2 April 2019 The Headmaster Since the start of this academic year, my study has been situated next to the chapel, on the first floor of Big School, giving me a wonderful view over the school site and especially our Upper and Lower Fields. I do enjoy the opportunities I now have to cast an eye over the sports unfolding on the pitches below. It’s always great to see our students, whatever their level, enjoying some fresh air and the company of their teammates and friends. The phrase ‘mens sana in corpore sano’ has become over-familiar but its truth has perhaps become ever more pertinent as we recognise the dangers of today’s sedentary lifestyles. The benefits of sport both to a healthy mind and to a greater sense of well-being is a key part of life at Abingdon. We feel sport offers a really important outlet for boys’ energy and we urge them to keep up their exercise regime as they undertake public exams. Our aim is to combine the highest possible levels of participation with opportunities for the very best to excel. This is founded on a commitment to the athletic development of all our students. Mike Davies, our Head of Athletic Development, has devised plans which focus on the boys’ core strength, flexibility and speed, and our gym was recently transformed to take the focus away from weights alone to make space for more varied equipment that tests the body in all sorts of ways. This is a long- term plan but we’re looking forward to signs of the impact that our new approach to training will bring in the future. We also want to provide such a wide range of opportunities that everyone can find their niche in the sporting life of the School. The Lent term is a particularly good term for student participation in teams, as we complete fixture cards against the top sporting schools in the country in both hockey and football, fielding over 30 teams across the two sports, alongside fixtures and competitions in many, many other sports. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about some of the successes in this edition of Abingdon News. I believe the product of our commitment to sport is healthier, happier young men and I hope that they will leave Abingdon with an appetite for exercise that will stay with them throughout their lives. Michael Windsor, Headmaster Abingdon News Road Relay After last year’s relay was cancelled due to poor weather and roadworks, this year’s race got off to a flying start in glorious sunshine.