March 2014: Sporting challenge for tremendous ten

TEN intrepid Haslingden High School students took up the ‘Sochi’ Challenge when they competed against 10 schools in sports they had little or no experience of.

The friendly competition saw team members competing in a number of different activities at Manchester’s Chill Factore to earn points towards a winners’ trophy at the end of the day. There were also smaller trophies for the best person at each event.

First up was climbing where students had a quick practice before being timed on the speed wall. Olivia Ratcliffe, a British climber and Haslingden’s secret weapon won the trophy for this event at the end of the day, closely followed by Tom Chapman. Both students earned the right to have their names on the leader board.

What started off quietly in the curling, turned into a seriously competitive event. Lewis Balchin was even giving psychological team talks in an attempt to boost performance. However, despite Lewis launching his curling stone by lying face down on the ice, Haslingden lost this event.

Next was the skiing. Full of confidence as the team consisted of some fantastic skiers and students were sure of a winning time in the team ski relay.

Paul Chambers was the only one of our students who hadn’t had much experience of skiing. He was really lucky in that he received a 1:1 private lesson for the best part of an hour.

After a well earned feed at Nandos at lunch it was back into the competitive spirit for the sliding events in the afternoon. Students tried to bend every rule in the book to try to gain an advantage at the Tubing, the Luge and the downhill sledging. Lewis Balchin was rewarded by achieving the fastest Tube run and took the trophy at the presentation.

PE teacher Mrs Wilson said: “We were gutted not to win the overall event; however the day was all about fun and participation. Our students were a credit to the school and worked so well together as a team.”

Competing students: Olivia Ratcliffe, Tom Chapman, Alice Chapman, James Chapman, Tanicha Ellis, Leonah Ellis, Alice Harding, James Harding, Paul Chambers and Lewis Balchin.