Latin Prayer

Latin Prayer Summer Term 2017

Monday 15th May 2017

We are now fully into exam season of course, and today the Year 11s start their main period of GCSEs. We wish them and those taking AS exams the best of luck and as usual, please can you be aware of being quiet around Big School and the FoBs room during the day. Thank you to Petergate for their very thoughtful chapel service on Sunday evening.

Later this week, the Devizes to Westminster crews are going to talk to us a little about their challenge. It is hard, unless you have gone through it yourself, to understand just how hard the DW challenge is, as it involves not just canoeing, but carrying the boats, camping and cooking all your own food in addition to the race itself. I am looking forward to hearing their presentation, but in the meantime, I would like to award School Half Colours for canoeing today to those who completed DW this year.

Jessica Gardner (W), Joseph White (OH), Bobby Burnand (OH), Sam Taylor (P), Gus Gresswell (OH)

Julia Huntingford (GH), Mantha Unsworth-White (NC), Alice Channon (NC), Sophie Donne (NC)

Alastair Johnson-Ferguson (P), Will Hones (P)

Sport

It has been a busy week on the sporting front. On Friday we held the Year 11-13 sports day, just getting in before the exams began in earnest but the weather was definitely not athletics friendly. The results for the senior games are added to the junior sports day results, so we will not be handing out House trophies today, but so far the results are as follows:

Year 11-13 sports day results
Boys   Girls
FH 201 GH (1st) 147
P 180 NC (2nd) 132
OH 176  

Trixie Nicholson this year broke our school record for the javelin, throwing 40.65m to break the old record by 8m!

Our traditional individual prizes Victor and Victrix Ludorum are awarded on an athlete's best three events and the points they would score in the track and field cup. These trophies will be awarded today: This year’s winners are:

  • Victrix Ludorum - Trixie Nicholson
  • Victor Ludorum - Karl Still/Will Klinkenberg (tied on 64 pts)

Also in athletics, both the Inter Girls (Year 9 and 10) and the Junior Girls (Year 7 and 8) athletics teams won the County Round of the Track and Field Cup Competition on Tuesday. This means they will now progress through to the Regional Finals in June. The boys teams both finished 3rd.

For the first time in many years Blundell's played host to an interschool athletics fixture on Saturday, hosting Taunton, King's Taunton and Wellington. The sun shone and with the help of staff and pupils alike the event ran smoothly. There were a number of first places for many of our usual athletic stars, but one stands out, and I would like to say a few words about her today.

Lucy Walliker is a talented and dedicated performer, who has developed into one of our most successful athletes of recent years. Lucy is a talented High Jumper, who combines natural attributes with outstanding technique. She has represented the school in all years, usually finishing 1st in matches against other schools, as on Saturday. Lucy has been Victrix Ludorum at two senior sports days and is the school record holder for both High Jump and Triple Jump at junior and senior level. Lucy has been Devon High Jump Champion and last year was crowned South West Champion at Senior level.

Lucy has represented Devon at the English School’s Championships four times - an event where Devon can only send 35 athletes in total across six age groups. Each year she has improved her performance and last year she finished as the 6th best Senior Girl High Jumper in the country. In addition to her High Jump, Lucy has been County Champion in the Triple Jump twice and has also represented Devon in this event. Lucy is a member of Exeter Harriers and has shown dedication to winter training in order to gain small technical improvements and increase her personal best. A knee injury gained whilst competing over Easter has delayed Lucy’s season, but she was still able to win three events last week. Having already jumped 1.65m this year, Lucy is looking to add 1cm to her season’s best, to secure selection for a 5th English School’s Championships in July.

Despite being injured, Lucy has attended all training sessions and athletics meetings and has helped organise, encourage and officiate, leading by example at all times. In recognition of her dedication and achievement, Lucy is awarded Full Colours for Athletics.

The cricketers played Wellington this week. The U14s won relatively easily. Tom Reynolds top scored with 66 not out and Joe Du’Gay and Will Bucknell both took 3 wickets off only 2 overs. Blundell's were 221, with Wellington 49 all out! The U14s also won their round of the Devon Cup against Exmouth with Will and Joe both retiring on 50.

The 2nd XI won comfortably by 6 wickets with Will Hall-Tomkin taking 4 for 15 and Mack Butterfield taking 3 for 31). James MacLaurin got 76 runs and Alfie Gardner was 67 not out. The 1st XI lost by 6 wickets to Wellington despite Blundell's batting first and getting 225 off 40 overs (Charlie Fanous getting 53). Jack Lockwood took 2 wickets for 28 runs. This morning I would like to say a few words about Jack.

Jack has played in the 1st XI cricket team for the past two years, vice-captaining the side this term and has represented Devon junior teams. As a senior player in the side, he has led by example and has set himself extremely high standards. He has been a regular at the winter training sessions, which is all the more impressive as he has had demands on his time from academic studies, rugby and hockey. He is a role model for younger members of the school as his will to succeed and dedication to training are second to none. Jack is a powerful batsman who has matured as a player. He understands his strengths and weaknesses and has developed a game plan around this.

His 110 v King’s Taunton was a superb innings and showed grit, determination and some fluent play. Jack is a true all-rounder, having achieved full colours for rugby and captained the 2nd XI hockey. He is a very talented sportsman and he sets a good example to all. Jack is fully deserving of his Full Colours for Cricket.

Blundell's swam against Queen's Taunton on Wednesday and it was a very close gala indeed - we are certainly closing the gap on Queen’s despite their being able to swim all year round. The U18 Blundell's boys’ team won their competition and there were individual wins from:

Katharine Walton (2), Josh Huggett (2), Bethany Mettam (2), Henry Davey (1), Will Klinkenberg (1)

The U18 Blundell's boys’ team were victorious in the freestyle relay beating the longstanding Queen's record by nearly two seconds and they were also 3 ½ seconds faster than the U18 team from last year.

The 1st girls’ tennis team had a really good afternoon of tennis on Saturday. They narrowly lost by 5 sets to 4, and special mention to Georgie Acland and Sparkle Menzies, and Annabel Sexton and Tabby Pring for winning two of the three sets. However, the 2nd team had their first win of the season beating Queen's comfortably 6 sets to 3. Alice Cadenhead and Eliza Roberts won all three of their sets.

The U15A had an excellent match, winning 5-4. Betty Stone and Charlotte Mallinson won all three sets and Frances Hunt and Hannah Kidner won the deciding set - their first win of the season. The U15B played some much improved tennis this week. They also enjoyed their first win of the season totally outplaying Queen’s, only dropping one set to give them an 8-1 win. The U14s also played extremely well and they are playing some very competitive tennis.

On Wednesday the golf team took on a strong Millfield side at Enmore Golf Club. The conditions could not have been better and some quality golf was played by all. Although we lost the match 3½ - 1½, William Hall-Tomkin halved his match and the ever reliable Hannah Carthew had another excellent win. I would like to award School Half Colours for Golf this morning to Hannah Carthew and Ed Blackmore.

At the Junior Inter School Eventing Championships at Stonar School on Saturday, Lucy Vaux completed her first ever ODE on a double clear. Molly Joyner completed her first ODE on a new horse with a lovely XC and Scarlett Vaux posted sub 30 dressage scores on both her ponies, gaining 3rd place individual in the 80cm.

On Sunday the team of Scarlett Vaux, Josh Brown and Alice Smith whilst not in the top ten, all completed what proved to be a challenging 90cm XC track. They learned lots and are determined to get that top ten placing next year.

In other sporting news this week, the U13 girls’ hockey team finished off their season with a trip to Nottingham on Friday to play the School National finals. They performed very well overall and can be rightly proud of their 7th place in the country. A number of the U14s also played for ISCA in the Club National finals in London yesterday and they too can be proud of their 7th placing.

Notices

On Wednesday Ms Lewis will be taking a trip to Taunton to go to a North American Universities Fair. If you have any interest in studying in the US or Canada, universities from Harvard to Hawaii will be there, as well as experts who can advise on sports scholarships and living in the US and Canada. Anyone from year 10 upwards is welcome. The trip will depart at 2pm. Please sign up on Ms Lewis’s door, EN2, today, if you wish to come along. We will be back in school by around 5pm.

Finally...

This weekend I was lucky enough to be at the Olympic Park watching hockey at the Lee Valley Centre. I have not been to the Olympic Park before, having not had any tickets for the games themselves in 2012, but even five years later, I thought it was a pretty inspiring place. Some of the parents with me had been to the games and they remembered all the various new buildings in very much the same way as they are today. However, now the planting of trees and plants around the park have grown and matured. The immense structures like the now West Ham stadium, which hosted the athletics events, the velodrome with its amazing curved roof and the aquatic centre, with its aluminium space age sides and the pools built into the earth bank seemed very much part of the scenery. In many ways it has not dated at all and I could imagine the crowds of people and athletes passing through the wide avenues as we walked through early on Sunday morning. It made me think now to the legacy of those games, which is always a fierce topic of debate for countries after they host such an immensely expensive event as the Olympics. What is left of the legacy of our 2012 games and what did it achieve?

Well to me, it did three things. The 2012 Olympic Games raised our collective aspiration about what we as a country could achieve. There is no doubt that Sport England invested huge amounts of money in many sports that they believed would win medals, especially rowing, cycling, hockey and swimming to name a few, but in the end, a large budget can only take you so far.

Those games brought the country together and brought teams of sports men and women, for the games and the Paralympic Games, together in a belief that they could win, even against all the odds. Great Britain won 65 medals in 2012, making it the most successful games ever, having only won 47 in 2008.

With a combination of willpower, inspiring facilities and financial backing there is no doubt that since then many successes have been achieved in sport as an example of that impressive legacy. Take the medal tally from Rio as an example, at 67 medals.

The second legacy was the growth in the culture of volunteering that began with the 2012 games. I remember visiting London at that time and getting off the train station on a Saturday to be met by literally hundreds of volunteers. They were all using their spare time to be on duty at railways stations, out on the London streets and in the park itself to guide and help the hundreds of thousands of people who visited and might easily have become lost. That culture of helping others and offering to assist has in many areas continued. Charities recorded a real surge in numbers of people offering to volunteer, most for the first time, in the months after the games, and that can only be a good thing.

Thirdly, I think the legacy of the games for us was in the culture of sportsmanship. Many of you will remember as much evidence of dignity in defeat as we did of triumph in victory. The stories we heard of those who came back from injury or illness to compete, or who put their lives on hold to train for four years, only to have victory snatched from them in the final seconds were commonplace. Yet we celebrated them as much as we celebrated the winners like Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and our very local 10,000-metre finalist, Jo Pavey, who did all her training on the Tiverton canal towpath and came 5th in the world in 2012 as a mum aged 40. This kind of sportsmanship is perhaps the most important and valuable legacy of the games. The attitude that people had towards the winning and the losing. You as Blundellians are also famous for that sportsmanlike behaviour and to finish I wanted to read to you an email I received this week which not only completely made my day, but also reminded me that the legacy of the London 2012 games is still secure here at Blundell’s’ in your hands.

“I just wanted to give you some feedback about the Blundell’s Swimming Team. I work in a boarding house and one of my visiting tutors does extracurricular swimming. My colleague who deals with all our local competitors in the swimming fixtures was totally overwhelmed by the sportsmanship of the Blundell’s swimming team last week. We have one exceptional swimmer, who was challenged by one of your senior boys, and our member of staff was so impressed with the Blundell’s team’s attitude. Your students were really vocal about our student’s talent; this approach is rare and notable. It is really good to hear that your pupils are able to exhibit the qualities which are so easily lost in competitive school sport; we know Blundell’s experiences a great deal of sporting success but to hear they are gracious enough to recognise and appreciate the talents of others is really creditable. I thought it was important that you knew of the positive reputation that you have on the circuit.”

Nicola Huggett
The Head