Ready for the New Season
The long, enjoyable, hot summer of 2018 already seems a distant memory now we are in the first week of term here at St John’s School. However, it was a summer of success for our sporting teams and individuals - a summer which will be remembered fondly. Not only was the heat in England scorching, 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...
On 22 August the U13 girls travelled to Rotterdam, Holland for four days of pre-season hockey and culture. Training sessions at Rotterdam Hockey Club each day, led by expert coaches from the club, gave the girls a real appreciation for the way the Dutch play hockey; the skills and energy they show is infectious and made a great impression on the team. During the trip, the team visited the Rotterdam Zoo and played a fixture vs Rotterdam, drawing 2-2. They also played against Hockey Club Capelle, winning 5-1 and drawing 2-2. Going unbeaten on this trip was a great morale boost for the coming season. They also had chance to visit a theme park and a shopping complex to complete their tour. The team’s attitude was excellent and they grew in confidence over the tour, showing real character and desire to improve.
At the start of September, the senior hockey team participated in a tour to Royal Hospital School and Framlingham College. After a team talk, training session and excellent lunch, the girls played a fixture against RHS. The result, a close 2-1 loss, didn’t reflect the statistics as St John’s dominated the game and were unfortunate not to score more. It was a positive first game of the season and the team will put into practise what they learnt. The team then visited Ipswich for an overnight stop, before arriving at Framlingham College to play against the hosts and New Hall School. Playing matches indoors and outdoors saw St John’s draw two and lose two, but against a National Finalist team they showed they have the desire to improve and willingness to work hard which means they can step up and play at a higher level.
Lastly, a special mention goes to Tali who participated in the Futures Cup squad for Mercia Lynx U15 in August. Her team won the competition, which is a fantastic achievement. Our congratulations go to Tali for the hard work and commitment she has put in since joining St John’s.
As anticipation of the impeding rugby season grew stronger, the Rugby Department had their first taste of pre-season with all U15 and U16 players completing a day of training with their respective coaches, before a group of 40 team members departed for Leicester to embark on three intense days of training.
The group were trained by Leicester Tigers community coaches for a morning of decision making games and learning, before heading to Welford Road to watch premiership side Leicester Tigers play against London Irish. The short tour finished with both sides playing conditioned games against local club Hinkley RFC. Trip leader Laurence Bruggeman said ‘the trip was a great way to get away as a group and get some high quality training in before a very competitive fixture list’.
Whilst this was going on the, U14 players visited school to get their first taste of St John’s rugby for 2018 and complete some high quality training over two days. Mr Metcalfe, the U14A head coach, said ‘with a large number of new pupils, and a group graduating from our lower school, these two days were invaluable to start the process of building towards our first match vs Wimbledon College at the start of term. The boys all trained hard and, through a mixture of skills and games, moved forward quickly’.
To add to the busyness of this period, the senior squad flew over to Ireland for a week’s tour in the strong rugby province of Limerick. They had already been into school for three mornings of skills and games which prepared them well for this trip. Over the week the players trained at the University of Limerick 4G grounds, visited Thomond Park - home of Munster Rugby - and had a tour guided by Munster player JJ Hanrahan. The squad played two very competitive fixtures vs Old Crescent RFC and Old Crescent School. All 31 players had a good amount of fixture time and were seen to be working hard and putting into practice the things they have been aiming towards.
Finally, to cap off a brilliant summer period for the pre-season, we had our U12 and U13 boys in for a day of fun and learning. The focus for the younger players was to explore and learn about the five principals of rugby we encourage here at St John’s. They started their journey on how to go forward, put pressure on, support one another, play with continuity and contest possession.
A special mention goes to Eliana who was involved in a four day School Games tournament at Loughborough University over the summer. Here, Eliana played in the U15 Surrey Storm Netball squad and was also a part of their leadership team (as vice-captain). Storm placed 2nd in their group, having lost just one game to Severn Stars (who were the final winners of the competition). Storm played off for the 3/4th position, out of the 12 franchises in the UK, and they beat Manchester Thunder by one goal to achieve a brilliant overall place of 3rd!
This is an incredible achievement for a St John’s pupil. It is highly competitive to be selected for an age group franchise squad and for Eliana to be part of the team placed 3rd nationally in the VSNL competition, is a fantastic achievement. Our congratulations go to Eliana and we look forward to seeing her on the court at St John’s again soon!
The 1st XI ended another successful summer by winning their annual cricket festival, Abingdon School playing host for 2018. St John’s started with convincing victories against Brentwood School and Cheadle Hulme and finished off the week in style by beating a very strong Abingdon side in the final.
We hope the pre-season trips, training and successes have been motivating and morale boosting for our pupils as we head into the new term of fixtures, and look forward to reporting on more sporting success this year.