Canford School sport is celebrating a highly successful season with county and regional achievements, individual representation at England and GB level and over two thirds of pupils representing the school through competitive fixtures.
The 1st XV produced another winning season, succeeding in 7 from 11 matches in what is a very competitive fixture list including fine victories in the last two matches of the season against rivals Marlborough College and Bryanston. The U16 ‘A’ and U15 ‘A’ teams have not lost a regular season fixture for two years with the U16s securing the County Cup for the third time in the 7 years the competition has been running and the U15s reaching the last 16 of the Nat West Cup for the second successive year. Meanwhile the U14 ‘A’ team reached the County Cup final, eventually succumbing to an unbeaten Bishop Wordsworth’s School.
Individually in rugby, there has also been outstanding achievement. Six boys are members of the Bath U16 EPDG Academy squad; two have reached the South West and South East regional assessment stage of the England U16 programme respectively; one boy has been selected for the SW Independent Schools U18 team and 1st XV player Otto Gray has been selected for the 28 man training squad for Ireland U18s. In the New Year Canford will be formalising its link with Bath RFC as its Strength and Conditioning centre for Dorset, facilitating the Academy players in pursuing their training programmes.
The girl’s hockey club has maintained its position as the premier school in the area. The U16s were undefeated through both the county and South West competitions to secure the title and qualification for the national finals at the end of February. Both U18s and U14s progressed to the South West Championships following strong county performances, defeated there only on penalty flicks. The U18s are now both hockey and netball current county champions.
There have been numerous representative successes within the hockey club with Emily Balls and Alana Mercer reaching the High Performance Assessment Camps (HIpac) at U15 & U17 level respectively and several of the boys reaching a similar stage. Henry Baugniet has made the England U16 training squad.
Although the netball season doesn’t begin properly until next term, the girls have competed in the district and regional qualification rounds for the South West regional tournament. The U19s and U14s both qualified for the championships to be held at the end of January, with U19s crowned county champions, while two pupils, Lucy Stalker and Millie Dickins have both been selected for Satellite netball academy.
The rowing programme uses the Christmas term to primarily focus on sculling but there are a small number of Head races where rowing and sculling take place. The highlight for the autumn term was a back to back win in both double sculls and pairs rowing for senior boys Jonathan Naylor and Aryan Sheikhalian at the Hampton Head in London. Jonathan has also continued to build on his achievement of representing GB last summer by performing very well in recent trials gaining him selection to a GB U18 assessment camp in the New Year.
Achievement was not confined to the major sports. Despite not fielding a team on a regular basis the senior boys table tennis team were runners up for the second year in succession at the Dorset Schools championships while the junior girls badminton team was crowned victors at the PEDDSA KS3 competition.