Wycombe Abbey Schools Family Sports Festival

School News October 26, 2021
Wycombe Abbey Schools Family Sports Festival

This weekend, Wycombe Abbey Hangzhou (WASHZ) hosted 54 U11 and U13 pupils from Wycombe Abbey Changzhou (WASCZ) in the first collaborative sports tournament between the Wycombe Abbey Schools. WASHZ opened its doors in September 2021 and the pupils have been busy learning team sports and it was incredible to see 136 boys and girls playing competitive sport with the boys learning contact rugby and the girls learning netball.

WAS Changzhou (WASCZ) arrived Saturday lunchtime to blue skies and picturesque surroundings. The boys and girls enjoyed a hearty lunch overlooking the bamboo mountains and school lake from the dining room. With WASHZ one side of the meal table and WASCZ on the other side, it was the perfect introduction and a great opportunity for the boys and girls to meet each other. The staff are already very familiar, as many of our staff play sport together to a high standard on the Sino rugby and netball circuit.

A feast of sport ensued, beginning with the inaugural ‘Wycombe Abbeys’ Dash’, a 1.36km run around the perimeter of the school and a route often walked by the Executive Headmaster Mr. Mooney. Medals were awarded to the top three pupils in each age and gender category and it was incredibly close, with both schools taking home six medals each. It was challenging yet a great reminder that fitness in sport is so crucial and the importance of sport in the classroom even more so. A healthy body equals a healthy mind as sport is so good for destressing, building resilience, improving leadership skills and understanding competition.

Congratulations to the following medal winners:

U11 girls –   1st Elsa P (CZ)               2nd Tisha L (HZ)   3rd Yantong L (CZ)

U11 boys – 1st Casper S (HZ)         2nd Lucas Y (HZ) 3rd Evan S (HZ)

U13 girls –   1st Vicky H (HZ)   2nd Renee L (HZ)         3rd Lucy C (HZ)

U13 boys – 1st Dragon Z (CZ)        2nd Tom C (HZ)              3rd Tiger S (CZ)

Saturday afternoon then saw the rugby and netball training workshops with 21 specialist sports staff from both schools as well as four U17 girls who came down from WASCZ to help coach the pupils. Over the course of the weekend, we saw boys who had never played rugby before to playing in semi-contact rugby matches and those who had played contact before playing full-contact rugby. For the more experienced, they supported the coaches and were able to teach and lead those who hadn’t played much before. Same too on the netball courts, as the girls were introduced to the rules, positions, footwork and basic skills in the workshops before then playing competitive games later in the afternoon. On Sunday, over 100 parents came to watch a great spectacle of sport and for many this was their first taste of rugby and netball and as the afternoon progressed they were starting to really understand the rules of the game.

Director of Rugby at WASCZ, Samuel Thurgood commented ‘Sport is an integral part of the holistic education in Wycombe Abbey Schools and this weekend was another example of the growing collaboration between us. In Changzhou and Hangzhou, we have forged a fantastic connection and this was clear to see on the rugby field and netball court this weekend: all of the pupils from the two schools developed their skills and understanding of the game, whilst making friends that we hope will continue to blossom over the coming years. Rugby and netball are continuing to grow and this should be celebrated by all involved’.

The social side of sport is also such an important part of what we teach the children. Firstly sportsmanship, where the pupils recognize what happens on the field is competitive but at the end teams shake hands and congratulate each other for their efforts, irrespective of the result. We also had all of the children and staff doing Scottish Dancing, led by the WASHZ Head of Boarding and Science Mr. Fyfe. We had the boys and girls dancing away, learning new dances before settling down for a film.

A sensational weekend of sport and huge credit to the boys and girls for their exemplary behaviour and to the staff who made the weekend so enjoyable and productive. The future for the Wycombe Abbey family is so bright and we can’t wait to collaborate further in all areas of school including sports, music, academics and through our extensive extra-curricular programme!