On Wednesday 10 November we visited the wonderful St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Beckenham for the first time.

Despite the gloomy skies, we were greeted with smiles and excitement from pupils and staff, bringing their very own sunshine to the school. It didn’t take long for John to be recognised, a pupil who had experienced one of John’s inspirational talks at another school in the past bounding over with a joyful excitement as we were setting up for the whole school assembly. A great start to the day.

We started with an assembly to around 400 pupils and staff, John sharing his top tips for overcoming boundaries – whatever they may be – and many of his own amazing life stories. The pupils asked intelligent and insightful questions and set the tone for an inspirational and enjoyable day.

We delivered the PowerHouseGames to Years 5 and 6 in the morning, with Goalball, Sitting Volleyball, Sitting Netball and New Age Kurling all on the agenda. The hall was full of noise, talking, screaming, and laughing as all the pupils got stuck into games they had never come across before, learning as they went along, but most importantly having FUN!

John coaxed the lessons out of them by the end:

  • we can include everyone,
  • I can’t do it… yet, and
  • we have to work together

all coming out. It wasn’t the answer to these questions that pleased John the most, though. One year 5 pupil asked me

“Are you John’s friend, or are you his dad?!”

Do I look old, or does John look particularly youthful? The latter, we both presume!

In the afternoon we welcomed the Year 3 and 4s to compete in the same games; some of the Year 6s helped us set up the equipment as they were desperate to spend more time talking to John! The Year 3s gave John a series of “High Paws” after being, arguably, the most vocal of the groups during the actual games! The Year 4s – one class rather than two – took part in a mass sitting volleyball game to finish the day off, with the other three games played in rotation beforehand. The afternoon went so quickly we questioned how we got to 3.10pm!

A fantastic event and truly worth the early start to hear the laughter and see the smiles throughout the school. St Mary’s were terrific hosts and we can’t wait to return next year to deliver another PowerHouseGames!

Inspired? Then Get Involved!

If you are interested in hosting a virtual PowerHouseGames in your school / college / company / community group then we would love to hear from you. As you have read we have even found a way to make our PowerHouseGames a success in lockdown so don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can help you plan your very own PowerHouseGames!!

Click the button here to find out more.