In what can only be described as an action packed term of sport, the Vinehall pupils have once again excelled on the sporting front. With nearly 100 hockey matches, 80 football matches, two gym competitions, three swimming galas, 25 rugby matches and 20 netball matches, weekly PE and swimming lessons from Nursery through to Year 8, plus many activity slots, the pupils have worked extremely hard on the sporting front.

The senior hockey girls have had a fantastic season.  Competition in all four teams has been intense, with the girls pushing each other in training.  This competition has brought on improved levels of performance in matches, producing results about which all four teams can be very pleased.  The 1st team made it to the Plate final of the IAPS qualifiers at Bede’s Senior in October and followed that with a great performance at the UKSA Hockey Tournament, only losing to the eventual winners in the semi-final.

The U11AB and U10 girls have also made great progress this term and, although their results may not have always gone their way, they are starting to play the type of hockey Laura Percy-White and Aileen Cheevers have been working towards.  The U11s gave a great account of themselves at the IAPS qualifiers at Eastbourne College, with the U10 girls doing the same a few weeks later at the U10 UKSA hockey tournament.

The boys start the Michaelmas term playing football and for the first time the 1st Team entered the U13 ISFA Cup.  A national competition for prep schools, the boys did incredibly well to make it to the 3rd round eventually losing out to Elstree from Reading.  They were unbeaten on the circuit, a great achievement considering the tough competition they faced.  The remaining senior and Colts teams can also be pleased with their efforts.  It is such a shame when the season ends, as the boys’ skill levels really do show a great deal of progress over the 10 week season. The U8s and U9s combined this year and enjoyed their Thursday afternoon fixtures, each consisting of three or four friendly matches.

Nikki Towner and her gymnasts have continued their hard work on Wednesday and Friday evenings and can be very pleased with their efforts at both the ISGA 2 piece competition and the IAPS competition at Kent College in November.  Special mention must go to the U11 Girls who finished 4th at the ISGA Competition, with Imogen W coming 3rd in the Individual competition.  The U10s finished a respectable 6th at the IAPS event – well done girls!

The swimming teams continue their fantastic form with a great set of results at the three galas in which they have taken part. The boys did well at St Andrew’s, coming 3rd.  That result was followed with a good win for the mixed Year 5 & 6 team against Claremont.  Two nights later the girls’ swimming team had an amazing result, winning the St Andrew’s Cup against some very tough opposition.  We look forward to their performances at the IAPS qualifiers next term.

The boys move to rugby in Week 11.  The U13As took part in the Cumnor House 7s tournament and, with very little preparation time, finished 3rd in what was a great day of friendly but competitive rugby.  The majority of boys are now preparing for their third matches of the term and is it already evident how much progress they are making.

The U8 and U9 girls do netball during the Michaelmas term.  Laura Percy-White informs me that that the girls’ understanding is improving weekly, passing skills are get stronger and court balance is being maintained (well nearly!)

A huge thank you to all the parents for their continued support from the sidelines and to all the games staff for your efforts over the course of the term. The Lent term will be no different and I look forward to seeing you on the side of a pitch soon.

Matt McKinnon

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