Over the summer, after triumphing in the County Tennis Finals, Oundle School’s Pippa Bourne (14) enjoyed an outing at the All England Club where she played in front of former British No.1 Tim Henman as part of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge Finals.
Pippa made it to the second round at the iconic venue before losing to sixth seed and eventual finalist Alicia Dudeney 6-2, 6-3.
Some 20,000 promising young tennis players from all over Britain competed in pursuit of a prestigious place at Wimbledon, with Pippa among the top 144 boys and girls to have earned the right to play at the National Finals.
Despite not quite following in 2013 Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray’s footsteps by lifting silverware, Pippa’s experience at the All England Club, Wimbledon was the highlight of her summer. She commented “I played reasonably overall and really enjoyed it but it was quite hard adjusting to the courts. I have never played on grass before but it was so exciting to be at Wimbledon - slightly surreal but fun. My attitude was that I wanted to enjoy the week, have a good time, meet some new people and if I won a couple of game as well, that would be nice.”
Pippa trains at Stamford Tennis Club and went to Lincoln to qualify for the event. This is the first year she has made it to Wimbledon, where she had the opportunity to meet former British No.1 and HSBC Tournament Ambassador Henman. Four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Henman spent time with the players, signed autographs, and posed for photos. He insisted he was impressed with the standard on show this year, commenting, “There’s 20,000 kids every year with the HSBC Road to Wimbledon and it’s great to see how the standard has improved over the years. There’s some really good young players. It’s a great week here but it’s then a lot longer than that with the process of playing in their local areas and regionally and coming through. It’s a great carrot for the youngsters to realise they’ve got this opportunity of coming to play at Wimbledon.”
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge is the UK's largest national junior grass court tournament and forms part of HSBC’s investment in the stars of the future.
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.