Not even the most dismal member of the school team could say that this year was anything but reasonably successful. Much is still to be desired, but weaknesses proved to be less of a handicap than was feared, whilst several new stalwarts appeared to bolster up the team. The biggest improvement has been in the middle distances. Several previously unobtrusive runners realised what was to be gained by training regularly, and made a surprising and very commendable break-through. The great weakness of the season on the track was in the senior sprinting. A relay team containing two milers, needs no further indictment.
Inexplicably, performances in the field events were below the standard of the previous year; there was no real reason for this. Perhaps the greatest single complaint should be that many of the intermediates and seniors thought that after 1959's comparative successes, they could take things easily. They received a severe jolt, and they should heed the warning. Mr. Ninnim and Mr. Crispin gave their usual unremitting sterling services, and. our thanks must also go to the other members of staff who gave of their time and services. Mention must also be made of Mr. Ames, who had the track ready for use earlier than for many years, and maintained the lane markings throughout the season.
THE CHAMPION RUSSELL CUP COMPETITION
Once again this competition proved to be the least successful of the three inter-school competitions. The team's morale was at zero before the start, and it remained there. The only competition so far as the School was concerned was to avoid being last, which we did by one point. This utterly disastrous performance must remain as a warning to those who think the season begins with this competition. June is more the time to begin training for the following (rather than the current) year. Until this is realised we shall be last regularly. Inter-school athletics is now the most highly competitive of all sports, and the members of the School must realise it and support all attempts made to increase their athletes" fitness.
The following named obtained places in the finals.
100 yards under 16: 3rd Bailey, P. R.
880 yards under 16: 4th Smith, L.
440 yards under 16: 4th Freemantle.
Relay Under 16: 3rd
Position in competition: 1lth.
CROSS COUNTRY CLUB
At the beginning of the autumn term the Cross Country Club was formed with twenty-five enthusiastic members of all ages. Its first competition was the Smeed Trophy in December when the school team was placed seventh out of twenty schools. In the H. W. Payne Cup the school junior team was placed fifteenth.
The school entered the Junior and Intermediate races in the Walthamstow Championships in January and gained first and third places with Wotton and Vernon-Smith respectively.
The Club hopes that the standard of track-running in summer competitions will greatly improve as a result of this regular winter training.
ESSEX COUNTY SPORTS
Once again we supported the Walthantstow Schools in the Essex County Championship held at Harlow New Town.
Some of our athletes were selected to represent Walthamstow.
Obtaining places in the competition:
Junior Long Jump: D. C. Jolly, 3rd.
Intermediate High Jump: D. Drew, 2nd.
Senior Pole Vault: J. Palethorpe, 3rd.
We should like to record this year Mr. Tunks undertook the duties of Walthamstow District and we wish him every success in his work.
THE CAMPBELL TROPHY
This Trophy, held in July is late enough for the summer's athletes to emerge from hibernation, and show what they can do when they try. This must surely become one of the most coveted trophies in time, now that the entry has been increased to over a dozen schools. It must prove stimulating to hold the meeting in conjunction with the Vancouver Trophy, and the schoolboy athletes must take some inspiration from the numerous internationals who compete at this meeting, which is one of the major inter-club events.
The School showed what it is capable of, for every one of the teams reached the final of its event. The height of the afternoon's competitions came when the Senior Mile team won their event with a display of courageous team-running. It is a sobering thought, that had one team not been disqualified, and the medley team not withdrawn owing to being one runner short, we might have won this competition.
BICKERSTETH CUP COMPETITION
Surprisingly the School dropped five places to ninth this year, out of twenty-three competing schools. It is difficult to assess the reason accurately. Probably it is largely due to the laziness of a very few. Performances were hardly inferior than previously, but just sufficiently to cause a fall of a few places, as several schools were within a few points of each other. So long as the warning is heeded that there must be no complacency, then this year's result will be most gratifying.
Under 14 High Jump: 1st Wenham 4 ft. 10 ins.
Over 17 High Jump: 3rd Drew 5 ft. 5 ins.
Under IS Long Jump: 4th Jolly 16 ft. 6 1/2 ins.
Under 14 Triple Jump: 3rd Wenham 35 ft. 1 1/2_ins.
Over 17 Pole Vault: 3rd Palethorpe 9 ft. 0 ins.
Under 16 Pole Vault: 2nd Young 9 ft. 6 ins.
Under 16 Hurdles: 3rd Freemantle -
Under 16 Javelin: 2nd Westley 133 ft. 9 ins.
Under 14 Discus: 4th Ridge 94 ft. 6 ins.
WALTHAMSTOW SECONDARY SCHOOLS' ATHLETICS
Once again we managed to obtain a marginal second place at this meeting. Our failure year after year to win this competition is not due to the lack of capable athletes in the School but may be attributed entirely to lack of willingness to undergo hard, regular training. Our strength in competitions outside the School is therefore weakened.
General training as part of the curriculum is supported every day after four o'clock by special coaching and it is significant that only a few keen athletes take advantage of the opportunity. It is astounding that even boys selected to represent us fail to turn out for any regular form of daily training. It should be the responsibility of every member of a team, whether School or House, to plan a training time-table and to adhere to it whatever the cost. Only by hard work can we acquit ourselves as well as we should.
SPORTS DAY 1960
The School Sports were, for the second successive year, held in fine weather, which must be a record in itself. The inter-house competition proved to be one of the closest for some years, and interest was maintained to the last event.
Two more trophies were given their inaugural presentation on Sports Day, and the School is indebted to the donors, Mr. and Mrs. Fortey for the 'David Fortey' Cup for Putting the Shot, Senior, and Mr. and Mrs. Tillyer for the 'Desmond Tillyer' Cup for Hop, Step, and Jump, Senior.
Our thanks are also due to Mrs. Chaplin for presenting the trophies, to the Parents who provided the teas, to the Members of Staff, Parents, and Old Monovians who acted as officials, and to Mr. Ames and his assistant for preparing the track and throwing areas, while we must congratulate Mr. Ninnim on his superb organisation.