On Tuesday 23 May, St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School in Cross Gates hosted some scintillating seven-a-side soccer in the annual Catenian Cup Competition: a superb swan-song for its founder, John Hutchinson, who is retiring as Executive Head of St Theresa’s, Cross Gates and St Joseph’s, Hunslet.
This is a day everyone sets aside in their calendar and one that all the Leeds Catholic Primary Schools involved look forward to enormously! There were around 250 children playing in 25 teams from across all four corners of Leeds and a great day was had by all. The level of sportsmanship, the quality of the football on display and the camaraderie between schools was first class.
The primary aged players were supported brilliantly by sports leaders from Mount St Mary’s and Cardinal Heenan Catholic High Schools who officiated the games with skill, professionalism and good grace. They were excellent role models for the young people and helped the day run very smoothly.
The morning leagues are drawn by the host school. There are 5 ‘seeded’ teams that are typically last year’s winners and the four semi-finalists from the 9-a-side Bishop’s Cup. There are 5 teams in each league and they all play each other across the morning. Once the morning leagues are complete the winners of each league play off for the Catenian Cup. Those who finish second in the morning leagues play the other teams who finished second for medals and a trophy as do the teams who finished third, fourth and fifth in the morning leagues.
This year’s finalists were St Joseph’s, Wetherby, St Joseph’s, Hunslet, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St Benedict’s and St Augustine’s (none of which were seeded!) The competition was fierce but the teams played in a generous spirit. The eventual (first time!) winners were St Joseph’s, Wetherby and St Joseph’s Hunslet (first time in the top league!) finished a close second. The referees also chose a standout player from each league to receive a celebratory football in recognition of their skill, sportsmanship and contribution to their team.
This football tournament has been running since 2010 when it was initiated by John Hutchinson with the idea of celebrating Catholic sport on a large scale! John, who retires as Head Teacher of St Theresa’s this year said:
‘This is my last Catenian Cup – but what a way to go out! The quality of the football was matched only by the exemplary behaviour of the children and young people who made the day such a celebration of Catholic sport. Congratulations to St Joseph’s, Wetherby who were well-deserved winners! Massive thanks to everyone who helped set up the day, run the administration and most of all, the children who made the day such a delight!’
Well done to ALL the school teams taking part!