A Round-Up of Sport

It is wonderful to be back at School with the sun shining and pupils throwing themselves into their chosen sports

Tennis is proving to be extremely popular this term, with every tennis court filled, for every available session. We are are very lucky to have 27 courts in total now since the nine new ones were created last year. We're not sure how we would have coped this summer without them!

The cricket nets are packed with bowling machines firing balls at the batters, with both boys and girls trying hard to improve their skills. Squares are being used for fielding exercises and the grounds department have done a fantastic job preparing the pitches for the season.

Pre-season was the start of our inter-school fixtures and that is something we have been waiting for, for some time. Fixtures have brought a sense of normality returning to our School. With minibuses and coaches with opposition arriving and departing and our happy pupils excited to be going to other schools, it has been a welcome sight to see pupils and staff from other schools. Comparing stories of the last 12 months or so, everyone is happy to see sport return to the calendar.

The athletics track is busy again after a break of nearly 22 months. Pupils trying to get personal bests, taking advice from the experienced coaches and the desire to improve from one session to the next. Volleyball has been introduced and there is lots of laughter coming from their internal matches on the newly set out grass courts. The Queen's Sports Centre is quiet with just swimming, climbing and fencing sessions but it is so nice to see so many people getting involved in sport both inside and outside in the fresh air.

All these sports wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated teachers. Their involvement in the sports programme is crucial and we thank them so much for their enthusiasm, professionalism and most of all commitment to help our pupils find a sport they enjoy and might continue later in life. It is a busy time for everyone this term and we just hope that the weather will continue to be on our side, after so many months of pupils not being able to play sports they enjoy. We lost last summer's play, so let's hope the weather doesn’t stop fixtures this year!

Cricket

The 2021 cricket season finally got going on 14 April after a gap of 22 months since the last school fixture in 2019. In the last month we have had ten boys teams and one girls team compete across the age groups. The 1st XI started brightly with a win against IZingari, 1st XI captain Ayush Patel hitting 137 not out in a resounding win. However losses to Radley, Hurst and Eton have dampened early season enthusiasm while the boys search for their best form. In other age groups, Harry Wood has starred for the U15A’s with two half centuries and Luke Leavett-Shenley in the 14A’s has performed excellently with both bat and ball. In the U16’s we have had two teams playing as a testament to the popularity of the sport, and this has also been seen in the senior teams where we have had three teams playing. The 2nd XI have been year 13 pupils and the 3rd XI year 12 pupils. A system that has worked very well in the current climate of bubbles. 2021 also saw the return of girls’ cricket, after many years of not being in our sports programme. Captained by Catie Chauhan the 1st XI won their opening match against Reed’s by 64 runs and it was pleasing to see so many girls wanting to get involved. As Director of Cricket, Mr Bicknell has been delighted by the boys and girls energy for the sport as well as the staff getting stuck in after a long break. As a good problem to have, we have seen the nets full every practice session and middle practices have been a joy to see. With girls arriving in Year 9 and 10 next year we are going to need more space to play! A great problem to have.

This month sees the school take on Tonbridge, Harrow, Bradfield, Reed’s and Westminster in a very busy schedule. The girls have further fixtures against Tormead, Lord Wandsworth College, Seaford College and Epsom. Good luck to all the players and staff, let's hope the sun shines.

Tennis

After the curtailment of the 2020 tennis season, it has been a fantastic start to the tennis programme. Within the space of ten days we have had block fixtures against Tonbridge, Lord Wandsworth, Westminster and Winchester. The strength in depth across all age groups has been clear to see from the outset; ranging from the Girls 1st VI, captained by Emma Haynes having excellent victories over Lord Wandsworth and Westminster to the Boys U14D team having resounding victories over Tonbridge and Winchester. 

It has been wonderful to have Carthusians eager to get on the tennis courts at all times of the day. The students are clearly benefitting from playing multiple times a week. The fact that the astro is full shortly after 8:30pm is great to hear.

We continue to go from strength to strength - week three sees plenty of training sessions, as well as a block fixture against RGS Guildford and then the opening round of the Independent Schools League. Our senior squad led by Boys Captain Henry Wilkinson will be at Tonbridge, and the junior squad (comprising of 4 players from each of the U14, U15 and U16 age groups) will be at Charterhouse with Reed’s, New Hall and Wellington in our group. The last time we had an ISL fixture at Charterhouse, one of the opposing players was then playing at Junior Wimbledon not long after, so there should be some high quality tennis on display. 

Many thanks to all the tennis teachers without whom we wouldn't be able to offer a comprehensive programme.

Athletics

'Twas the first afternoon of Charterhouse sport since early March 2020, and indeed since June 2019 for Charterhouse athletics. We had a number of new faces grace the stadium amongst both the Year 9's and Year 10's with some very fine performances across the board from all year groups.

Charterhouse welcomed Wellington College and Seaford College to the Sir Greville Spratt Athletics Stadium where the first track events got underway at the sound of the start gun at precisely 2.20pm. There were some notable performances on the track with Mr Freeman commenting on Rupert Fergusson's efforts: "Rupert Ferguson was rattled in the 800m and was pipped on the line, but showed courage and perseverance in winning the 1500m later in the afternoon by a big margin of about 300m." Hayden Brown also produced a fantastic performance in the 800m where he showed the determination to hold off his opposition to take first place in what was an extremely competitive line up. Some other notable performances on the track included Logan Hogg's 400m & 200m effort as well as Ryan O'Connor's and Toby Russell's blistering first-placed 200m sprints on top of TJ Amusan's 11.56s 100m display of speed and power.

This fine display of the Charterhouse values extended much beyond the track and into the field events. Mr Cooper would like to highlight the first-class sportsmanship between competitors from all schools on congratulating each other on some excellent discus throws between efforts. Jasper Kenney particularly, showed courage by stepping up to represent the school in the discus despite no prior experience. The same can also be said for the shot put event, as Rev. Case said, "Despite the early season fixture, all pupils in the shot put performed skillfully and showed determination in the event." He would also like to highlight the performances of both Seun Itayemi and Oscar Iley who came first in the U15As and second in the U15Bs, respectively. Jeremy Ogbonna produced some excellent results and fully deserves recognition of his perseverance in his first-place finishes in all his individual events.

Across the board, it can be said for certain that all Charterhouse athletes did themselves and their School proud in difficult circumstances. Jimi Johnson spread his efforts very thinly across a multitude of both track & field events, as did Freddie Davenport, Josh Diri, Leith Fallon and Ladi Mayungbo; however, all athletes should be proud of their performances and the fact that they represented what Charterhouse stands for. A special mention also goes to the athletes who were not strictly involved in competing for the School, but instead assumed team leadership roles from the sidelines by ensuring that all athletes knew where to go, when and in providing some wisdom and mentorship for our younger year groups.

Overall results: Wellington (1st - 244 points), Charterhouse (2nd - 225 points), Seaford (3rd - 189 points).

A fantastic start to the term and good luck to everyone involved over the next few weeks.