As a very busy term of sport drew to a close, there was an impressive level of participation on the courts and pitches, culminating in the whole school cross country in the last week, always a highlight of the Lent Term.
There has been plenty to enjoy and celebrate across the sporting calendar this Term, not least the School’s long awaited victory in the OO Multisport Weekend.
During the netball season, a total of twenty-four teams represented the school. The U15As won their county cup competition and the U13As and U12As finished runners-up in their respective competitions. Special mention is due to the U14Es who won all nine of this season’s matches, and also to the U16s, who competed against U18 teams. In the First and Second Forms, there were almost forty matches played with a of fifty percent win rate. In the last weeks of the Term, Oundle once again hosted the prestigious England Netball National School Finals.
In boys’ hockey, the third XI, U14Bs and U14Ds all enjoyed unbeaten seasons whilst the first XI recorded a sixty percent win ratio and enjoyed an excellent run in the School National Knockout Cup. The U13s and U12s competed well in their more than thirty fixtures, playing both seven and eleven-a-side matches.
In football, the girls’ teams continued to field two squads in regular fixtures, whilst the boys saw the first and second teams continue to dominate their respective ISFA Mercian Leagues; the U16Bs enjoyed an unbeaten season. Overall nine different boys and girls teams played over 70 matches with a sixty percent win ratio.
Badminton, fives, squash, shooting and water polo all competed with aplomb. In Fives, Oundle hosted the National U25 Championships, Challenger Event, the National Singles Finals and Schools Mixed Doubles Championships. Shooting enjoyed success over both Oakham and Uppingham in the East Midland Schools Challenge Cup.
Basketball continues to grow in popularity and Oundle fielded its first ever girls team. Rowers at long last managed precious time back on the water in regattas at the Peterborough Head and Junior Sculling Head at Eton Dorney. There was also the excellent House Indoor Rowing event in January. After weeks of preparation, dance pupils premiered a brilliant gala at the Stahl Theatre.
In cricket, the girls’ U15s and U13s perform exceptionally well in their respective indoor county finals. The U15s will progress to the Regional Finals in Cambridge in April.
Girls’ rugby enjoyed a fantastic Purbrook Memorial Match, along with a season of competitive matches in both full contact and touch. The last week of Term saw four 7s squads competing at the internationally renowned Rosslyn Park 7s where the boys’ first team won all three of their group games in the national knockout vase competition, but lost in their elimination playoff to eventual semi-finalists Bromsgrove. The U14s reached day two of Cup competition, finishing in the top twenty-four teams in the country. The girls squad and U16s also competed across the week.
The golf squad reached the area final of the HMC competition and will face Uppingham in next round of ISGA knockout cup. The newly opened golf simulators allow access to training opportunities for pupils across the School.
In cross country, Oundle had five pupils, including three Third Form pupils, qualify to represent Northamptonshire in the English Schools National Championships held in Wollaton Park, Nottingham. All races were very competitive, and pupils were commended in races against over three hundred of England’s best runners.
The school swim squad managed to replicate their success in the Michaelmas Term. The squad remained unbeaten in their inter-school squad fixtures, and broke school records with regularity. After all their hard work, the boys’ squad reached the final of the Bath Cup at the London Aquatics Centre, and won the Whitgift Cup for the first time. The girls’ squad also achieved another set of school records in the Otter Cup. It was pleasing to see a number of First and Second Form pupils compete in the squad and represent the School.
The department now turns to preparation for the Summer Term, and encourages pupils sitting exams to retain time in their schedules for sport and exercise. Physical activity is not only an effective release from academic work, but studies show it can increase mental alertness, energy and help improve mental health.