25 Jun 2019
Uppingham Sport Summer Term Week Nine

As this term draws to a close, I look back on a very enjoyable first year at Uppingham. We have had many successes and have started to develop a winning culture, rather than just a culture of winning. Characteristics such as effort, passion, energy and coachability have been highly valued as we encourage our pupils to be on time for sessions, work hard, come prepared and do that ‘bit extra’ in training to improve themselves. My personal highlights were, the Celebration of Sport in November, The Routh (see our drone footage of the "The Race To The Gate"), our girls’ hockey 1st XI defeating Oakham School 5-3 in the National Cup before Christmas, our U16s rugby sevens performing so well and demonstrating such great resilience after losing every one of their 15 a side games and finally, our four amazing fives players, who played for 40 hours and two minutes to break the World Record and most recently, our Fourth Form and Lower Fifth Track and Field Cup girls’ team, becoming the first in Uppingham’s history to reach a national final. There is an ambition to do something very special here, to make Uppingham Sport truly outstanding; we have made our first few steps – I look forward to many more over the next few years.

Cricket

Our 1st XI was put to the sword by an excellent Haileybury team on The Upper on Saturday, who posted an impressive 272-1 declared before bowling us out for 86. Our 2nd XI fared much better, bowling Haileybury for 113 before chasing down the total in just 12 overs. Our U15As continued their impressive season with an Edward Lewis innings of 62 not out, helping us to make 161-5. In return, Haileybury managed 152-7. Our U15Bs were also on fine form, posting 166-2 with Joseph Ntodi and Marcus Aldrich both scoring half centuries before we bowled Haileybury out for 112. Our U14As started promisingly, with two excellent run outs and some tight bowling restricting the opposition to 100-6, but we could not quite finish off their tail enders as they raced to 149. In reply, we lost early wickets and despite an attacking cameo from Henry Scott, we lost our last man with 92 runs on the board. Our U14Cs were chasing 122 off 20 overs, thanks to some superb catches from Oliver Jones, but fell 45 runs short in the run chase.

Our girls’ U15s were also up against Haileybury and were set a 139-run target to win the game. Antonia Dilkes top scored with 59 runs, before being caught at deep square leg trying to finish the game off.

Athletics

After winning last week, the girls have made it to the Regional Track and Field Cup Final, which takes place in July. As I mentioned, discovering that this is the first time an Uppingham girls’ team has qualified for a national sporting final is an amazing achievement. I have been really impressed with the performances of our girls in a range of sports this year – hopefully these athletics pioneers have set a trend for future Uppingham teams. On Saturday, we hosted King Edward’s School, Birmingham, with some excellent performances from both our boys and girls.

Tennis

Our tennis teams had a set of mixed matches against Oundle School on Saturday; the opportunity to play with different partners and work out tactics was enjoyed by all. On Monday, we hosted 16 boys and three members of staff from The King’s School, Sydney, Australia. Our pupils played doubles and singles matches for nearly three hours on The Leicester courts, with lots of tight matches contested and hopefully many friendships made. We also hosted the finals of our Singles Open Championships last week, with Meg Sellers beating Harriet Martin in the girls’ final and Barnaby Shand defeating Tim Tian in the boys’ final.

All our results and fixtures can be found on our sports website and regular updates on my Twitter page

I wish all our pupils, staff, parents and supporters a restful and enjoyable holiday; I am already looking forward to seeing our pupils achieve even more success next year.