Match report: Mixed Senior Rounders v The Royal School

By Chloe Nicklin, Head of Netball

The first fixture of the season for the mixed senior rounders team. After spending the whole summer term training for this moment, the team started the game with a few nerves. The pitch they were playing on lacked width, forcing the team to be tactical with their placement.

The first innings went off to a flying start, with a brilliant back stop performance from Meadow Ridley. We won the first innings 8.5 – 2.5, getting the opposition out after 18 balls. The nerves had settled by the second innings, gaining 11 rounders.

The Royal did not give up so easily and came back fighting with a brilliant performance, gaining ten rounders in the second innings. Unfortunately for them, this was not enough to beat the ever competitive Bedales side and they went away with a 19.5 – 12.5 win.

Most Valuable Players for the match were Meadow for her fielding performance and Oscar for his batting. Either of these players could have been picked for either title, with Meadow scoring two out of the 11 rounders in the second innings and Oscar making three or four superb running catches, forcing their best players to retire early.

Other mentions for batting go to Mimi Lomax, scoring three overall, and Lily, scoring two full rounders (which was particular hard on this pitch). We look forward to hosting the mixed senior teams second fixture next week against staff on Wednesday afternoon.

Match report: U14 Rounders Tournament, 2 July 2019

By Chloe Nicklin, Head of Netball

The Block 3s were ready and raring to go for their last fixture of the year. Due to the Wimbledon trip and an injury, Bedales were only able to compete with eight rather than the standard nine rounders players. However, this did not phase them at all. Kamaya Nelson-Clayton stepped in as the U14s’ coach and number one fan due to her injuries, helping Bedales with tactical decision from the side of the pitch.

Out of the five games they played, they won three, drew one and just lost to the hosts Ditcham Park by 1.5 rounders. The girls adapted well to only having eight players, seeing some fantastic fielding performances from all players. Bowling from Millie Harris was extremely consistent, pairing well with backstop Millie Kennedy, who kept calm under the pressure of also doubling up as fourth base. Nicole Simpson and Coco Witheridge worked well sharing the responsibility of second base and just off second fielder, getting many players out with their reliable catches. The deep fielders Lula Goldring, Katie Mansbridge and Mary Whitley performed extremely well with the sloped pitch, making some brilliant catches.

The U14 tournament was closely contested with three teams ending up on the same amount of points by the end of the tournament. In the final results, due to rounders difference, Bedales came a brilliant second place. It was a fantastic afternoon of rounders with Bedales performing to a high standard.

My Coach’s Player of the Tournament was Maya Cressman. Her batting performance was exceptional. Not only can she hit the ball with great power, she was able to find the gaps in the field, enabling her to secure a rounder almost every time she came to bat.

Tennis update: 24-29 June 2019

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By Graeme Coulter, Head of Tennis

A very busy week for tennis last week. U15 girls drew 3-3 with Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS), while the U15 boys won 8-1, also against PGS. U15 girls lost 4-2 in an excellent match against St Swithuns in the Hampshire semi-final. The match went down to the wire and unfortunately we fell just short in the tie break. Huge congratulations to Romilly White, Eliza Mcfarlane, Alisia Leach and Sasha Arney, who played some brilliant tennis throughout the year to get to the semi-finals.

Our annual school tennis finals (pictured) took place on Parents’ Day in the scorching heat. A massive congratulations to all those involved for persevering through the heat and producing some wonderful tennis.

Senior Boys Singles: Oscar Golblatt beat Lev Borisovets

Senior Girls Singles: Illy Verdon-Roe beat Romilly White

Junior Boys Singles: Paddy Arrowsmith beat Hari Walton

Junior Girls Singles: Romilly White beat Sasha Arney

Team Tennis Event: Oscar Goldblatt, Eliza Goodfellow, Tobias Bonham Carter, Lally Argengo Jones beat Lev Borisovets, Hannah Mazas, Harry Hornsby, Eliza Mcfarlane

Girls Doubles: Meadow Ridley and Lola Pilkington beat Romilly White and Eliza Mcfarlane

Boys Doubles: Final not played. Lev Borisovets and Hari Walton win by default

Mixed Doubles: Lev Borisovets and Romilly White beat Oscar Goldblatt and Thea Levine

Mentor-Mentee Doubles: Lev Borisovets and Paddy Arrowsmith beat Oscar Goldblatt and Harry Hornsby

Gentlemen of Bedales Cricket Club

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By Murray Chancellor

Having packed away your cricket gear a few years or even decades ago and just stuck to watching professional and test match cricket ever since, have you ever wondered if you could still play that match saving innings, finally take that elusive hat-trick, or indeed, actually hang onto that catch?! Here’s your chance!

The Gentlemen of Bedales Cricket Club (GoBCC) was formed in the early 2000s and emanated from the annual social game between Dunhurst parents and teachers (which, incidentally, this year is on Friday 7 June at 4pm).

GoBCC now has around 12 social fixtures against local village teams each year, generally from April through to the end of June. Home games are played on the fabulous and picturesque Bedales Memorial Pitch – probably one of the best village cricket venues in Hampshire. Local village teams love coming to us for our home fixtures.

The team has grown to include teachers, parents past and present, Bedales students past and present, and other likeminded cricketers. New players and talent of all standards are always warmly welcomed.

Last Sunday’s game against the Hambledon Invitation XI (HIXI) featured the HIXI opening batsmen being piped onto the field. GoBCC won by 124 runs with five minutes to spare before the heavens opened.

If you are interested in playing some social Sunday cricket, see the contact details on the GoBCC web page.

Stoner Cricket Club

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By Rollo Wicksteed, Old Bedalian 1949-54

Eighty-five years ago, at the end of their final year at Bedales, two boys had a meeting with their young games master to discuss the future. Jim Atkinson (1930-34) was about to
embark on an engineering degree at Cambridge, and John Fox (1929-34) was preparing to study Civil Engineering. ‘Benn’ Bennett (staff 1930-71) was in his fourth year at the school. However, it was not their futures they talked about, but the much more important question of cricket and in particular, cricket at Bedales. An idea was suggested: at the end of the Summer term, OBs should be invited to return for a week of cricket. Benn agreed to approach ‘The Chief’ (Mr Badley) to see if the proposal met with his approval. It did, so he was promptly chosen to be the Club’s first President, and Stoner Cricket was born.

Fifty years later, as the Club celebrated its half century, John recalled his memories: “Although a performer of little talent, I was quite potty about cricket and when I was due to leave, the idea of abandoning the cricket field was quite awful. I don’t remember being overly impressed by the scenic marvels of the place where I spent 14 happy years successfully resisting being taught anything… but when I found myself leaving it for good, its beauty came upon me suddenly and the notion of arranging some cricket softened the blow”.

Jim, who was not usually lost for words, was less effusive and wrote, “If the cricket has been no more than a vehicle for the making of friends and the interplay of eccentric  personalities, then never mind”. Jim was a more than useful village cricketer and was
a Stoner regular for the next 30 years, during which time he proved himself a considerable eccentric and made countless friends.

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Benn was, of course the driving spirit and a cricketer good enough to have earned a place on the Lord’s ground staff. As curator of the Bedales wicket he supervised the creation of the ‘Mem’ Pitch after the war, ensuring that it was the best ground in the district. On the death of Mr Badley in 1967, Benn became President of Stoner. Since Stoner’s foundation, hundreds of OBs and their friends have played for the Club including over half a dozen Head Boys. Staff have also played an important part including Ken Keast (staff 1939-49), Harold Gardiner (staff 1952-68), John Batstone (staff 1968-93), Norman Bellis (staff 1956-63) and Anthony Gillingham (staff 1946-70).

For those too young to know him, Anthony was an Old Etonian Marxist who helped sink the Bismarck during the war and had a father who played for Essex!

There have been many other interesting characters who have worn the club colours.  Richard Tomlinson (1970-76) has written a highly acclaimed 400 page biography of W.G. Grace. Roger Lloyd Pack (1957-62) became a film and TV star whose brief innings in
the film The Go-Between was featured in its entirety. Matthew Quantrill (1978-83) was a remorseless compiler of runs who tragically died before he could record his 100th Century.

Peter ‘Bunny’ Layton (1940-46) was a stockbroker whose legendary generosity did not always extend to his racing tips or his running between wickets, Alastair Britten (1957-62) invariably slept in a tent during Stoner Week as a tribute to the Club’s pioneers. Finally, Connor Wilkinson (1976-78), was always available to make up the numbers and his unfailing optimism with both bat and ball won him wide admiration. I could go on but enough.

After 84 years, the news that the 2018 Cricket Week had to be cancelled due to lack of  players saddened me and only Hitler had managed that. However, amid the wailing and gnashing of teeth, there are cautious grounds for optimism that a renaissance may be round the corner. Cricket at Dunhurst is flourishing, and both the Bursar and the new  Heads at Bedales and Dunhurst, love cricket and may even sport MCC ties, which shows the right spirit! We also hear that staff and parents have their own team trading under the name ‘Gentlemen of Bedales’, which includes some enthusiastic pupils.

The idea of a week’s cricket after the end of term has been discussed, and sounds an attractive possibility. Perhaps it’s worth a try – it worked last time!

This article was originally published in the Bedales Association & Old Bedalian Newsletter 2019. Find out more about Stoner Cricket Club, including this year’s fixtures, here.

Encouraging lifelong interest in sport

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By Spencer Leach, Director of Sport

In 2017 a survey by Women in Sport found that only 56% of girls in secondary school enjoyed participating in sport compared with 71% of boys, and only 45% of girls saw the relevance of PE to their lives against 60% of boys. The gender split is worrying, but in truth none of these figures are good enough – at Bedales, we want all students to leave the school having enjoyed sport in some way, and minded to continue some kind of participation in their adult lives. Something I think we’ve done particularly well at Bedales is to help students who have arrived feeling that sport isn’t for them to find something they enjoy. No matter the student, they will always get a warm reception from us, and we will try to find something for them that is suited to their abilities and preferences – for various reasons.

For example, sport brings distinctive opportunities for students to learn about themselves and others, and to develop confidence – although this needs careful management. In a classroom you can make three errors in, say, maths, and it is not immediately obvious. However, if you commit three howlers in the context of a team sport, everybody sees them and it may prompt disappointment and frustration. This requires staff to be alert to the dangers when mistakes happen, and to help students deal with them in an appropriate way. This requires some emotional maturity. It is interesting that some of our best athletes can find this difficult. In such cases, the coaches will be aware of it, and we are prepared for when students’ thought patterns are less than constructive. We encourage them to see that they are still in the game, that they haven’t blown it, and even if they don’t prevail on that occasion the world won’t end.

Of course, in all of this there is sometimes a tension to be managed between competing and ensuring everybody is involved, which is particularly evident in team fixtures against other schools. There may be the temptation to pursue a win at all costs, but I’m pleased to say over the last 10 to 15 years a more sensible approach has come to prevail, not least because national governing bodies have played a big part in making the experience of young people more central. So, in setting up a fixture I will have a conversation with my opposite number about our relative strengths and what we can do to make the encounter meaningful. Will the students enjoy it? Will they be inspired to practise and get better? The results will take care of themselves – in a well-planned season we’ll win some and lose some, and have some thrillers along the way. We enjoy success, and try to learn from things that didn’t go quite so well. And if we win 10-0 there will be some reflection on how we can make the next encounter between the teams a more challenging affair for the sake of both teams.

Although we are keen to find something enjoyable for all of our students, I like to think that we can also give our excellent athletes what they need from us. We work hard to find ways of challenging them that are meaningful and which they will appreciate. If we think they can cope, we find them opportunities with older year groups, and if we feel students might benefit from moving up to another representative level, we can make that happen. Our links with local clubs and regional representative structures are very strong.

We are not a big school and it is unlikely that we will have sustained national sporting success, but if we’ve got lots of children who have a positive attitude to being physically active, and will keep that attitude in their adult lives, then we do the subject justice – just so long as we make sure that we also stretch those students who really do have the appetite and aptitude for great things.