17 Nov 2020
Sports News Autumn Term Week Ten

I enjoyed a wonderful day on Saturday, visiting as many sports as I could.

I was delighted to see on our Uppingham School Strava Club that James Lilley had started the day with a 13-mile cycle around Eyebrook Reservoir before most of the school had even woken up!

The first session of the day took place in the sports hall at 11.30am with our new Head of Netball, Miss Joseph, putting some of our senior girls through a series of attacking practices. At 11.45am I was joined by Fourth Formers, Emily Doria Pamphilj, Aquamarine Lee, Celeste Leong, and Gemma Nguyen, for a badminton lesson. After warming up with some balloons, the girls played doubles matches, focussing on their drop shots and clearing the shuttle to the back of the court. When I left the sports hall 30 minutes after the lesson had finished, all four girls were still playing by themselves - I hope that means they were enjoying it!

After chatting to Lara Scott about her ankle rehabilitation programme with our Head of Athletic Development, Mr Lalor, I watched our senior rugby players train on The Leicester. After a hard week’s training, they were working on putting what they had learnt into match situations, before sitting down as a group to watch England take on Georgia at Twickenham; Edward Lewis won the sweep stake after predicting the final score exactly.

Up on The Middle, our Fourth Form girls played our Lower Fifth in A and B hockey matches. After a tentative start, the Fourth Formers realised that the year above were not that scary and grew in confidence – Georgia Coker-Agar and Charlotte Welch made some impressive saves in goal and Hannah Glen looked very assured in defence.

I travelled back down to the Shooting Range to present our team (Hugo Turnbull-Hall, Harry Sun, Adedeji Kuforiji, Artyom Ivanov, Reeve Lim, Ivan Pulich, Alastair White and Declan Yuen) with their trophies, for winning the Midlands’ Schools league, a “virtual” local schools’ shooting competition against Oakham, Oundle, Rugby and Stamford.

As I walked back up to The Middle, the heavens opened but spirits were not dampened. I enjoyed watching our fives players, who were being put through their paces by Mr Holroyd. Our lacrosse team was hard at work on their new pitch, music blaring as they prepared for their annual fixture against our senior rugby boys on Sunday, and one of our cross-country groups was training hard in an interval session. We also had 52 Lower Fifth rugby boys competing in touch matches – despite the slippery conditions, skill levels were high, as we worked on our kicking strategy and using the full width of the pitch. Charlie Read was on fine form, orchestrating his team’s attacking play, with Edward Eastwood and Freddie Ling also showing some nice touches. I was able to catch the final stages of our senior girls’ hockey World Cup on The Third Astro, The Lee and The Sunley – New Zealand was victorious in the Tier One competition and France won in Tier Two. Most of the teams and staff then stayed on to watch our senior boys play a practice match under floodlights to cap a full day of Uppingham Sport.

It was great to see so many pupils enjoying a wide variety of activities; I did not have the opportunity to see our dance, cross fit, swimming or climbing groups - I will make sure I check in with them on our next Saturday of sport.

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