Reading Festival of Sport 2024

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GB Gymnast Kelly Simm and Fulham FC Women’s Ellie Olds officially opened the Reading Festival of Sport 2024 at The Abbey Junior School on Saturday.

The festival was hosted as part of the Reading Children’s Festival, which this year celebrates its 35th anniversary.

With 100 children from 30 schools and nurseries pre-registered, a fun morning of sport taster sessions and workshops kicked off under perfect blue skies. Each year group had tailored activities led by Kelly and Ellie along with our expert Abbey PE staff. Sports on offer included football, cricket, gymnastics, dance, netball and hockey with activities taking place on specialist facilities at Kensington House and Abbey Garden.

The Abbey launched the Reading Festival of Sport in 2022 with the aim of helping girls and young women find lifelong belonging in sport. The festival is an Abbey School partnership working with community sports clubs, national sports governing bodies and elite athletes to help young people discover a sport that they love – meeting new people and experiencing the joy of movement.

Two of our Sixth Form sports leaders, Milly and Evie, were also on hand to support the sessions and share their experiences. Milly has recently represented England U17s in netball and Evie plays rugby with Reading RFC Girls.


“Students all had the opportunity to further their skills: learning about sportsmanship and fair play in a competitive environment; developing their team work through learning to communicate; understanding how to celebrate winning and being open minded about losing”.

Rachael Brown, Head of Junior School PE
“We know that behaviours to limit the ambitions of girls are prevalent in society. It’s why here at The Abbey, we work with schools and young people across the Reading community to champion female role models and create inclusive educational experiences where there is no glass limit on achievement.”

Marianne Clarke, founder of Reading Festival of Sport and Director of Engagement & Development
“It is clear that The Abbey School is at the beating heart of the community, and the festival has demonstrated how collaboration and partnership can benefit everyone involved”.

Community Partner
The Reading Children’s Festival continues with activities across the town until Sunday 2 June. You can find out more in the festival programme.

Warming up to get the morning off to a high-energy start
Yr 3 and Yr 4 athletes with Kelly, Ellie and Abbey PE staff
Members of The Abbey PE Team with Kelly & Ellie
Students, literally, jumping for joy!

The Day in Pictures:

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