" Sport is, and always will be, a major priority at Withington. We maintain excellent rankings in all sporting competitions despite having a pupil roll which is half that of many of the schools we compete against. Our small size also means that, proportionally, more of our girls are likely to get the chance to play competitive sport.

In 2019, our sports pitches and courts were upgraded to a very high specification and, in 2018, our new Sports and Fitness Centre was opened by inspirational Paralympian athlete Dame Sarah Storey DBE.
The new building provides an expanded area for sports and PE; viewing galleries; a large fitness suite; a ‘mind and body’ studio and a welcoming reception and hospitality area.
In an action-packed day of activities which included athletics, games, dance, and even ‘staff spectacular’ races, the Withington community of pupils, teachers, alumnae, governors and invited guests were in celebratory spirits as Dame Sarah formally unveiled the plaque commemorating the recently completed building, which, says Headmistress Mrs Haslam, ‘provides something for everyone’, and encourages pupils of all sporting abilities to ‘stay active for life’.
The new facilities add to our existing four-badminton-court sized sports hall, a gymnasium which has been converted into a modern dance studio, a full-sized floodlit astroturf (which accommodates hockey in winter and nine tennis courts in summer), two outdoor floodlit netball courts and two grass lacrosse pitches.

Withington’s Sport and Fitness Centre

Sports practice sessions are structured to enable girls to take part in Netball, Lacrosse and Hockey rather than, as at many other schools, be forced to choose just one. Additionally, the PE and Music departments coordinate schedules so that girls are able to pursue both musical and sporting interests outside school hours.

Lunchtime clubs are open to all girls and teams represent the school in netball, lacrosse and hockey in the two winter terms and in tennis, athletics and rounders in the summer term. Throughout the year, there is a packed after-school programme of sports practices and matches against other schools.

The School’s continued commitment to giving girls of all ability levels the opportunity to play, compete and enjoy team sports, has been recognised with the award of a certificate from the Greater Manchester Schools Games Programme. The School Games competitions are designed to give pupils across the sporting proficiency range the opportunity to represent their schools and experience inter-school competitions.

Alongside this, Withington’s success in National and regional competitions in athletics, badminton, hockey, netball and lacrosse has earned us a place 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 independent schools in a table that includes boys’, girls’ and co-ed schools.

We firmly believe that sport is for everyone and that playing team sports provides multiple learning and personal development experiences over and above physical fitness: developing friendships; understanding the importance of supporting and working with others; developing self-restraint and managing emotions; experiencing the spirit and camaraderie of being part of a team; winning and losing graciously; developing resilience and much else besides.

Other sports clubs that move away from the more traditional sports and physical activities are on offer too. These include Yoga, Table Tennis, Football, Trampoline Club, Zumba and Body Conditioning and are open to all ages and abilities. All are designed to be sociable and fun and while improving fitness and flexibility.

The Yoga taught is Children’s Yoga as opposed to the more ‘serious’, adult or traditional Yoga. It is an invaluable aid for maintaining and increasing muscle flexibility and the focus required to hold a posture promotes inner strength and confidence.

The very popular Trampoline Club takes place once a week after school and the girls very much enjoy advancing their trampoline skills. Trampolining is also taught as part of the Withington PE curriculum and this club supplements this. The School is very proud that one of our recent leavers is a full Great Britain trampoline international.

Gymnastics is a highly popular lunchtime activity. In beginners` gym girls gain confidence and improve their range of skills. There is also an advanced gym club who put together an impressive routine for the annual Gym and Dance Display every February. The standard of performance by the girls is excellent!

Withington enters county tournaments, National Schools’ Competitions and local rallies and invitation events. The PE Department also offers a ski trip every year.

County, Elite and National Sports Representation

At Withington, we have numerous pupils who not only keep up with their studies and take part in various other extra-curricular activities but also
find time to commit to their sports at a very high level. Here is a gallery of some of them!

01 ANUSHKA Cheshire County Badminton
02 MIRANDA England U23 Lacrosse
03 ELLIE NW Regional Lacrosse
04 CHARLIE England U18 Lacrosse
05 ISABELLA Great Britain Dressage
06 SAHARA NW Schools Trampoline Champion
07 LUISA Cheshire County Netball
08 PAKO Great Britain Fencing
09 ZARA Great Britain Fencing
10 CHLOE East Cheshire Hockey
11 SILVIA U17 England Netball
12 ELIZA U15 England PC Hockey
13 IMAAN, SOPHIE, REBEKAH & GRACE U15 Lancashire & Cheshire Lacrosse
14 ELIZA, KIT, LORNA, MATILDA, JESS & MEGAN (not in picture) Greater Manchester Hockey
15 ZARA, CARYS & AVA Manchester Thunder Bees (Ava also Greater Manchester)
16 JASMINE, KARMA & CHARLIE U18 Lancashire Lacrosse
17 OLIVIA, EVA, EMILY, ESME & LOUISA U13 Lancashire & Cheshire Lacrosse
18 LOTTA, GRACE, BELLA, SOPHIE & REBEKAH England Regional Lacrosse Academy U13 Lancashire and Cheshire Lacrosse
GRACE, BELLA, LOUISA, AVA & EMMA (2nd left in top photo) Greater Manchester Netball. (Emma & Louisa,
also Manchester Thunder Youth Team)

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