We have reached the end of a very busy Lent Term; at times made miserable by wind and rain, but still full of action and competition. There has been an abundance of matches, victories, participation and successes culminating in the Whole School Cross Country – an enjoyable mudfest in the school calendar. 

There has been plenty to savour and celebrate including the School’s second consecutive victory in the OO Multisport Weekend at the start of March. This was the biggest and best attended event to date. 

Netball
In netball, Oundle again hosted the England Netball National School Finals and showcased all that is good about the school. A total of 25 teams have represented the School with the U15As and U13As both winning their respective county cup competitions. A special mention to the U14C, Ds and Es who all remained unbeaten. Overall, almost 200 matches have been played with a 65% win ratio in what is Mrs Burnham’s final term as Head of Netball. In the First and Second Form, there have been almost 45 matches played with a win percentage of just under 60% 

 We have six pupils currently training in the Loughborough Lightening academy pathway. 

Hockey
In boys’ hockey, the U14Bs and U14Ds both enjoyed unbeaten seasons whilst the 1
st XI recorded a 60% win ratio and enjoyed an excellent run in the School National Knockout Cup. At the end of the Michaelmas Term, the 1st XI and U16A Girls’ squads reached the 3rd Round of the National Knockout Cup Tier 1 competition.  

 Eight players now train in the England Hockey Talent Academy pathway. Sophie (Sn) has been selected for England U18s. 

Rugby
The boy’s programme in the Lent Term focuses on Rugby 7s where the boys’ 1
st team squad reached the semi-final of the Northampton Saints 7s Series hosted at The Perse School in February. The U15s reached the final of their respective competition. The U14s finished 3rd at the Gresham 7s. 

The girls’ programme continues to flourish with a contact squad and touch squad representing the School in inter school fixtures. There was the successful Purbrook Charity Match held on 10 March. Alongside the girls, the boys again entered U14, U16 and U18 teams into this year’s national 7s competition at Rosslyn Park. The U16 boys and girls senior squad both reached day two of their respective competitions. A special mention also goes to boys’ U15As squad which reached the semi-final of the 15-a-side national plate, narrowly missing out to Hymers College. 

In representative rugby, there continues to be players participating within each age group squad of the Northampton Saints Academy Pathway, with Billy (F) the boys’ 1st XV captain and sport scholar captaining  Northampton Saints U18s in their Academy Finals hosted at Gloucester, as well as playing for England U18s. Billy has signed a professional contract with Saints for next year. One further 1st team player, Freddie (Sc) has been selected in the Lambs Independent School National representative squad.  


Football

In football, the
girls teams have continued to field 2 squads in regular fixtures, with the 1
st team reaching the ISFA trophy semifinal whilst the boys have seen the 1st and 2nd teams continue to perform well in their respective ISFA Mercian Leagues; the 3rd XI and U16As only tasted a couple of defeats between them. Overall 9 different boys and girls teams have played over 80 matches with a 63% win ratio. 

 

Rowing
The sport has succumbed to the weather in terms of competitive outings on the water at times, but crews have raced at St Neots, Bedford, Newark, Northampton and Peterborough as well as at the Junior Sculling Head. There have been two successful inter house indoor rowing competitions, alongside a sponsored 24 hour row which raised over £4.5k for the Down’s Syndrome Association.  


Cricket
In Cricket, the girls’ U15 and U13 squads performed exceptionally well at their respective indoor county finals. 


Fives
Matches have continued aplenty with boys’ and girls’ squad numbers strong. Oundle is hosting the Girls’ Schools Championships in April, having hosted the Midlands Schools Championships in March. 


Golf

The Golf squad continues to benefit from the OO funded golf simulators, allowing more readily available training to pupils across the School, with the squad finishing third in the East of England Championships. 

Cross Country
In Cross Country, Oundle had 2 pupils qualify to represent Northamptonshire in the English Schools National Championships held at Pontefract at the weekend. All races were very competitive competing against over 300 of England’s best runners. 


Badminton and Squash

Oundle Badminton continues to flourish with four players representing Northants. In Squash, both the Boys’ and Girls’ squads have enjoyed competitive seasons, winning almost 70% of their matches to date. 


Swimming

Finally, we move to the school swim squad who have managed to spectacularly emulate their exploits of the Michaelmas Term. Under the guidance of Mrs Clipstone, the squad has remained unbeaten in their inter school squad fixtures this term as well breaking school records with outstanding regularity. The culmination of such a fine season was the boys squad reaching two finals at the Bath Cup at the London Aquatics Centre as well as winning the Whitgift Cup for the first time. 

Finally, the final Wednesday evening of term saw the Dance show return with another enthralling performance in the Stahl Theatre. 

Nick Beasant
Director of Sport