SENIOR SCHOOL SPORT: THE AUTUMN TERM
The Autumn term has been packed with a huge number of sports fixtures and event for our pupils. PGS Sport has played 280 competitive fixtures from U12 to 1st Team with Hockey and Rugby making up the majority of these fixtures this term. 585 pupils have represented the school in at least one competitive fixture between September and December with many pupils playing upwards of ten competitive games this term. This number of fixtures and pupils involved is testament to the commitment of pupils, staff and parents to training and matches. Thank you to all those involved in PGS Sport for their continued support of this important aspect of life here at The Portsmouth Grammar School.
Following a successful Senior Rugby tour to South Africa in the summer, a large number of boy from all year groups have enjoyed representing the school in rugby fixtures this term. Over 30 boys travelled to South Africa where they played five competitive fixtures as well as taking in the sights and sounds of a culturally diverse country.
The rugby teams have played a number of block fixtures against teams such as Bryanston’s School, Lord Wandsworth College and Canford School as well as NatWest Cup action for the U15 and 1st XV’s. The 1st XV lost by the narrowest of margins to Lord Wandsworth in the dying minutes of the game while the U15’s progressed to round two with a solid victory over the same opposition. The U15s were beaten in the next round in a magnificent game and advert for school boy rugby from both sides.
The U12 and U13 sides continue to work hard on game understanding through match play. The progress of both squads has been evident throughout the season. We have a policy of not recording score lines in these two age groups, allowing us to focus on the boy’s development, rather than their final results.This has not detracted from the competitive nature of the games but definitely helps to makes the games a better learning environment for the players. The U14s have now fully adapted to the 15-a-side game and are stringing together a very positive set of results in the second half of the term.
As the XVs season draws to a close, our older boys begin to focus on the seven-a-side version of the game and we look forward to hosting 16 of the top rugby playing schools at Hilsea on Sunday 2nd February for the annual South Coast Sevens tournament.
A number of PGS Sport rugby players have also been involved in County competitions or are part of the London Irish and Harlequins Academies. Congratulations to John Taylor who has represented Hampshire U18s and Harry Conway who is part of the Sussex U18s while Charlie Drummond, Joe Reilly and Jamie Stephenson have been included in the Hampshire U16s training squad. From an academy point of view Ollie Frazer, Jack Lee and Shaun Humphrey are all part of the London Irish Academy while Jake Power is involved with the Harlequins Academy.
On the hockey front, the first ever mixed tour to Holland for the Senior Boys and Girls was a huge success. This tour has been a highlight and a real focus for our Senior squads. It was very pleasing to see 40 pupils and four staff depart for Holland in the first few days of the half term break. The girls and boys squads made huge strides in their development with a real emphasis on skills during their training sessions. Their fixtures while on tour really showed the pupils the heights they are capable of hitting with focus and determination.
Domestically we have had a very busy programme of regular friendly matches, both midweek and Saturday block fixtures.
As Autumn is the main term for Girls Hockey, this has seen the majority of the fixtures, whilst we have managed to arrange a small number of fixtures for Boys. Alongside the outdoor season, PGS Hockey has been building a relationship with the Mountbatten Centre to be home of PGS Indoor Hockey. As a result, PGS has hosted several Indoor Preliminary tournaments for U16, U18 Girls and U18 Boys. The U16 boys and girls both qualified for the pool stages but sadly did not progress beyond this point.
A number of pupils have been selected for Hampshire AC and PC squads. Congratulations to Martha Jameson, Laura Hantrais, Imogen Bell, Lola Day, Elsa Hares, Flo Wassenberg, Ishbel Duncan, Poppy Herbert, Honor Mitchell Brock, Jonas Waktare and Alex Bolton who have all made Hampshire AC training squads as well as Ollie Jameson and Alex Beckett who have been included in the PC squads.
Netball training and preparation for the Spring Term has progressed in earnest with our U19, U16 and U14 teams taking part in Hampshire Schools competitions throughout this term. The U19 team competed strongly as one of the few independent schools at the competition while the U16 and U14 teams also took part in their respective competitions with the U14s coming 4th and just missing out on qualification for the next round. The girls will particularly look forward to using our newly resurfaced Netball courts at Hilsea over the Spring Term. This improvement to the facilities will make a huge difference for the girls.
Other notable events this term include several Cross Country competitions for our younger pupils. The Hampshire Schools Competition was held at St Swithun’s and the Portsmouth Schools Competition, held at our own Hilsea Playing Fields on a late December evening.
During the first half term we were able to offer a Sailing option to our Sixth Form pupils for the first time in a number of years. This proved very popular and allows many of the sailors who compete for the school at the Itchenor Regatta as younger pupils to continue to develop their skills on the water.
The focus will shift to Netball for our girls and Hockey for the boys with a number of sevens tournaments for the Senior Rugby sides after the Christmas break. The Spring term also sees preparations begin for Cricket, Athletics and Tennis in the Summer Term, with pre-season training starting in earnest for all three sports.
Finally, a huge thank you to all the Sports and Academic staff who give up so much of their time to ensure we can offer such a wide range of sporting opportunities, to Bob and the ground staff for the excellent work done on the playing surfaces to ensure fixtures continue at this difficult time of the year and not forgetting Becky and her amazing catering team for their famous Hilsea teas!
Please use the Yellow Book as a reference for all Sports Clubs in the Spring term. Information on all sports fixtures can be found at - https://www.pgssport.uk/ as well as updates and pictures from our twitter feeds @PGSSport & PGS_DoS . Please do get in contact with any news, sporting events or achievements you feel you would like to share with myself and the department – email@example.com and follow our Weekly Newsletter following the link – https://www.pgs.org.uk/senior/sport/fixtures-sportresultsfixtures-sportresults/ . this information is also included in Mr Payne’s weekly parental email on a Thursday.