For sports fanatics of a certain age that theme tune will send shivers down the spine. Apologies to those of you who aren’t. But please do read on regardless! It will be worth it, I promise.

Superstars. Compulsive early evening BBC viewing in the 1970s as sporting giants from different disciplines willingly pitted themselves against one another in a series of all-round challenges, perhaps the most notorious of which was the gruelling ‘gym tests’, compromised of a combination of squat thrusts and ‘dips’ on the parallel bars.

Brian Jacks Dips

Judo star Brian Jacks was the undisputed master of this compelling televised weekly torture...

David Hemery

And David Hemery, Olympic 400m Hurdles Champion, great friend of the school and my all time sporting hero, was the consummate Superstar in every sense, demonstrating his physical literacy and prowess across the full range of disciplines. He won the very first competition in 1973, emerging victorious again on two further occasions. Just by way of indulgence, here he is majestically  winning Olympic Gold in his ‘proper’ event in Mexico in 1968...

Coincidentally on Thursday I had, thanks to our equally wonderful friends at The Events Room, the enormous privilege of meeting the man responsible for one of the show’s most memorable -  if painful - moments....

Kevin Keegan

Kevin Keegan
Kevin Keegan and Derek Peaple

Kevin Keegan, England Football Captain and twice European player of the Year (as well as he of the memorable perm and Brut aftershave ads) falling off his bike, getting injured and spending four days in hospital afterwards. Can’t somehow imagine that being allowed to happen in today’s world of agents and multi-million pound contracts!

And in that respect Superstars is, I guess, a throwback to another era.

But, I think never more relevant as a metaphor for today.

Superstars was a celebration of all-round ability, holistic development and not being scared to take on new challenge; being prepared to be flexible and adapt to new and unfamiliar contexts.

Exactly the skills, attitudes and mindset we seek to develop - must develop - in our young people every day.  And is the thinking which sits behind our approach to the curriculum offer and wider purpose of schooling that I blogged about last time...


A new generation of ‘superstars’ for today... and tomorrow.

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