For the next five or so weeks the sounds of Europe as well as its many national anthems will be ringing in our ears as the Euro 2016 Football Championships kicks off in France tonight. The EU referendum debates will be hotly contested too, much like the numerous football matches, as the 23rd of June fast approaches. The morning of Friday the 24th could be a very different UK by then as could the US in a few months’ time when the first female presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton takes to the campaign trail. The world is changing every day and we as a school need to adapt to these changes and equip our students with the life skills that they will need to cope with this ever changing world. Our mission statement resonates this - ‘Teaching boys and girls to think intelligently, act wisely and be fully engaged in a challenging and changing world’.
With the untimely passing of the greatest sportsman that has ever lived, Muhammad Ali, sport takes centre stage yet again. It wields a lot of power and influence in bringing people and communities together. It is certainly powerful and this football tournament heralds the start of a glorious summer of sport – with the US Open Golf championships, Test cricket against Sri Lanka, England vs Australia in rugby, the climax of the F1 racing season and Wimbledon just around the corner; it’s going to be a busy time for us arm chair sports enthusiasts and the remote control. This week saw over 50 of our students compete in the Yeovil Athletics championships with many of them surpassing their personal bests and finishing in the top 3, testimony to their hard graft, training and work ethic; something we saw during last term’s very successful Sports Day – thank you again for your support. Sport certainly is powerful and as I hear the preparations being made for the Race for Life event which takes place after school on Friday 1st July and is being organised by one of our Y10 prefects, we are fortunate that we have the opportunity to play, enjoy and witness sport at all levels. Good luck to all those doing DoE this weekend across the Mendips, let’s hope the weather is kind.
As I settle down this evening to watch the opening game of the Euros, and over the next month or so follow with intent the progress of England (managed by the former English teacher Roy Hodgson), I wonder if this will indeed be like the summer of 1996, or even that of 1966. With the EU referendum looming ever closer and the noise and division it is creating on both sides, I hope this sporting event in Europe will bring people and communities together – solidarity and a unitedness which is very much needed at this time. On aside; after 60 years of hope, is this going to be England’s year? Or like Leicester City, will it be Wales? Nothing is impossible.