This year has seen an inconsistent and irregular improvement of standards in the School. It is indisputable, however, that the field events have eclipsed those on the track in general standards even if not in individual brilliance. It does seem that the intensive coaching of junior and intermediates in field event technique by Mr. Ninnim and Mr. Crispin is now paying dividends. As a result, our field event team can more than hold its own with all but a few of the Grammar Schools in Essex. The track squad, however, is considerably below standard, and had it not been for a few outstanding individuals, the School would have attained considerably inferior results.
Basically the remedy is simple, as our weakness is not due to a lack of talent, for in the Lower and Middle School there are boys of considerable ability in both the sprints and the middle distances. But to reach their full potential, they must work, and work hard. There must be a greater appreciation of the value of progressive training, and a realisation that the foundation of success on the track in summer, for both sprinter and middle distance runner, is laid during the winter months.
THE CHAMPION RUSSELL CUP COMPETITION.
In this, the most important track fixture of the year, the School could hardly fail to improve upon our twelfth and last position in 1958. Improve upon this we certainly did, but our final placing left much to be desired. In the 23 events that comprise the meeting, we had only eight finalists, but owing to some fine running, especially from the Third Form, we had four first places. The lack of depth in the School can be seen from the fact that we had only one relay team qualifying for a final out of the six relay events.
THE BICKERSTETH CUP COMPETITION.
In this competition, which is confined to field events, the School was always among the leaders throughout the long and arduous programme. The finishing order was in doubt almost to the last event, and the School can congratulate itself upon what is a truly first-class performance, and one which is a striking testimonial to the hard work put in by Mr. Ninnim and Mr. Crispin in coaching the field events, and to the hard training done by many of the boys.
The School team had high hopes of winning this trophy, but it soon became apparent that this was not to be. Several people, of whom there was greater expectation, ran well below their best form, and although our teams ran consistently for third and fourth places in most events, we could still do no better than place fifth overall.
ESSEX JUNIOR AND YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS
The School was badly represented at these championships, and the consolation must be that those who did compete put up some respectable performances. In future years many of the fourth and fifth forms should make use of the Youths' Champion-ships in order to gain the valuable competitive experience which all but a few lack.
J. Maxwell also ran in the Woodford Green A.C. relay team which won the county youths' 4 x 110 yds. title. Of the Old Monovians competing at the Championships, the most prominent was Brian Rider, who annexed the Senior 440 yds. title in 50.8 secs., and ran in the winning Woodford Green A.C. 4 x 440 yds. relay team.
ESSEX SCHOOLS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The School provided a large proportion of the Walthamstow and District team for these championships. Unfortunately, few were at their best, and only A. J. Maxwell, who was second in the Senior Mile in 4 mins. 39.8 sees., was placed.
SPORTS DAY, 1959
Saturday., July 19, saw the Schools Sports held in fine weather which was, perhaps, if anything a little too hot. The meeting was a great success, and it was a pity that the final result was in little doubt throughout the afternoon. As a result of Sports Day being held later in the term than for some years previously, it was possible to reintroduce field event team competitions for juniors and intermediates. This caused a great revival of interest in the lower part of the School, as it enabled a greater number of boys to compete for their houses. Indeed, it is to be hoped that the School never reverts to an early Sports Day again.
Another feature of the Sports was the presentation of a new trophy, the "Chaplin" Cup for the Senior Team Mile, and we are indebted to Alderman and Mrs. S. N. Chaplin for the award.
Suitably enough, Spivey took the cup for its inaugural presentation, when winning the event for the fifth successive year.
Thanks are due to Mrs. Chaplin for presenting the trophies, to Mr. Ninnim for his capable organisation, to the Parents who provided the teas, to members of Staff, Parents, and Old Monovians for acting as officials, and to Mr. Ames and his assistant who prepared the track and throwing areas.