The 52nd Athletic Meeting was held on July 14th. This year we enjoyed fine, warm weather. Even if the sun was a little too powerful for the comfort of the competitors, it certainly made for a brilliant gathering, and the meeting was well supported by parents, friends, and O.M.s The whole of the Staff gave their active support as officials.
The Sports were preceded as usual by the preliminary heats, team standard contests, house relays, and a number of other events which have to be run off before the day to avoid strain and fatigue on the part of the competitors.
Team standard contests have now been organised for the past nine years and have done much to raise the standard of the field events. Moreover, they have encouraged the weaker boys to take an active interest in Athletics and those knocked out of their heats to continue their training.
Considering the fine condition of the ground and the fact that there was a strong head wind, the winners' times should have been much better. Some individual performances were indeed good. The same remark does not, however, apply to the majority of the competitors: Lack of serious training was very obvious in all but a few, and those few were often the favourites. Staggered starts were re-introduced this year in the 220, 440, and House Relays. These have not been used since 1938. Their re-introduction added interest to these events.
At the beginning of the summer a training plan was prepared for the whole of the School. An after-school training schedule was drawn up which covered a twelve weeks' course. Training record sheets were available, together with the advice of a coach, and weekly training hints were published in the School Bulletin.
Only a very few boys took advantage of these facilities and in consequence we were defeated in every major athletic event in which we took part during the year.
It is hoped that 1952 will see many more boys taking an active and keen interest, for only by effort and really intelligent training will the satisfaction of first class achievement in Athletics be reached and enjoyed.
Once again the School Sports were conducted with customary efficiency, and reflected well-deserved credit on the whole School. There was keen rivalry throughout the competition, and the result was in doubt until the final event, which gave Higham victory. The weather was favourable, and this added greatly to the enjoyment of the occasion.
The German boys, who were visiting the School, took part in several events, including a relay with a School team.
The Cups were presented to the winners by the Mayoress, Lady McEntee, who was in turn given a magnificent bouquet by the School Athletics Captain.