Celebrating success – well done the Steelers

Thank you to all those associated with our schools and college for another week of hard work and dedication. As I discussed last week we are all working at a pace towards those external assessments and I know that many have been working hard to prepare the institution and the children and young people for those assessments. Not an easy task, but it is necessary.

Through these messages I occasionally discuss the impact of sport on how we feel as an individual or more widely as a community. I do feel that we should all focus on supporting teams which impact upon us locally and mostly that is done through the more mainstream or widely reported sports; usually football (it’s not soccer), cricket and rugby. And if I were to take some time today to discuss our local teams and performance in those sports this year we may not be particularly happy. There’s not been a great deal of sporting cheer during 2024.

But maybe we’ve missed something. And thank you Mrs Cowburn for pointing me towards major sporting success in the area, that many of us may have missed. Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team have had a difficult time of late. You will know that ice hockey hit the headlines last year when a Nottingham Panthers player died on the ice at Sheffield Arena. This has had an enormous impact upon the sport. Sheffield Steelers have recognised that impact and are coming to terms with those difficulties. And despite those challenges they have performed incredibly well, on the ice, this year. We might not necessarily go to the Arena but thousands of people do, every couple of weeks, to watch our most successful team. This season the Steelers have won the Elite League title – their first title since the 2015-16 season; the Challenge Cup – the equivalent of the FA Cup and only their second Challenge Cup title; And just last weekend they won play-off title – that’s where the eight best teams in the league, come together for an end of season knockout play-off. It isn’t usual for the league champions to become the play-off champions too.

There you have it! Sheffield Steelers could be the most successful sporting team in our region. And it may well have been missed and rarely celebrated. But there are some of our friends, some of our families, who spend a significant amount of time and money following the region’s most successful sporting team.

What does this tell us? Maybe that sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious and it isn’t the big headline makers, those who don’t make the most noise, who are doing the best. Maybe within our schools, within the college, within our communities, there are incredibly successful individuals who are involved in so many other things, with noteworthy success. It is incumbent upon us all to keep our eyes and ears open for those individuals and when we find them we celebrate their success, in the same way we would celebrate the success of those that make the most noise. We have an incredibly talented pupil and student body. We have an incredibly talented staff body. We have an incredibly talented community. I take this opportunity to encourage everyone to share their successes so we can celebrate with and alongside you and them; however significant, or seemingly insignificant, that success might seem.

‘Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it’. Julia Child