Abby in Upper 6 reviews last week’s Sports Awards.

The Sports Awards Evening is an event which we as young sportswomen look forward to, as it brings together girls from all year groups and allows us to celebrate one another’s successes throughout the season. This year, the format of the event was slightly different to that of previous years, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

The event kicked off with a spectacular display of food and drink provided to Brookwood, which tasted as good as it looked, meanwhile girls mingled between teams and years as they ate their meal and caught up on the previous season and the Easter holiday. Moving from the Dining Hall into the Performance Space, the atmosphere buzzed as the presentations were about to begin.

As a school passionate about lacrosse, we were honoured to have Laura Merrifield, Captain of the Senior England Lacrosse Squad, talk to us about her lacrosse career, from relatable school level to where she is today. Laura’s speech was inspiring to girls and teachers alike, with food-for-thought on perseverance and team work that players can take forward into next season. Laura answered a range of questions from the students, giving insight into how she maintains motivation during tough games, as well as her training programme. Laura is certainly a role model to many girls at our school, especially after watching her lead England to Bronze medal position at the World Cup held in Guildford last summer.

We have had a very successful year across all sports. Awards began with an introduction from the sport’s captain, who gave highlights from the season. Hearing all the accomplishments achieved by girls at our school was empowering and reflected the PE department’s hard work and message that ‘Habs Girls Can’.

Laura Merrifield presented awards to a girl from each age group and Sport, on the basis of great commitment, effort and consistent performance. Between the presentations, three video montages of teams in action were played and included photographs of achievements this year, allowing girls across the plethora of sports at Habs to see what others had got up to.  These videos showed examples of the talent we have at Habs as well as the determination put into training – evidently producing high levels of team spirit within each squad. The videos made for great interludes throughout the evening and provided entertainment all round.

The final awards presented were arguably the most prestigious awards of the evening. This year, the ‘Team of the Year’ prize was awarded to the Gymnastics U19 and U16 trio teams who, impressively, both qualified for the national finals. The U19 team did exceptionally well as they came third as a region. Both teams worked very hard this year and performed brilliantly in the competition.

Laura Hirai from Upper 6 was the winner of the ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ prize. Laura is an outstanding sportswoman, contributing to lacrosse and rounders within school on top of her commitments in softball and baseball outside of school. Laura was the first woman to be selected for the U19 GB baseball team and has become a role model to a lot of girls as an International Youth Ambassador for the International Women’s Baseball Centre and also represents Team GB in softball, a sport which she plans to continue next year when she attends university in the USA. The evening was definitely a success with girls radiating positivity and pride at their achievements as they left.

We would like to thank Brookwood and the maintenance team, without whom the evening would not have been possible. The sports teams could not forget the Senior Management Team either, who have supported us throughout the year in our matches, come rain or shine. The Riverside staff also play a significant part in Sport at Habs, and don’t have an easy job maintaining our facilities – and without them we would not be lucky enough to play to the same frequency or level.  But the most important people who are as deserving of awards as we are, are the PE department staff. We would like to thank them for their unrelenting hard work, dedication and passion throughout the past year.  All the girls are so grateful for everything they do for us and we owe all our successes to them.