Joy as school sports tournaments resume after 15-month break

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Red Oak.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Red Oak. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Organisers have hailed the return of school sports after the first face to face tournament in 15 months was successfully held.

And the smiles on the children's faces said it all - as more than 30 excited youngsters battled it out in the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 boys football championships.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Reydon.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Reydon. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Hosted and organised by Red Oak Primary School last Friday, it was the first school sports tournament to take place since restrictions were eased. 

The tournament featured ALT schools Reydon, Grove, Westwood and Red Oak primary schools.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Westwood vs Reydon.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Westwood vs Reydon. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

With additional safety precautions and risk assessments put in place to allow the event to run as safely as possible, organisers said that prior to Covid 12 teams would have battled it out, with 120 children competing.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Red Oak.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Red Oak. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes


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As well as a smaller number of children competing, all staff had to have negative Covid tests before they could attend, with socially distanced team areas and hand sanitising stations in place.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Red Oak vs Reydon.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Red Oak vs Reydon. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

A minute's silence was held at the start of the tournament, as respects were paid to Jordan Banks and to the NHS workers, carers and victims of the pandemic.

Winners of the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships, Grove PS. 

Winners of the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships, Grove PS. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

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Grove Primary School were crowned North Suffolk ALT Year 6 boys champions ahead of second placed Westwood (B cup winners), Reydon Primary School in third and Red Oak in fourth.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Westwood vs Red Oak

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Westwood vs Red Oak. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Johnny Lee, PE co-ordinator and Upper Key Stage 2 Leader at Red Oak and organiser of the North Suffolk ALT Games, said: "Grove played some amazing football to win all three of their games.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Westwood vs Grove.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Westwood vs Grove. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

"It was a very close tournament with second, third and fourth placed schools all achieving a total of three points from their games so the final positions were decided on goal difference."

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Westwood vs Grove.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Westwood vs Grove. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Mr Lee added: "It was wonderful to see the return of competitive school sports in Suffolk.

"At Red Oak, we usually host 40 tournaments across the school year for the local North Suffolk ALT schools, however due to the pandemic we had to stop running these tournaments 15 months ago.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Reydon.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Reydon. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

"The children from across the schools were very excited to compete against one another again.

"It has been a very long wait."

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Red Oak.

Action from the North Suffolk Schools ALT Year 6 Boys Football Championships. Grove vs Red Oak. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Another 11 sports tournaments are now being scheduled until the end of July, with a Year 6 girls ALT football championships being held this week.

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