(From The Oundelian, published June 2020)
Due to the emergence of COVID-19, the cricket tour, which consisted of cricketers from the Fourth to Upper Sixth Forms, was cancelled, much to our disappointment. As a party we were devastated to hear this news and some faced the prospect of never being able to tour with Oundle again. However, what some of us were highly concerned about was the possibility of no cricket season at all. As COVID-19 began to rapidly spread across the United Kingdom, it became clear that a ball would not be bowled at Oundle School this summer.
In response to this, the head of cricket, Mr Foster, began to set the cricketers of Oundle weekly challenges to try and introduce some form of cricketing normality and also to keep us prepared in case there was a match in the last few weeks of the summer term. These weekly challenges were often fun, yet purposeful, and allowed cricketers to continue to work on their game after a very productive winter. In the last few weeks, in response to the Government and the ECB’s guidance, cricketers who have access to a net at their local cricket club have been able to start to train again.
This has been a major boost for the Oundle cricketers as their spirits have been lifted and they have been able to reinforce the skills that they were practising during the winter net sessions. The Oundle cricketers are hoping that at some stage this summer, they will be able to play some form of competitive cricket. This is something that everyone within the cricket community would love to see as it would provide a sense of a return to normality and the hard work during the winter season would not go to waste.
However, there has at least been one silver lining to the cloud. Along with the cricket touring party, my father and other families were supposed to be travelling out to Barbados to support the squad, but rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, we decided to make the best of a bad situation. As a family, we took the decision to donate the funds received from the cancellation of the tour to SIARA, an Italian engineering company specialising in the production of ventilators. My father’s side of the family originates from Florence, and we felt obliged to help considering the horrific circumstances that were unfolding in Italy.
"We took the decision to donate the funds received from the cancellation of the tour to SIARA, an Italian engineering company specialising in the production of ventilators"Will de Capell Brooke, Grafton
The funds that we donated were able to buy a ventilator which would be placed in the Centro Antitrombosi Careggi Hospital. After the purchase of the ventilator, we were asked to name it as a family. Consequently, we decided to name the ventilator ‘Enzo’ after the late Enzo Ferrari. It was incredibly reassuring to know that we had played our part in reducing the devastating effect that COVID-19 had in Florence, and it was good to be able to create a positive situation out of something that was initially a huge disappointment.