Sports Hall at Wells Blue School to be renamed in memory of 'inspirational' PE teacher

  Posted: 20.07.21 at 14:26 by Tim Lethaby

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The Sports Hall at Wells Blue School will be renamed in memory of the head of PE, who sadly died earlier this month.

Sam Holland passed away at St Margaret's Hospice on July 3, and the Sports Hall will be renamed Holland Hall in her honour, following her funeral on Friday (July 23).

Mrs Holland started working at the Blue School in September 1993, and had been working as head of PE up to her cancer diagnosis at Easter this year.

To celebrate her life, Blue School students past and present will be lining the route of her funeral procession on Friday, wearing their PE kit.

Wells Blue School head teacher, Mark Woodlock, said: "There are many phrases and descriptions that have been applied to Mrs Holland and the impact that she had.

"She was a role model and educator, an inspirational sportswoman and mentor; she was a trusted colleague and a friend.

"She helped to make our community more than the sum of its parts. We will miss her greatly.

"I am immensely proud of the collection of cards, comments and messages that we were able to pass to Mrs Holland in the last few weeks.

"Mrs Holland was able to hear them, to receive them and to understand the difference that she had made to so many people. They have been shared with her family so that they can be justly proud about her achievements.

"Students, past and present, staff, parents and members of the community told Mrs Holland in great clarity what she had done for them. It was without doubt a life that had impact, a life that positively changed the lives of others.

"A number of students contributed ideas as to how best to commemorate Mrs Holland’s work in the PE department across many years.

"Among a number of good ideas, a large number were keen to rename the sports hall in her honour.

"From the beginning of next year, the sports hall will therefore be known as Holland Hall. Signs are being created and they will be opened in the afternoon on Friday.

"Other thoughts included the possibility of a challenge that students, staff and parents could undertake and we are working on whether we can put something in place in the autumn term.

"Before she died, Mrs Holland asked that a fund be created in school to support the PE department with buying equipment. Any donations given at the funeral will go to this fund in school.

"Mrs Holland was very much someone who liked things to be done properly. It made a difference to her that enough thought and care was putting into making sure things happened as they should.

"We hope everyone will understand that we have tried to embody that spirit in the plans that have collectively been made.

"Friday will no doubt be a very sad day. While that is true, I hope that it will also reflect the esteem that Mrs Holland was held in and the strength of the community that she was a key part of."

Funeral arrangements

The school has spoken at length with Mrs Holland’s husband, Dan, and has tried to help set out marking the funeral in accordance with his and Mrs Holland’s wishes.

Mrs Holland’s funeral will be at 11am on Friday July 23 at St Cuthbert’s Church in Wells. As there is a limited capacity at the church the funeral service itself is by invitation only.

Blue School students are being asked to line the route of the funeral car and to wear Blue School PE kit or, if they do not have any, sports clothes.

The school hopes that they will applaud Mrs Holland as she passes through and show what she meant to the students.

The funeral cars will be passing down St Thomas Street, along The Liberty and then down Chamberlain Street. They will do this between about 10.30am and 10.45am.

The school suggests that the most appropriate place for the students to stand is along Chamberlain Street between the corner of Sadler Street and the Waitrose roundabout, and the local police will be supporting this.

Mr Woodlock said: "I do want to strongly encourage all the students, past and present, to do this for Mrs Holland.

"She devoted her working life to teaching and to sport, and this would be a most appropriate way to mark that.

"After the service, all other guests, including those who will be unable to attend the funeral in person, are invited back to school.

"We are holding a gathering between about 12.15pm and 4pm for all of Mrs Holland’s family, friends and colleagues in Bailey and across the lawns in front of school.

"There may be some parents and students who also feel that they would particularly like to be part of this because of the personal relationship that they built up with Mrs Holland.

"If that is so, you are welcome to join us on the outside lawns, to bring a picnic rug and share with those celebrating Mrs Holland’s life."

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