In May, three members of the New Hall School tennis team, Adam Groves (Year 9), Alex Groves and Charlie Bischoff (both Year 12), travelled to Morocco with Mark Crick, Head of Tennis at New Hall School, to represent England at the ISF World School Summer Games Gymnasiade 2018. For the opening ceremony, Alex Groves carried the St George’s cross for England around the track at the Marrakech Grand Stadium. A memorable evening consisted of music, dancing and a bright light show before the 57 countries participating in the World School Summer Games all carried their country’s flag around the stadium in front of the large crowd. This was the first time the Gymnasiade has been held in the continent of Africa and the competition hosted 3000 participants across 18 sports in Marrakech and Casablanca.
The boys were handed a tough draw and faced difficult ties against Croatia and Ukraine in the first round of singles on the red clay. New Hall’s Adam Groves was one of the youngest competitors in the competition at 14 years old and faced a tricky first round encounter against Ukraine.
After five days of competition, Charlie Bischoff placed 21st in the world, Adam Groves finished 16th and Alex Groves came 9th in the World School Summer Games 2018. A special mention goes to Alex Groves, who managed to win four out of his five matches in Morocco. He was defeated in the last sixteen by the top seed who went on to win gold for Morocco. Alex was defeated, but took the most games of the champion and was really unlucky to have been drawn against him in the round of sixteen. Alex went on to defeat several world-ranked juniors from China and Taiwan to ensure he finished 9th in the world and put in a fantastic performance on the African clay. It was a fantastic week for the boys from New Hall, who represented their country brilliantly and have learnt a lot from the international experience. They now return to school looking to secure a place for the senior tennis team in the nationals finals at Nottingham.
Head of Tennis, Mark Crick, said: The boys have gained invaluable experience this past week competing in Morocco and have played extremely well for their country. They acclimatised quickly to the hot weather and slower clay courts. We were unfortunate to receive a challenging draw which saw Alex push the Gymnasiade gold medalist to the limits. Alex was so close to causing an upset against the world ranked junior and has played well for the whole week. The standard was extremely high and I am extremely proud of the boys who finished ninth, sixteenth and twenty first in the world.”
Alongside a successful academic programme, New Hall School provides excellent facilities and training for budding sports stars and fantastic music and performing arts provision. The Catholic boarding and day school for students aged 3-18 has a distinctive ‘diamond model structure’ and a strong ethos of pastoral care, which supports students in their endeavours, allowing them to achieve success in a wide variety of fields.