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Sarah Murphy

Star gazing

Simon Fry rounds up the rising independent school stars who enjoyed an unforgettable 2014/15

Posted by Hannah Oakman | June 24, 2015 | Sports & Leisure

FOOTBALL
★ Alicia Schwarzenbach - Oakham School

Alicia, 16, plays for Leicester City Women’s Football Club and for the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) National and Midlands squads. A Regional Championship trophy winner, Alicia captained Oakham’s first XI team to victory in the 2015 ISFA U18 Final.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?
Winning the ISFA cup final. The atmosphere was electric, thanks to the coachful of Oakham supporters! The Oakham spirit shone through every tackle, pass and sprint.

What do you love most about your sport?

Football is a great team sport, but it also requires good skills and athleticism. I also love its unpredictability!

What role has your school played in developing your talent?

Our coach Mr Johnson has taught us a huge amount in a short space of  time, and has been incredibly dedicated. The specialist support from our strength and conditioning coach has also been invaluable.

HOCKEY 
Matthew Proudlove - Repton School

Matthew joined Repton in 2012, having never played hockey before. Three years later, competing in his fourth National Finals, Matthew found himself on the winning side at the 2015 England Hockey National Schools U16 Championships.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?

The recent National Final, played in London’s Olympic Park. We came from behind to draw 3-3. Then, in the penalty shoot-out, I was fortunate enough to save six of the 14 taken against me, denying victory to our opponents Whitgift. 

What do you love most about your sport?

I love the speed of the game. Nothing is slow and the game is never won: in the final we came back from 3-1 down with just seven minutes remaining.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?

I started with no experience in goal, but Repton gave me constant encouragement and training. I would not have achieved this success without the school.

RACKETS
Lea van der Zwalmen - Clifton College

French U19 squash champion Lea van der Zwalmen has excelled at rackets since joining Clifton College in 2014.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?
In squash, becoming French junior national champion last year: in rackets, becoming senior schoolgirl national champion in consecutive years (2014 and 2015).

What do you love most about your sport?

I love the strong tactical aspect of both sports – but what I like most in rackets is the high speed of the ball, which makes rallies very exciting.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?
I had never played rackets before coming to Clifton College. The coach Reggie Williams introduced me to the game, helping me to use my squash skills on this much bigger court and organising numerous practice sessions. Thanks to Clifton, not only do I have the most supportive coach on my side but also the best mentor in Sam Beale.

RUGBY
Jack Evans - Llandovery College

Jack has played rugby for Wales’ U16s and U18s, Scarlets U16s and U18s and Bath A Seniors. But there's more: Jack's golf handicap is 14, he came third in the Welsh U18s and U20s Combined Events (athletics) and was 2014 European Junior Fly-Fishing Champion.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?
Pulling on the Wales red jersey aged 16 against England at Iffley Road. An incredibly proud moment.

What do you love most about your sport?

Playing rugby well gives me a sense of  pride and purpose. I love match days, of course – but I enjoy the preparation and build-up too. I love the responsibility of being the place kicker: in fact, I thrive on the pressure.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?

I have a very close relationship with the college’s coaching staff who tailor my training programme to suit my individual needs. They support me and truly care about my future success.

CRICKET 
★ Nick Hammond - The King's School, Worcester

Cricket ace Nick won 2013’s Sir John Hobbs Silver Jubilee Memorial Prize as England’s most outstanding U16 schoolboy cricketer, and joined Worcestershire CCC’s Academy in autumn 2014.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?
Representing the Midlands at the Bunbury English Schools’ Cricket Festival, where I was very proud to be voted the most valuable player and best batsman. More recently, another highlight was debuting for Worcestershire's second team in a county fixture against Somerset.

What do you love most about your sport?

Cricket has given me the opportunity to travel domestically and internationally, allowing me to play at world-class venues and to learn from different cricketing cultures. As a batsman, though, there is simply nothing better than scoring heavily.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?
A significant one! It has given me the chance to play first-team cricket since year eight, allowing me access to the huge knowledge and experience of the coaching staff and senior players.

FORMULA 24 RACING 
Sarah Murphy - Foremarke Hall

Sarah joined the Foremarke Hall racing team at the start of the 2014 Greenpower Formula 24 season, and was made deputy team leader midway through the season. Now aged 13, Sarah is team leader for a successful Foremarke team, which last year gained eight podium finishes including two first and four second places.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?
Being placed second on the grid for the International Final at the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit. This came after a whole season of qualifying races.

What do you love most about your sport?

I love the teamwork and camaraderie of everyone working together towards a common goal. It’s not just racing the cars: we design and build them as well.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?

Through design, building and racing, Foremarke Hall has allowed me to take part at every aspect of this hugely exciting sport.

SWIMMING 
Mollie Allen - Wisbech Grammar School

A fifth-form pupil at Wisbech Grammar, Mollie swims at National standard – and aims to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?

Coming fourth at the British Nationals (age 15-16 category) at the age of 15, and going to the Commonwealth Trials in Glasgow last year, have been my most memorable sporting highlights.

What do you love most about your sport?

I love the brutality of swimming! The 4am starts to find margins which can be the difference between gold and bronze: that’s what I love about this sport.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?

My form tutor and senior members of staff, especially the Head Master, have taught me the valuable skill of time management – balancing academic studies and achieving my goals within the pool. The result? A happy swimmer.

TAEKWONDO
Jay Porter - Charterhouse School

Jay is currently taking his GCSEs in Charterhouse School’s Fifth Form. Taekwondo, which he began at the age of five, has been a huge part of Jay’s life for the last ten years. In 2014/15 he finished ninth (individual) and first (team) in the Great Britain National Championships.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?
Receiving my black belt at the age of nine was a huge achievement. Having failed in my first attempt, I was all the more determined to come back stronger.

What do you love most about your sport?

The excitement and buzz in the build-up to, and during, a big competition. There is plenty of pressure – but you learn to thrive off it and use it as motivation.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?

Charterhouse’s fantastic facilities have allowed me to work on my individual attributes – technique, fitness and speed.

GOLF 
Charlotte McCluskey - St Aloysius' College

Throughout the 2014/15 golf season, Charlotte McCluskey has been a member of the Renfrewshire Ladies county team, winning both the Ranfurly Castle Junior Open and Renfrewshire County 'Campbell Clock'. Representing St Aloysius', meanwhile, Charlotte has also triumphed twice in the Glasgow Schools Championship.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?
There have been various – including playing for Renfrewshire Ladies and competing around Scotland against other counties and districts. Representing St Aloysius' in local and national events has also been very memorable.

What do you love most about your sport?

I love the competitive challenges that golf brings, both mentally and physically, and the solid friendships that it forms. Golf is a sport that will remain with me throughout my life.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?

The school tournaments I have entered with St Aloysius’ have been invaluable in furthering the various aspects of my game. 

WEIGHTLIFTING 
Emma Peters - Oakham School

Despite only taking up the sport in September 2014, Emma has already won accolades at the Nottingham Open and the Atlas Open, as well as being selected for the Central Regional Development Squad and winning gold at Glasgow’s British Youth Championships.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?
Taking part at the British Youth Championships was incredible. Competing with other girls of such a high standard made me more determined than ever to progress in the sport.

What do you love most about your sport?

I love the training element, as weightlifting is a sport in which you can constantly track your progress: and I also enjoy the gym environment.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?

Without the school identifying my talent for weightlifting, I would never have taken up the sport. I have received huge support from the academic and sports staff, particularly my coach Mr Tratt.

HOCKEY 
Joe Waterston - Loretto School

Hockey ace Joe was selected for Scotland’s u16 squad at the tender age of 12, and played his first international a year later. Over the past year, Joe has captained Scotland at u16 level in six test matches, as well as representing both the u18 and u21 squads. Joe plays his club hockey for Inverleith – representing the Men’s 1st XI in National Division 1, Scotland’s top league.

What has been your sporting highlight to date?

Making my international debut at the age of 12, and captaining the U16 Scotland team last season as we won an international youth competition in The Hague during the Hockey World Cup.

What do you love about your sport?

The ability to be personally creative as part of a larger unit, and to try to influence the overall flow of the game. And, of course, pushing myself to learn new things all the time.

What role has your school played in developing your talent?
I started playing hockey at Loretto at the age of nine. I have had some great coaching throughout my time here, including plenty of encouragement and one-to-one support. During 2013 I went to New Zealand on a school exchange for a term, so that I could experience hockey in a different continent and play in their top national schools tournament. Mr Allan, my school hockey coach, arranged all of this for me and it was a great experience.

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