On Thursday 17th September, England and GB centre forward, Sam Ward visited Oundle School to train with the School’s hockey players.
Dora Nicolle (16) commented, “It was absolutely amazing to have Sam Ward coach us. He took a small group of forward players and ran us through some shooting drills. The skills he was demonstrating seemed impossible; however it was remarkable to see how much we all learnt. A few of the skills that he brought into the drills were completely unfamiliar but after practising them time and time again we finally got them. He was very patient with us! It was a great experience and we will definitely be using his techniques and drills that he taught us.”
Georgie Pringle (13) added, “Sam was such an enthusiastic coach, and inspired and encouraged us by providing aims for the session. It was a fantastic opportunity for all of us and hopes are now high for our goal scoring.”
Sam Ward with 1st Team Captain Esme Wishart (17)
Over lunch, hockey scholars had a chance to talk to Sam about being a professional player and where he has most enjoyed playing.
Head of Hockey and Boys’ Sport, Gareth Terrett commented, “Sam worked with all age group forwards on goal scoring and how to get the most out of the work in the D. We were privileged to have had this experience and hope to see the results at the weekend.”
Sam is known as one of the brightest young hockey stars in England and a dynamic goal-scorer. He started playing hockey at the age of four and was inspired by his parents, Ian and Sue Ward. He first played as a youth as a member of the Banana Bunch, along with his sister, Nikki. Sam scored two goals in his England debut against Australia at the 2014 Champions Trophy. He signed with US-based STX in 2013 as the first international hockey athlete to partner with the brand and is under consideration for the Rio 2016 Olympics team. Outside of hockey, Sam enjoys watching cricket and football.
Background Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.
The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports MasterPlan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion which opened in April 2015 and new astroturfs due to be completed this year.
There are currently 1110 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 860 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children aged 4 to 11.