Students from five Ormiston academies – Ormiston Chadwick in Widnes, Ormiston Bolingbroke in Runcorn, Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews in Stoke-on-Trent, Ormiston Horizon in Stoke-on-Trent, and Tenbury High Ormiston in Worcestershire – took part in the games which were officially opened by the guest of honour, Paralympic Games silver medallist Mel Clarke.
The Games, true to the real thing, included an opening ceremony – but featured a dance-off between the academies with each representing a different country. Students also had the fantastic opportunity to hold a real Olympic torch, brought by Mel Clarke.
The day was a huge success with students participating in track, netball, handball, rugby, Futsal and wheelchair basketball competition, ending with a mixed tug-of-war.
Mel presented the winner’s trophy, which this year went to Ormiston Chadwick Academy after a close competition saw them finish ahead of runners-up Tenbury High by just one point.
The event was made possible with sponsorship from Ormiston Trust, a national charity aimed at improving the life chances of children and young people, and which established Ormiston Academies Trust.
These games are part of Ormiston Academies Trust’s (OAT) wider commitment to providing its students with a rich variety of enrichment opportunities outside of the classroom. OAT was praised recently for this very commitment by the former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.
OAT Enrichment Champion for the West, Rebecca Smith, said: “Great moments come from great opportunity and organising the first OAT Olympics ‘Road to Rio’ was about delivering an experience for the pupils that they will always remember.
“There was a great spirit in the air, made all the more special by having Mel Clarke join us. She was an inspiration to all and really encouraged students to try their absolute best. It was a tremendous honour to watch so many pupils engage so enthusiastically in all the activities.
“Thank you to all academies staff and pupils for making this such a worthwhile project. We look forward to building on the success of this event and delivering many more, ensuring we meet our commitment to providing all our students with excellent opportunities outside of the classroom.”
Students from Tenbury High Ormiston Academy said: “Meeting other Ormiston students around the country was an exciting experience that we will not forget.
“It was great to see the support and sportsmanship displayed at the Road to Rio games. The activities were superb and exceeded our expectation. We especially enjoyed the dancing and parade, which made us feel united. We would like to say thank you to the organisers as we really enjoyed our time.”
Toby Salt, CEO of Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “I am delighted that everyone had such a fantastic time at the first OAT Olympics, and we are looking forward to organising many more of these kinds of opportunities like this across the trust.
“We are committed to providing all our students with inspirational enrichment activities such as this outside of the classroom and ensuring they leave us not only with great exam results, but as well-rounded citizens who have had opportunities in sports, arts, volunteering and educational and international trips.”
See a full gallery of photographs from the Road to Rio event on the Ormiston Academies Trust website here.