SPORT and physical activity in St Joseph’s Catholic High School has been given a huge boost thanks to Slough Borough Council and a brand new four-court sports hall.
The council believe it will be the start of a new beginning for the school, and head teacher Ciran Stapleton hopes St Joseph’s can be at the heart of the community.
So, Observer sports reporter Rob Stevens visited the school and meet with some of its sporting talent. Here is his list of stars to watch out for in 2017.
Louise Stannard, 14 – tumbler
“I used to do acrobatic gymnastics when a scout brought me along to a particular group, and I’ve been tumbling since then.
“I did a camp recently where I got to meet Kristof Willerton, the world champion tumbler, and he is really good. It was really cool to watch him train, see how familiar are regimes are, and see how hard he works. It was pretty cool.
“The sport is definitely quite psychological. You do two tumbles in a competition and you need to be really focused because if you mess up there’s no chance of you winning. You’ve got to be on the ball and concentrating.
“I went to Lithuania last year for a competition and had to miss about a week of school, but the teachers understand when it comes to catching up with work and help you through it.”
PHOTO: Solace Lowe is hoping for Basketball success at nation level having been first introduced to the sport by Mr Gow.
Billie Hancock, 15 – hockey
“I was sitting down in the Learning Resource Centre and Mel Ive had been struggling to find a keeper for South Bucks as she had been injured.
“I decided I would come to help, just once, because I didn’t really play hockey that much. I do love all sports but just never really played.
“I only had a few training sessions but they told me I was doing very well. I was really happy about that because I don’t feel like I do a lot of things well sometimes. When they told me that it felt like I had something.
“When you are young, you struggle to find what you are going to do when you’re older, so when the club told me I was good at hockey, I felt like it was something I could aspire to be in the future.
“Ever since then I’ve been concentrating really hard on hockey and what I can use it for in the future, like coaching and taking it forward into college, so it has been helpful.
“I feel my confidence has risen a lot.
“I never really did a lot of sports before, but now I feel like I want to do more.
“I go to the football club after school. I make sure I go because I really do enjoy football as much as other sports.
PHOTO: South Bucks Hockey Club coach and St Joseph's teacter Mel Ive (centre) has helped develop the likes of Billie Hancock and Eshwar Dutta.
“I love going to the clubs because it makes me feel more confident in myself and in my body.”
Solace Lowe – basketball
“Mr Gow got me into the sport then I started to play more in the playgrounds, so I decided to find a team. I found London Feltham Warriors but it was hard to get over there and train every week, so I joined Thames Valley Cavalries as it was reasonably close by.
“I’m in my third year with them now and we’ve been quite successful. Last year we made it to the semi-finals of the nationals, and hopefully we can win this year.
"I follow basketball in the States and my role model is LeBron James because he works really hard and doesn’t always have the best team, but he has stood up to adversity.”
Eshwar Dutta, 17 – cricket
“Mel Ive is trying to push Farnham Royal on and I always like to go to her for advice. I have known her for about 12 years. She helps me a lot with my game and always asks how I’ve done.
“I’ve done very well for Farnham Royal this year. I’ve scored 467 runs and taken 20 wickets. County cricket has been going very well too. I’ve got a lot of wickets and runs for them and just trying to push on.
"My goal is to remain in the Bucks system then try to get into a first class county by the age of 19.