree with how amazing this is. The creativity and design just go to show what wonderful girls we have in the school and their talents seem to be never-ending. The Sports Tour party would like to thank those who purchased refreshments during the wonderful production and are looking forward to sharing their plans next term to raise some funds for the tour. We would like to thank you in advance for any support you give us.
As we look towards the Spring Term, and the Netball and Lacrosse fixture calendar, I would like to remind you all that attendance at enrichment slots for training throughout the week is vital for improvement in both individual and team performances. Teams can not improve with only one or two players in attendance. These slots have been selected due to the very many commitments girls have during the day and leaving the lunchtime free from training enables the girls to refuel ready for the busy afternoon ahead of them.
May I also remind everyone that girls do have fixtures on a Saturday afternoon, and attendance at matches is required. If an absence is expected then advanced notice is appreciated by the Sports Department.
Ked Dates for the Spring Term
On the first weekend we will have a pre-season training session for both Netball and Lacrosse; getting the girls back up to speed after their long Christmas break. Our first Saturday fixture is on 21st January when we play local rivals Pocklington in a whole-school block Netball fixture, as well as Terrington Hall for the U12s and U13s. This will be followed by the U13 Yorkshire Lacrosse County tournament on Sunday.
On Saturday 4th February we will host the U15 & U13 North Schools Lacrosse Tournament as well as Netball fixtures against Queen Mary’s, with the U14 and U15 Y&D Hockey tournament in early February.
Note for the diary: the U19 National Schools Lacrosse Championships is being held on Leave Out weekend in March down at Aldershot, with the U15’s at the end of Leave Out.
Age group York and District Netball tournaments will be held after Half Term with Wednesday 22nd March a favourite in our own calendar as we host schools from across the North for our very own Queen Margaret's Senior Invitational Netball tournament. This is not a day to be missed - we expect to see a high standard of Netball and it will also be the final school Netball games for our UVI girls. The Seniors then are able to celebrate their successes from the academic year at the Annual Sports Dinner on Thursday 23rd March.
Looking ahead, I would also like our girls and the QM family to participate in the Swimathon Challenge - the world's largest annual fundraising swim that takes place nationally from 12-14th May. We will adapt this to suit our teaching week for the girls and they may tackle this challenge individually, as a pair or even as a team. There is no limit on distance, everyone swims, but what we would like to see is as many girls and staff as possible take to the water and undertake some distance to contribute towards the challenge #SwimForAll.
May I thank you for your support this term, whether that has been pitchside, collecting your daughter(s) from a training session or match, washing the kit, or simply being there to encourage. Physical activity and sport is vital in our lives and I would like to thank you for supporting us as a Department to enable your daughter to engage in physical activity and active lifestyle choices so that she can lead a healthy active life.
Please do come and speak to me at fixtures should you wish to discuss any aspect further.
Wishing you a wonderful and restful Christmas break and all the best for 2023.