Oundle's Sporting elite
25 July 2012
This year Oundle School’s Lower Sixth Form has boasted five pupils who are currently training and competing at national level and representing their home countries in a variety of sports.
Sam Olver (17) was selected for the England U18 Elite ‘wider’ rugby squad last Autumn and attended a week long training camp at Harrow, under the watchful eye of England coaches John Fletcher and Peter Walton. This squad was later reduced to 26 players who became the England Elite U18 squad for the 2011-2012 season. Sam’s first international match was at Fylde where about 4,000 people watched England narrowly defeat a huge French team, 18-16. His second game was against Scotland in Hawick, where England won 22-13, with Sam scoring a drop goal and conversion. After these two internationals came the FIRA tournament, in which 32 National teams are divided into 4 groups. Sam played in the first game, winning the ‘Man of the Match’ accolade, amassing 18 points against a very robust Georgia team. England progressed to the semi-finals, where they beat a strong Welsh team, progressing to the final to meet Ireland who had overcome England in the final the previous year. However this time England were too strong and beat Ireland 20-13, with Sam scoring a penalty.
Modern pentathlete, Jess Varley (17), who has been fast-tracked as a future British Olympian after being handpicked to join the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative, recently came 2nd in the British Tetrathlon Championships held in Solihull and run by Pentathlon GB. In January, Jess came 3rd in the Cambs County U20 Cross Country Championships, 1st in the Northants U17 Girls’ Épée Fencing Championships and 1st in the Northants Schools U19 Girls’ Cross Country Championships. In February, she came 6th in the National Youth Selection Modern Pentathlon, 1st in a Show Jumping and Style Regional Qualifier and 8th in the Show Jumping and Style National Finals. March saw her come 13th in the Nottingham Open Fencing Competition for Senior Womens’ Épée, 88th in the All England Schools Cross Country Championships, 6th in the Public Schools Fencing Championships Senior Girls’ Épée and 1st in the School Cross Country for Senior Girls. In April, she came 1st in the British Eventing (dressage, show jumping and riding cross country) at Burnham Market International Horse Trials, 2nd in the British Youth Tetrathlon Champs and 10th in the National Youth Selection Modern Pentathlon. May saw her come 2nd in the Leon Paul Junior Series u17 Girls’ Epee, 6th in the Southern Intercounties U20 - 1500m. Jess is a member of Peterborough Athletic Club, Burghley Pony Club, Oundle, Peterborough and Stamford Fencing Club (recently set up by Jess’ fencing coach Chris Howser) and Oundle and District Swimming Club.
On 6 May, Kristina Cowley (17) won her final in the women’s J18 single sculls event at the Wallingford Regatta at Eton’s Dorney Lake (the Olympic Rowing venue), receiving a beautiful pewter brandy balloon shaped cup. She won with clear water between her and her opposition, which is a comfortable margin having led the field from very early on. On 19 May, she won the WJ18 single sculls event at the Nottingham City Regatta and on 17 June Kristina came 2nd in the Henley J18 single skulls. Kristina has attended Great Britain junior trials, an outstanding achievement in itself, and is aiming to improve further this summer and gain GB representation.
Honor de Winton (17) has been selected to go on tour to South Africa and Australia over the summer with the England U21 Netball squad. Honor has been playing Goal Keeper for the U17 England Netball team and made her debut at the Europeans in March where the tournament commenced with a win against Scotland, followed by a win against a strong Welsh side with Honor playing Goal Defence and Goal Keeper. Honor also played in the final match against Northern Ireland which saw a significant win and earned her a Gold medal.
Coach Bev Burnham, said ‘Honor has done herself, her country and the School proud, producing some great netball both as an individual and as a team member.’
The Chief Executive of Macau, Mr Fernando Chui, recently presented Bruno Ngou (17) with an award in recognition of the two medals he won in a Chinese Secondary Schools’ swimming competition last summer, representing Macau. Bruno continues to swim for Macau as a representative athlete as well as swimming backstroke and freestyle for the School team.
Swimming coach, Julie Clipstone commented ‘Bruno has broken all the School swimming records in Backstroke, Freestyle, Front crawl and the Individual Medley and holds County qualifying swimming times. The swimming team have been delighted with the success of the senior boys’ team since Bruno joined Oundle.’
Kristina, Jessica, Honor and Sam have recently been awarded the John Jackson Award which is given to the outstanding sportsman or sportswoman in the School at the start of the Upper Sixth Form. Mr John Jackson set up this fund in 2003.
Headmaster, Charles Bush commented, “All at Oundle are very proud of these five extremely talented athletes who represent the School and their respective countries with great distinction. They train very hard; they are ambitious for further success; they are excellent role-models; they have achieved highly; and we wish them further success in future."