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A very special charity netball tournament was organised at Blue Coat by Mr Pearson in commemoration of his late niece Sophie, who tragically lost her life aged just nine months.

This was the first time the tournament, which was run by Miss Fitchie, took place and it was in aid of the charity, called Sophie’s Present, to raise money to buy gifts for parents whose children are in intensive care over Christmas.

Sophie died two years ago at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, following complications with heart surgery, explained Mr Pearson. The Sophie’s Present gift bags contain practical items such as cookies, phone chargers, tissues, travel mugs and coffee shop cards.

Mr Pearson said: “The response to Sophie’s Present has been very positive and we feel we’re doing something worthwhile by creating these gift bags to make life a bit more bearable for parents who are having such a difficult time while their children are very ill in hospital during Christmas.”

The idea for the netball tournament came from girls in the Lower Sixth and Mr Pearson talked to different Blue Coat year groups to create eight netball squads of 10 players (mixed teams of male and female students) with each student paying £2 to enter. The tournament was spread over two days and Mr Pearson said: “Playing netball together was great fun and I was delighted so many other students came and watched.”

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