Physical Education is a vital element of our pupils’ school experience and we are fortunate to have a new Sport and Fitness Centre, which provides indoor facilities including a large modern Sports Hall, a Gym/ Dance Studio, and a state-of-the-art fitness suite. Emily Simon, the wife of one of our Founders, endowed our playing fields, which include an all-weather pitch and netball courts, both of which were resurfaced to the highest possible specification in 2019. These areas are floodlit to allow for matches and practices in the winter months. The pitch is marked for hockey in the winter and has eight tennis courts in the summer. There is also a large grassed area used mainly for lacrosse in the winter and for athletics and rounders in the summer. These new and upgraded facilities provide something for everyone and we aim to inspire girls to enjoy lifelong participation in sport, reaping the benefit of the confidence, wellbeing, resilience and camaraderie that comes with it.
All Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils have two double periods of PE each week. There is netball, hockey, lacrosse and gymnastics in the winter and spring terms; and tennis, athletics and rounders in the summer. Year 10 and 11 continue to have a PE lesson each week whether or not they are taking PE GCSE.
Team and recreational practices in hockey, lacrosse and netball take place at lunchtimes and after school. There are also many other sports clubs such as badminton, fitness, yoga, football and table tennis. Withington’s continued commitment to giving girls of all ability levels the opportunity to play, compete and enjoy team sports earned an award from the Greater Manchester Schools Games Programme whose competitions are designed to give pupils across the sporting proficiency range the opportunity to represent their schools and experience interschool competitions.
Alongside this, Withington’s success in national and regional competitions in athletics, badminton, hockey, netball and lacrosse placed us in School Sport Magazine’s 2019 list of the top 100 independent sports schools in the country. This puts WGS in the top 10% of all UK independent schools.
National and Regional Success
In netball, our U16 netball team reached the National Schools’ finals and came third in the Country in 2019. In 2020, the U14s were National Finalists, U13A were Greater Manchester County Champions and in the South Manchester League, five of our six teams finished winners or runners up in a league of eight local schools. A superb record when you consider Withington has fewer pupils per cohort than most of our opposition schools. At the Nationals, the U18 lacrosse team were placed in the top 16. At the North Schools Tournament the U12s were runners-up and U13s were third. In hockey, the U13 team reached the quarter final of the ISHC plate competition.
Athletics teams compete in Manchester Schools and National Schools competitions with success for individuals and teams. Rounders teams have consistently high success rates in Manchester Schools tournamne s, regularly winning in all age groups. Our tennis teams compete in the schools’ Team Tennis National Competition and in 2021, our U13 and U15 teams were Lancashire champions.
Several girls train at the hockey Junior Regional Performance Centre and we have several players in the England Lacrosse Talent Pathway. In netball, our girls are represented in County squads, many are selected for Manchester Thunder and one student has been selected for the U19 England Academy. We also have girls who compete at national and county level in badminton, fencing, dressage and trampolining.
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