Over 600 students participate in Student Olympics

More than 600 students participated in the first collaborative Ormiston Academies Trust ‘Road to Rio’ Olympic Games.

Students from five Ormiston academies – Ormiston Chadwick in Widnes, Ormiston Bolingbroke in Runcorn, Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews in Stoke-on-Trent, Ormiston Horizon in Stoke-on-Trent, and Tenbury High Ormiston in Worcestershire – took part in the games which were officially opened by the guest of honour, Paralympic Games silver medallist Mel Clarke.

The Games, true to the real thing, included an opening ceremony – but featured a dance-off between the academies with each representing a different country. Students also had the fantastic opportunity to hold a real Olympic torch, brought by Mel Clarke.

The day was a huge success with students participating in track, netball, handball, rugby, Futsal and wheelchair basketball competition, ending with a mixed tug-of-war.

Mel presented the winner’s trophy, which this year went to Ormiston Chadwick Academy after a close competition saw them finish ahead of runners-up Tenbury High by just one point.

The event was made possible with sponsorship from Ormiston Trust, a national charity aimed at improving the life chances of children and young people, and which established Ormiston Academies Trust.

These games are part of Ormiston Academies Trust’s (OAT) wider commitment to providing its students with a rich variety of enrichment opportunities outside of the classroom. OAT was praised recently for this very commitment by the former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

OAT Enrichment Champion for the West, Rebecca Smith, said: “Great moments come from great opportunity and organising the first OAT Olympics ‘Road to Rio’ was about delivering an experience for the pupils that they will always remember.

“There was a great spirit in the air, made all the more special by having Mel Clarke join us. She was an inspiration to all and really encouraged students to try their absolute best. It was a tremendous honour to watch so many pupils engage so enthusiastically in all the activities.

“Thank you to all academies staff and pupils for making this such a worthwhile project. We look forward to building on the success of this event and delivering many more, ensuring we meet our commitment to providing all our students with excellent opportunities outside of the classroom.”

Students from Tenbury High Ormiston Academy said: “Meeting other Ormiston students around the country was an exciting experience that we will not forget.

“It was great to see the support and sportsmanship displayed at the Road to Rio games. The activities were superb and exceeded our expectation. We especially enjoyed the dancing and parade, which made us feel united. We would like to say thank you to the organisers as we really enjoyed our time.”

Toby Salt, CEO of Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “I am delighted that everyone had such a fantastic time at the first OAT Olympics, and we are looking forward to organising many more of these kinds of opportunities like this across the trust.

“We are committed to providing all our students with inspirational enrichment activities such as this outside of the classroom and ensuring they leave us not only with great exam results, but as well-rounded citizens who have had opportunities in sports, arts, volunteering and educational and international trips.”

See a full gallery of photographs from the Road to Rio event on the Ormiston Academies Trust website.

James is the Chief Executive officer of Ormiston Trust. He has worked as an organisation advisor in the private, public and voluntary sectors, helping organisations to grow sustainably over the medium to long term. He has helped charities for over 20 years in the fields of strategic development, partnership setup, programme and project delivery.

Poppy is the Youth Engagement and Partnership Officer at Ormiston Trust, responsible for coordinating our team of Young Advisors and developing effective working relationships with external organisations. She is currently studying ‘Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development’ at Warwick University and previously worked as Board Advisor for a non-profit youth-focused organisation in Croydon. She has experience in activism work – attending COP26 with environmental education company Force of Nature and had been a member of the UK Youth Parliament for many years, speaking on environmental issues in the House of Commons for its ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign.

Genéa is the Communications and Events Coordinator at Ormiston Trust. She plays an integral role in overseeing the communications and media strategy – along with leading the content development for internal and external comms and PR across the Trust and the #WeWill programme. As well as supporting all event planning across campaigns, including the delivery of comms workshops with the Youth Advisory Council. 

She has worked predominantly in broadcasting PR, comms and editorial and now works as a narrative designer alongside her work since completing her MA in Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins. 

Fiona is the Grants Assistant at Ormiston Trust and in her role she supports the Grants team. Previously, she worked in the City for 10 years, firstly as a dealer on the floor of the London Stock Exchange and then as an equity salestrader.  

Samia is a business and ICT Teacher with over 20 years of leadership experience in Education, working with leaders from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 5. Her experience has ranged from working as an Acting Head Teacher to a Deputy for an Education Trust. Some of the key highlights from her education career have included building schools and setting up education provisions, including a teaching school, and winning several National awards. Samia is passionate about ensuring the young people in her care have the best possible experience and has always led by example by sending her own children to the schools she has been a part of.

Ray leads the youth engagement, partnerships and fundraising work streams at Ormiston Trust, in particular having strategic oversight of how we as an organisation can embed the voices of our young people in everything we do, and how we can work with partner organisations to maximise shared outcomes and opportunities.

His background is in community project development and funding, having worked with charities, schools, and local authorities in East Anglia to develop a plethora of projects including primary-secondary school transition, award-winning youth amateur theatre, social prescribing in rural GP practices, and youth commissioning boards, for which he was recognised as a Prime Minister’s Point of Light.

Ray is a global health and medicine graduate, alongside his work at Ormiston, he is a hospital doctor and public health academic. He is also an #iWill Ambassador and national #iWill Partnership Board member.

Anne is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has worked for Ormiston Trust for over 30 years, overseeing the property portfolio and asset management. She combines her work at the Trust with voluntary community work and has raised thousands of pounds to enhance leisure and education opportunities for young people in disadvantaged communities. 

Karlene is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has been handling the Financial Management of Ormiston Trust since 2014. Her background is in Financial Services with 20 years working in the industry and she has a passion for systems, processes and spreadsheets to enable good finance management. 

Aneela is the Head of Education at Ormiston Trust. Prior to joining Ormiston Trust, she was Head of Professional Development and School Improvement at Beaconhouse Group, overseeing the professional development of over 8000 teachers and implementing systems for school improvement across 200 international schools, in the Southeast region. Prior to this, she worked at Universities in the UAE, where she taught on the Bachelor of Education and Diploma programmes, and previous to this she was a Lead Advisor for Nord Anglia Education services, working with head teachers and principals to raise educational standards across schools in Abu Dhabi.

Melissa is a Programme Management Officer at Ormiston Trust. In her role she supports the #WeWill programme management, and works closely with the monitoring & evaluation, social action toolkit & skills, and youth engagement teams. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Development at the University of Sussex, and her postgraduate degree in Global Health and Development at UCL. Over the last eight years, she has dedicated much of her time to working with non-profit organisations in the UK, Nigeria, China, and Tanzania.