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Warlingham CSLA Students Host Primary Schools Swimming Gala ​​​​​​​

On 22nd November, Warlingham School & Sixth Form College was delighted to host its first Primary Swimming Gala since 2019, and our thirteenth gala since 2007.

With a gap in swimming experience due to the pandemic, it was pleasing to see that so many of our primary swimmers had maintained a good standard of swimming and it was a credit to all the primary staff, coaches and parents that they were able to organise a team of students from Year 3 to Year 6 for this event.

Running this type of event is a real community effort. Not only does it involve the hard-work and organisation of the local primary schoolsYear 12 CSLA Students at gala to bring a team, but it is run as a leadership event by our Year 12 Community Sports Leadership Award (CSLA) students for their Level 2 or Level 3 Award, so they had to take responsibility for running the event. This is not always easy, but they worked hard to set up prior to the event, managed the entry of swimmers and spectators from the carpark to the pool, and then were assigned various roles throughout the event which they did with enthusiasm.  Thanks must go to the following Year 12 students who volunteered their time: Millie C, Tayah B, Keeley H, Matt F, Jess T, Taylor H, Tom C, Emma B, Liam W, Harry F, Chloe S, Isabel S, Katie B and Zoe T.

As this was the first primary swimming gala post Covid, it was decided to modify the traditional gala to compensate forWarlingham Primary School Swimming Gala any gaps in experience. Hence, we opened it up to students in Year 3 to Year 6 and had the traditional races of the 25m Freestyle and 25m Backstroke across the age-groups. We also added some float relay races either with the traditional floats or an obstacle relay race, which involved a combination of floats, noodles and balls. Logistics-wise, we learnt a lot from this experience across the age ranges.

Due to the nature of swimming and its importance as a skill for children to develop, it is mandatory to have lifeguards at such an event. Again, we were incredibly lucky as a school to source these from our college students - this time from Paul W and Jake S in Year 13, who were generous to give up their time inWhyteleafe School Winning Swimming Team their final year at school and who did a superb job all afternoon. Jake, in particular, had the rare opportunity to illustrate the importance of being able to support someone!

Congratulations to Whyteleafe who won it for the thirteenth year in a row. As a member of Whyteleafe staff commented, "there will be a two-year gap recorded on the shield – 2019 – 2022! A piece of history in itself!" After a long afternoon in the heat of the pool, the primary students very much enjoyed being presented with their certificates and medals by our Headteacher, Paul Foster.

2022 Swimming Gala Results

Position  School 
1st  Whyteleafe School
2nd  St Francis’ Catholic Primary
3rd Hamsey Green Primary School
Joint 4th  Audley Primary School and St. John’s C of E Primary School
6th  Hillcroft Primary School

As mentioned earlier, it is the community of staff and students that enable this type of event to take place. We wouldMedals at Warlingham Swimming Gala like to thank the PE Department for being flexible and relinquishing their facilities, along with the Site Team, particularly Tony Mandry, Will Standen and Ismail Haji, for facilitating the event. We would like to thank Tom Simpson for being an excellent starter. For the thirteenth year, Warlingham has been lucky enough to have the support of Penny Stock, both behind the scenes and during the gala on the results table. Her attention to detail, advice about the event and her smooth running of results both before and after the event add so much to the operational success of the gala.

In addition, behind the scenes, the event relied on First Aid support from the Student Services team and Ian Moore. Thank you also to the assistance of Lawrence McConnell in Reprographics, Nicki Clarke and her Technical Team for sound, Year 11 students Owen W and Pierce O. Finally, thank you to Marketing Department for donating prizes which were awarded to three students from each school who demonstrated the Warlingham Learner attributes of courage, commitment and kindness. 

Vanessa Salem
PE Teacher