Catholic Life

Prep school celebrates competitive spirit of girls

Loreto schoolgirls make a dash for it carrying medals and trophies won during a successful year of school sports

Pat Dixon, the retiring head of physical education at Loreto preparatory school in Altrincham, Cheshire, has signed off by overseeing the school’s most successful ever sporting season.

Miss Dixon has enjoyed a 35-year career in teaching, with 15 years at Loreto, but this has been the most golden of all her summers.

Teams from Loreto won the Independent Schools Association’s North of England championships for cross country, swimming and athletics at under-11 level with silver medals for her under-12 teams in rounders and netball.

Individually Claudia Cowan, a top middle-distance athlete, went on to win the national title at 600 metres for the second successive year, with silver medals for Lili Boyle at 75 and 150 metres and a national swimming silver for Alice Baldwin as part of the northern team in the relay freestyle.

Miss Dixon, who is to move to the Lake District with her husband Paul Dixon, the former head of Cheadle Hulme school, said: “It’s a wonderful way to sign off and I am very proud of all the girls who have more than fulfilled their potential.”

She added: “Throughout my career I have tried to ensure that the children enjoy their sport because it is the basis for a healthy life and no one should be put off at an early age.

“I have always tried to encourage competitiveness from an early age with little competitions in all classes to get them used to winning, losing and being good sports. Most importantly you have to be inclusive. If a child comes to practice and tries their best, they will always get a chance to represent their school.”

Rosemary Hedger, headmistress, said: “Thanks to Pat our trophy cabinet is always full, but much more importantly she has made a wonderful contribution to school life and will be greatly missed.”