This was undoubtedly one of the School's most successful seasons for several years. It has certainly shown that if a determined effort is made by all our athletes next year our achievements could be quite outstanding. Those boys, such as Maxwell, Drew, and Wootton, who trained hard from the very beginning of the season met with considerable success in the various competitions arranged by the District and yet it is certain that there are many others who could reach a similar level of attainment if they were to take their training seriously, make use of the equipment and facilities in the new gymnasium, and take advantage of the after school coaching so generously provided by Mr. Ninnim and Mr. Crispin.
Cross-country running proved to be valuable winter training and it is to be recommended not only for middle-distance runners but also for sprinters. Early training is especially necessary for competitors in field events and it should he remembered that there are several local athletic clubs who are willing and anxious to extend their training facilities to schoolboys who would benefit from the additional competition provided for them.
Behind all the training sessions, good performances, well-run meetings, and happy athletic occasions are many organisers who give many hours of their leisure to the sport. At Monoux we are especially grateful to Mr. Ninnim and Mr. Crispin for their consistently sound advice and perseverance. Mr. Tunks and other members of the Staff have encouraged and guided the athletes throughout the year and to them we are very grateful. Perhaps part of their reward comes when a race is won or a new record established or a struggling competitor runs himself out to gain a place for the School: nevertheless, they should know that their services, so freely given, are deeply appreciated. Mr. Ames, too, and his assistant have both contributed to, a successful season as they have marked out the track and maintained it in good condition.
THE CAMPBELL TROPHY
The School was unable to be represented at the meeting this year because of an important event at Monoux, the opening of the new pavilion. This ceremony fell on the same day as the Campbell Trophy meeting and all our athletes were taking, part in the display of gymnastics which was reported in the last edition of The Monovian.
THE CHAMPION RUSSELL CUP COMPETITION
Our final position of eighth this year was an improvement on our performance last year but there is no cause for satisfaction to be found here. Several of our relay teams just failed to gain places mainly because of their lack of practice in baton-changing.
We gained four 4th places, four 3rd places, and Wootton came second in the Under-17 Mile event.
ESSEX COUNTY SPORTS
A number of our athletes were selected to join the rapidly improving Walthamstow team that competes in these sports. Monovians had considerable success in that D. Drew won the Senior High Jump, J. Maxwell won the 200 Yards Low Hurdles, and G. Wootton gained fourth place in the Intermediate Mile.
BICKERSTETH CUP COMPETITION (Field Events)
Twenty schools took part and Monoux gained fifth position. This is encouraging, perhaps, but we should do better next year if those who expect to take part in the throwing events make use
of the weight-lifting equipment that the School has acquired recently.
WALTHAMSTOW SECONDARY SCHOOLS' ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS, 1961
Once again we gained only second place to William Morris School in this competition. There is little doubt that our team could win easily if a greater number of boys, particularly in the lower school, would train hard for the lesser-known events - the hurdles, for example - instead of leaving all the work to a few 'stars'.
SPORTS DAY, 1961
Although we thought that the tradition of wet sports days had been broken after two years of fine weather, once again this year rain was with us and a thunderstorm held up the sports for half an hour. Nevertheless, the meeting provided both competitors and spectators with an interesting and exciting afternoon of athletics with the result of the Inter-House Championship in doubt until the actual presentation of the Cup.
Two new trophies were presented at the end of the afternoon. Mr. and Mrs. Chazalon, the parents of the School Captain, have given to the School a handsome cup to be known as The David Chazalan Cup for Senior Discus, and the Parents' Association have donated a Cup to be presented to the winner of the Long Jump. This gesture by the Parents' Association was made to mark the last sports programme organised by Mr. A.F. Ninnim while on the Staff of Monoux. It should be recalled here that he has organised twenty-nine such events. It was in 1933 that he introduced field events into the sports activities of the School and by 1935 all the major field competitions had been established in the programme. The presentation of these cups now means that there is a trophy for every senior event and every competitor has the opportunity to hold a cup for one year.
In a speech that was filled with happy memories and good advice the Mayor of Walthamstow, Alderman Redhead, reminded the School that the pleasure that came from athletics came from competing rather than from winning although he did not undervalue the joy that coming first in an event afforded. The Headmaster, Mr. Stirrup, welcomed our guests of the afternoon, amongst whom were the Mayoress, Mrs. Redhead, Mrs. Bailey, Mrs. Chaplin, and Mrs. Potter. He paid tribute to Mr. Ninnim and his organisation of the School's sports not only in 1961 but through the years that he has served. He stressed the efficiency and the attention to detail that Mr. Ninnim had shown in whatever he had undertaken.
In a brief but sincerely moving reply Mr. Ninnim said that he had tried to show the boys whom he had taught the value of discipline in the formation of character. His work, he admitted, would not have been so pleasurable without the willing cooperation of his colleagues on the Staff and the help of friends, Old Monovians, and teachers from other schools who had contributed to the success of this sports day and the many that had gone before it.
The Mayoress, Mrs. Redhead, then presented the trophies. The victors gained their reward and the vanquished applauded their conquerors. In spite of the weather the afternoon had been a success. The Parents' Association and Mrs. Lee had provided tea with their customary efficiency and good humour, the organisation had run smoothly, new records had been set up, and with the congratulations of the visitors still resounding m his ears Mr. Ninnim must have smiled as the defeated thunderstorm lashed its way angrily towards Epping Forest to spend its last fury.