1st X1 Captain, Dora Nicolle (17) commented: “It was absolutely invaluable to have Sam coach us. His ‘Try it or you’ll never get better’ advice worked wonders on the 1st XI team and within five minutes our forwards were developing incredible stick skills that we had never tried before. It is always an absolute pleasure to have Sam helping us out and once again he has done wonders for us and for all the teams here at Oundle.”
Over lunch, hockey scholars had a chance to talk to Sam about being a professional player and where he has most enjoyed playing.
Head of Hockey and Boys’ Sport, Gareth Terrett commented: “Sam worked with all age groups and they were privileged to have had this experience and I hope to see the results this term.”
The weekend before saw Oundle’s 1st X1 placed second in the annual King’s Canterbury tournament which consisted of twenty-five minute one-way games. Oundle’s opening game against last year’s winners, Framlingham Hall saw a close fought match ending in a 0-0 draw. Oundle followed with a 2-0 win against hosts, King’s Canterbury and a 1-0 victory against Queenswood.
In the semis, Oundle took on King’s Canterbury again with a successful 2-0 win taking the girls in to the finals against Framlingham, where they were narrowly defeated 1-0.
On 21 September, five hockey scholars, Tallulah Gurney (13), Emily McParland (13), Flora Gammell (13). Ella Johnsrud (16) and Celeste Young (15) spent a day at Repton coached by Rio hockey gold medallists Alex Danson and Holly Webb, and two male German players from Rio as well as the best drag flick coach in the world.
The girls were split into groups and were rotated around activities aimed at learning different skills. With Holly Webb, the purpose of the exercise was slowing down the attacker and tackling in small pressurised spaces. Holly scored the winning shuffle at Rio and plays in defence for GB.
The girls commented: “The day was very rewarding and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. We learned lots and improved our skills. In addition to that we were given the privilege to hold a gold medal at the end which was very exciting.”