Summer 2019 will be remembered fondly as a triumph for our sporting teams and individuals. Not only was the weather great in Britain, our teams had the opportunity to travel the globe whilst hard at work preparing the forthcoming season. We look forward to upcoming fixtures with excitement and anticipation and wish all of our sporting teams and individuals every success in the academic year ahead!
Read on for the latest sporting news from the pre-season training this summer...
The start of the summer break saw the 1st XI cricketers retain their festival shield in a hugely successful week of Cricket Festival fixtures. As hosts, St John's started on a positive note with a comprehensive victory against Brentwood but were soon pegged back by a strong Oundle side. This meant that victory against Abingdon was essential in order to retain the trophy. The boys duly obliged and put on an outstanding display to beat a formidable Abingdon team and ensure the trophy stayed in Leatherhead for another year. The festival brought to an end one of the most successful seasons in the School's history - losing only two of 19 games played.
Lower Fifth and Upper Fifth football pupils headed overseas to the Gothia Cup in Sweden, where they competed well and, with pleasing performances, made it to the last 32! The pupils faced teams from Sweden, Norway and Mexico and topped their group with outstanding performances from Charlie, Adam and James in particular. The team faced a strong Hong Kong side in the last 32 and although the St John’s team performed well under the leadership of Jack, their efforts were not quite enough. Overall, it was a fantastic learning experience which will prepare the team well for senior football.
Netball and Hockey
Over the summer break 49 pupils and seven staff embarked on a two week combined netball and hockey tour of South Africa. The trip consisted of 32 fixtures against leading independent and government schools in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, including Rustenburg High, Somerset College and Stellenbosch High School across the eight teams involved. The pupils were fantastic in both sports, with many great individual and team performances.
Away from the fixtures, the experiences were rewarding and memorable. A visit to Langa township included a tour of the town and a coaching workshop with local primary school children led by the St John’s pupils. Then the tour party spent three days at the Garden Route Game Reserve and enjoyed four game drives, spotting the ‘Big 5’ along the way! The pupils’ behaviour and the way in which they represented the School both on and off the field of play was simply outstanding and was commented on wherever they visited.
U13 hockey pupils travelled to Rotterdam on a tour that was full of exciting opportunities. Our pupils were able to see the differences between English hockey clubs and the vastness of Dutch hockey clubs. Rotterdam Hockey Club has eight hockey pitches, with the main pitch able to hold approximately six thousand supporters. The group had a four training sessions, coached by hockey players from Rotterdam Hockey Club, and five matches against Rotterdam HC and Capelle HC. AS well as playing hockey, the group were able to enjoy activities such as ten pin bowling, Rotterdam Zoo and Duinrell theme park and the trip gave the girls fantastic opportunities to bond as a team.
Rugby pupils were given many opportunities for pre-season training, with coaching sessions held across the summer.
In late August, the U15 and U18 rugby squads assembled at St John’s for early morning training, before heading to Bath for three days of pre-season training and preparation. Fifty boys and six staff were in for a busy schedule and some exciting and unique experiences. During the trip, pupils visited University of Bath for gym sessions and grass training sessions. They were delighted to be welcomed to Farleigh House, home to Premiership Rugby team Bath, for a training session on the 3G pitch by the Bath coaching team, a tour of the world class facilities and a question and answer with current premiership players and training players. This was a unique experience and one that all of the group enjoyed. Whilst on the trip, the group did an impromptu rendition of ‘Libera Me’ in front of a packed out Bath Abbey! Over the three days all boys developed both on and off the field and showed some real team spirit throughout.