Sports Day at West Mon School Pontypool


Sports Day was the highlight of the year. For one thing it was a day off lessons. A lot of preparation was involved, not least of which was the marking out of the tracks around the sports field. Garnett used to take classes out of their normal lessons to do this job. Probably they would have learned a lot more from doing this than they ever would from one of Garnett’s lessons; as a teacher of anything other than rugby he was hopeless.

The competition was between the school houses. There was a lot of cheering and shouted encouragement as the house heroes did their stuff. The heats took place first and then the finals. Points were awarded to the houses and the announcements of the points total were made at frequent intervals to the accompaniment of huge cheering from the house in the lead.

There were the usual competitions: running of course in varying distances, throwing the javelin, putting the shot, throwing the cricket ball, and so on. Each house had its “experts” in all these events but occasionally they disappointed us. I remember one tall lad named Loughlin. He was a very good runner but in one of his races he was beaten by a much smaller boy.

The sports field was a reasonable size for the occasion and it’s a natural small amphitheatre with a bank running alongside with the terrace behind for overflow. The bank was always packed with spectators.

Apart from points being awarded to the houses, each competitior was also awarded points and the boy with the most points became the Victor Ludorum which was always regarded as a great honour. It was invariably one of the older boys, often a prefect, who attained this dizzy height. The icing on the cake for the Voctor Ludorum was to have his name painted on the Victor Ludorum honours board in the school hall for posterity.


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One Response to “Sports Day at West Mon School Pontypool”

  1. clive barnby Says:

    In the days of the boarders, School House usually came out top on Sports Day. I suppose there wasnt much to do other than homework, so they spent a lot of time training.

    After the boarders departed, Watson House had some years of success – there were a big house, drawing members from Griffithstown, Sebastapol, Pontnewydd, Upper Cwmbran. Later, the geographical basis of the houses was abandoned to ensure they were of roughly equal numbers.

    If I recall correctly, there was a 80 yard sprint, a 150 yard
    race and a 300 yard one. This was dictated largely by the size of the lawn. A mile involved some eight laps of the lawn.

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