On Thursday 16th September, England and GB centre forward, Sam Ward visited Oundle School to train with the School’s hockey players.
1st X1 Captain, Dora Nicolle (17) commented,
“It was absolutely invaluable to have Sam coach us. His ‘Try it or you'll never get better’ advice worked wonders on the 1st XI team and within five minutes our forwards were developing incredible stick skills that we had never tried before. It is always an absolute pleasure to have Sam helping us out and once again he has done wonders for us and for all the teams here at Oundle.”
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 groups and they were privileged to have had this experience and I hope to see the results this term.”
The weekend before saw Oundle’s 1st X1 placed second in the annual King’s Canterbury tournament which consisted of twenty-five minute one-way games. Oundle’s opening game against last year’s winners, Framlingham Hall saw a close fought match ending in a 0-0 draw. Oundle followed with a 2-0 win against hosts, King’s Canterbury and a 1-0 victory against Queenswood.
In the semis, Oundle took on King’s Canterbury again with a successful 2-0 win taking the girls in to the finals against Framlingham, where they were narrowly defeated 1-0.
On 21st September, five hockey scholars, Tallulah Gurney (13), Emily McParland (13), Flora Gammell (13). Ella Johnsrud (16) and Celeste Young (15) spent a day at Repton coached by Rio hockey gold medallists Alex Danson and Holly Webb, and two male German players from Rio as well as the best drag flick coach in the world.
The girls were split into groups and were rotated around activities aimed at learning different skills. With Holly Webb, the purpose of the exercise was slowing down the attacker and tackling in small pressurised spaces. Holly scored the winning shuffle at Rio and plays in defence for GB.
The girls commented,
“The day was very rewarding and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. We learned lots and improved our skills. In addition to that we were given the privilege to hold a gold medal at the end which was very exciting.”
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 sixteen state-of-the-art laboratories. The School has now completed the development project which sees a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to the original SciTec building as well as a significant upgrade to and refurbishment of the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. 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. An ongoing Sports MasterPlan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, incorporating the building of a new Sports Centre housing a fifty metre swimming pool and an eight court sports hall.
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.