“A huge well done to all teams for giving it everything you’ve got. You have been great ambassadors for the school. We are all looking forward to seeing you continue your sporting journey at Westbourne House in January.”
Kevin Smith and Clare Lane, Heads of Boys' and Girls' Sport
The football season culminated with the U9s dominating a festival at Oakwood and the U11s having their special day out at Millfield at the National IAPS Football Finals, having won their regional qualifier. Following five group matches, the U11s qualified for the Bowl competition, where they proceeded to win the semi-final on penalties and the final 2-0. Coming away as winners of the Bowl is an amazing achievement. It means the team came 17th out of the 221 schools that took part. However, for the team, the day was bittersweet because they were so close to qualifying for the top end of the competition in a very tough and evenly matched group. The boys showed some excellent character when under pressure in the semi-finals to win on penalties. It was an amazing journey for these boys and a great weekend to cap off an excellent season. Well done Oliver A, Ewen M, Felix T, Oscar P, James W, Ben E, Casimir K and Sam ND.
The U13As had an impressive, unbeaten, start to the season. Some fixtures were made a little easier with opposition teams missing key players through Covid, but the boys still had to execute the basics well and work together to gain their wins. Scoring 55 tries (yes tries not points) and conceding just nine tries so far shows they have worked tirelessly in defence as well as in attack.
The U13B team made a positive start to the season, winning three out of the five matches played. Some excellent high-tempo rugby with good handling has been played by the team, who have scored over 30 tries. Special mention must go to Luis E, who scored eight tries in one match against Hurst, and the two wingers Ollie W and Olly W, who were prominent in attack. The highlight of the term was defeating Seaford in the triangular tournament at Windlesham with the last play of the game.
The U12s had a great first half of the season. They have had some great wins across both teams most notably against Hurst with both A and B teams winning. They have become a useful side with all the boys developing throughout. We have tried to play with freedom and accuracy in all our games and this has resulted in some exciting rugby to play and watch. The stand out players for the A team have been Hugh F, Johnny K, Rafferty M. All have shown a high level of skill and good application. For the B team, Ludo K has shown speed and agility with the ball in hand while Charlie K showed great power against Hurst. Well done to everyone and we look forward to more after Christmas.
The U11A team remain unbeaten following victories against Seaford, Windlesham, St Christopher’s, Dorset House and Aldro. All the boys have been playing well as a team and have been making great progress together in both defence and attack.
The U11Bs have played three times so far. The first was a triangular, against both Seaford and Windlesham. The second game was a touch rugby match against St Christopher’s, which we won comfortably. The third game was a closer match, with Aldro just prevailing. These are interesting results, as it reflects the areas of the game in which the U11Bs need to work on, namely tackling and offloading. However, the boys cannot be faulted for their spirit, determination and progress. Standout players have been Jude C, and Hugo H. Caspar C should be commended for his enthusiasm and improvement. We look forward to the rest of the season, and continued growth!
The U10As have played some really good rugby this term. Not just smashing into contact at every given opportunity but looking to exploit spaces when they’ve created them. As a team, they have certainly made improvements in handling and support running. Defence has been a weak point, not due to a lack of commitment necessarily but sometimes just wrong positioning, but in the last week or so they have made some big improvements here. They’ve played six matches and won four so far, so an excellent balance of fixtures to date. Rocco M and Freddie W have been the stand out performers.
The U10B team have played some entertaining rugby, winning their first three matches. The emphasis has definitely been on attack, and with some excellent elusive running and they have scored a huge number of tries. Teddy H-N, Harry C, Freddie T and Will B have excelled. The focus for next term will be on tackling.
The U9A team made their competitive bow in a fiercely fought festival of rugby at Hurst in late November. They played a series of matches of short duration against seven teams including Hurst, Seaford and Windlesham. We played Under U8 rules which means tags and no tackling which was a bit of blow for some of our big hitters! That apart, it was a triumph. They managed to win all their games, playing attractive rugby and our defensive work was second to none. This is a dedicated bunch of chaps and they will go from strength to strength. The tackling will begin in earnest next term!
This term has seen a lot of fixtures and tournaments go ahead despite the difficulties faced throughout the season, which unfortunately seemed to impact some teams more than others.
This term the U8-U10 played netball and the U11-U13 played hockey, all of them with excitement to return to the sports that they have so clearly missed.
The U8s and U9s spent the term exploring a new version of netball where they play smaller sided games and have more focus on movement on court rather than positions. They have all successfully participated in this new style of netball and are all ready to progress to the next version after the Christmas break. Our U8 and U9 coaches have all been very impressed with the work and progression by all of the students as well as their attitude towards matches and training. They have experienced many fixtures and tournaments and we are delighted to report that our U8s and U9s are all supportive, committed and resilient. They are everything we expect from Westbourne House pupils and have represented the school brilliantly. We look forward to their hockey season starting in January.
The U10 teams have had a lot of success also, having gone straight into 7-a-side netball and only playing one 5-a-side game. They have all started to learn their positions on court and are becoming comfortable with where they should be playing. They have been mature and hardworking throughout the term and have displayed excellent netball with oppositions often commenting on how strong they were.
The U10s will no doubt have an equally wonderful hockey season and we look forward to see their netball skills continue to develop throughout the next term and into the following year.
A special mention to the U10A and U10B netball teams, which were both undefeated in 7-a-side netball fixtures.
Our U11-U13 girls have all worked incredibly hard, faced tough oppositions and have clearly enjoyed playing the sport with their peers. The season also saw our U13As narrowly missing out at their IAPS national competition and the U12A team doing well in their IAPS final away at Repton. It has been an eventful and exciting season with triumphs as well as learning opportunities throughout their journey.
The U11s have shown confidence and effective communication. The U12s have had endless energy and enthusiasm for training and fixtures and have grown well as a team. The U13 teams have clearly enjoyed the season and played their fixtures and tournaments with passion, energy and a smile on their face.
The U13s have been true role models to the other teams and have represented Westbourne House brilliantly throughout the season.
A special mention to the U12B and U13A hockey teams, who were undefeated in their fixtures.
Training with Hurst
Our pupils enjoyed an excellent training session with the sports team from Hurst including Erin Leahy-Salvage, who plays netball for Ireland, and Frank Taggard, who played rugby for Ulster.
Clare Lane said: “We were delighted to accept Hurst’s offer of a session with their coaches. On the netball courts, pupils enjoyed being trained by a high-level netball player and the sessions focused on passing and driving for the ball. Out on the rugby field, the boys played a game of rugby netball, which highlighted the need for good communication, before going on to play a game. The children also benefitted from meeting senior school coaches.”
Thank you to the whole team from Hurst: Rob Kift, Erin Leahy-Salvage, Beth Bingham, Fred Pierrpont and Frank Taggard.
Five teams of swimmers competed in a gala at Highfield & Brookham. It was a fantastic gala experience after over two years without competitive swimming. Well done to all involved and thank you to all those who have been training every week throughout the term in swim squad.
Hats off to the 32 children who took part in our cross country running event at the start of December. They set off with the icy air in their lungs on a new cross country route that included a full loop around the lake and a lap of our fields.
The fastest boy and girl in each year received a medal and Mr Barker awarded a trophy to the fastest boy and girl in the junior category (Years 4-6) and senior category (Years 7&8).
Emma Pullen, sports teacher, said: “The children put in 100% effort on a cold day and finished with smiles on their faces. Well done to everyone who took part, pushed themselves and completed the challenge. You all demonstrated great perseverance and couldn’t have deserved your pizza and hot chocolate afterwards more.”
Year group winners:
- Year 4: Loftus S
- Year 5: Freddie W & Lily-Rose N
- Junior Trophy winners: Year 6 pupils Ewen M & Marissa E (with just a second between them)
- Year 7: Walter de L & Isabella P
- Senior Trophy winners: Year 8 pupils Louie L & Isabel M