Old Blue Josh Smart (2019)

“When I arrived at Blue Coat in Year 7, I was initially very shy as I only knew a couple of boys attending the school. After going to some rugby sessions, I quickly realised that there were loads of boys just like me, who shared a common love of playing sport. The togetherness and camaraderie that was built between me and my peers on the sports field helped me form friendships off the pitch, which have been crucial to my growth as a person. I believe these friendships and opportunities to excel away from the classroom with my mates really drove my passion and love for sport from the start.

Throughout my time at the school, I was constantly offered co-curricular opportunities which I looked to make the most of. I regularly featured for the school’s rugby, football and cricket teams, along with representing my house Malthus in many house events, ranging from Ultimate Frisbee to Ergo. I was able to learn about discipline and respect in the CCF, as well as being able to develop my leadership skills through my prefect and house captain roles. The skills that I learnt in these activities have been invaluable in creating the foundations of my leadership style on and off the Rugby pitch. It was not until my final years at Reading Blue Coat School that I truly understood how lucky we were to have all of the opportunities which were on offer to us as pupils, and I wish I’d have got stuck in earlier!

The most important lesson that I learnt at Reading Blue Coat School was to always look to improve and be better each day. The school now competes on a significantly tougher schools sport circuit compared to when I was in year 7, and Blue Coat is consistently seeing records broken with their external examination results. This attitude of always looking to improve is something that has influenced me and helped me push on to try and achieve my goals in life. I did some really great things that I’m proud of at Blue Coat, but I made plenty of mistakes and bad decisions throughout my time at the school too. However, it was the support of my peers and teachers each day, that ensured I became a better student, better athlete and most importantly a better person, when it was my time to become an Old Blue.”

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