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28 June

Did you hear? Two medals in three days, a flying visit & more

two medals in three days for OV Cyclist

It has been a super week for OV cyclist Hayley Simmonds (Cr 99-06) who has won two medals in two countries in just three days! Hayley finished a brilliant third while representing Team GB in the 2nd European Games held in Minsk, Belarus with a fantastic time of 37:44.57, narrowly pipping fellow Team GB racer Alice Barnes.

After hastily flying back to the UK, Hayley then gave another superb performance at the 2019 British National Women’s Time Trial Championships in Norfolk finishing in second place, just behind Alice Barnes, with a time of 36:27.159 on the 16.5 mile course.

Well done Hayley!

OV Rugby 7s squad make their debut

We are really proud that the new OV Rugby 7s squad did a fantastic job in their debut performance at the Sundogs Festival last weekend playing in the men’s Competitive Rugby 7’s. The squad made it all the way to the semi-finals! The team included James Smalley (Br 10-17), George Bates (K 11-18), Henry Martyn-Smith (S 10-17), Alfie Pritchard (S 10-17), Barney Sears (Ch 10-15), Alfie Sears (S 10-15), Chris Weston (Cl 10-15), Max Fellows (Cl 09-16), Jack Dutton (Os 15-17), Dion King (Cr 12-17), Sam Lowe (W 11-18) and Ben Shrimwell (Cr 09-16).

To find out more we have got this super match report from former King’s 1st XV captains, James Smalley (Br 10-17) & George Bates (K 11-18).

“Following lots of planning and little in the way of preparatory fitness, the inaugural Old Vigornian Rugby 7s squad embarked on their first tournament at the Sundogs rugby festival hosted by Luctonians RFC. Containing OVs from the last four Upper Sixth age groups, excitement for the day was high as the boys were looking forward to both reforming past playing partnerships as well as creating some new ones.

Playing in the “Competitive” tier of competition and sporting a pristine new kit, the first game saw us face the Mamba’s under the fearsome Herefordshire sun. Although the weather lent itself perfectly to an attractive brand of running rugby that we all championed during our school days, the lack of aerobic prowess across the squad meant we only managed to fully display this on sporadic occasions; despite this, we managed to secure a 12-0 win to kick the day off on a successful note.

Performances on the pitch improved as the day went on, as we fell back into the patented playing style developed by Mr Mason that we’re all so familiar with. Thanks to this, the second game resulted in a more comprehensive 20-point triumph over Evesham, ensuring our qualification to the knockout stages. We then came up against the Stags, a game which would determine who had the easier path to the final. After a strong start in which we strung together some attractive phases, we were a try to the good with five minutes to go; unfortunately, the Stags then found another gear, which saw us eventually fall to a narrow 21-19 defeat.

No matter, we were still through to the semis, where the Petelo Allstars were waiting. A specialist 7s team playing their fourth tournament of the season and containing several Pacific Islanders was always going to be a tough ask to overcome, which was proved right as we eventually went down five tries to one. Despite this, heart can be taken from a strong second half performance, and as always, there’s no shame in losing to a better team. We supported the Petelo boys as they went on the triumph in the final, and had a beer with them that evening to conclude a day where rugby really was the real winner.

Regardless of results, the day was enjoyed hugely by players and parents alike, and being able to pull on the nine red dots again was certainly very special. This event marked the testing of the waters for the OV7’s, and following a great buy-in by all involved we will be looking to expand the program next year to include more OVs and more tournaments, so watch this space.

Finally, a special thank you on behalf of all the boys to Mr Mason for continuing to impart his coaching knowledge, and also to Adam and Janet Martyn-Smith, Jamie and Marie Pritchard and Harrison Clark Rickerbys for their sponsorship of the new Canterbury kit.”

OV Governor of the Month & Book Launch News

It was a pleasure to have OV & Governor Andrew Reekes (Ch 64-69) in school last week for his Governor of the Month visit. As part of the day, Andrew met with some of our King’s historians as Andrew used to be Head of History at schools in Tonbridge, Cranleigh and Cheltenham.

Andrew said, “The highlight of a most interesting day spent meeting senior staff and watching some excellent lessons was undoubtedly lunch at the Headmaster’s house, where four lively and charming Lower Sixth historians discussed everything from Brexit, Appeasement, Churchill, Napoleon and back to Boris Johnson. It was hugely entertaining and an impressive insight into the intellectual curiosity of the King’s School’s Sixth Formers.”

Andrew is involved in school life not only through his role as Governor but also as Chairman of the King’s School Development Trust. When Andrew is not at King’s he can be found writing. Andrew has written on the lives and legacies of George Cadbury and Joseph Chamberlain and is now spreading his gaze wider as he explores ‘Worcester Moments’, documenting key moments in Worcester’s history. This exciting new book is due to be launched on 3rd December in the Michael Baker Boat House here at King’s and we will keep you updated with more details soon.

A flying visit

On leaving school, all David Jessop (Ch 78-87) wanted to do was to be an airline pilot. He achieved this dream and after teaching others to fly in his 20s and then operating as a commercial pilot and running flying safaris in Zimbabwe, for the last 16 years David has worked for Emirates and is now an A380 Captain, living and flying out of Dubai.  It was an absolute pleasure for us to meet David this week, when he found he had the afternoon free, having flown in to Birmingham, and he decided to pay us a visit.  One other person who was particularly thrilled to meet David again was Russ Mason (Hon OV), who ran Choir House just after David’s time there and also Russ taught David A level Economics.

Russ showed David around Choir House, re-living memories of each of the rooms in Choir: the House Common Room, where the residents of Choir used to play table tennis and ‘hang out’ in the evenings and the studies which David occupied during his sixth form years, visiting both ‘The Barn’ and ‘The Penthouse’.  As a junior pupil, David was in Castle House, so Liz Elliott and David paid a visit into Castle House, which now accommodates the Music School and he found the dormitory which he shared with a number of other pupils, which had stunning views across College Green to the Cathedral.

David really enjoyed visiting The Michael Baker Boathouse, from where he could see the playing fields – where he spent many autumn and winter months playing rugby and summer days playing cricket for the school.  David was a very keen and able sportsman during his time at King’s and was interested to hear of the latest OV Cricket Tour to Jersey, having played with a number of these OVs during his time at King’s.  College Hall brought back many memories for David and he was impressed and surprised to hear that the school has grown so much since the 1980s.  David also enjoyed seeing The Keyes Building and especially our well-equipped – and air-conditioned! – school gym, which David is used to, being based in Dubai where all buildings have air-conditioning.

David also mentioned that he really enjoys reading the Connect magazine and was interested to hear that the Summer edition of Connect is just being finalised for publication.  If you fancy a visit back to King’s, please do let us know – we always love welcoming OVs back to King’s and hearing about the different stories during your time at school.  To quote David, “Thank you for the tour …. It was most interesting to see how things have changed but haven’t really!”

Did you hear?

Anyone watching Love Island on Wednesday will have heard our very own OV Sam Clines (Os 09-16)’s song Sharks being played! Sam has always had a keen interest in music, writing his own songs and he is now fully carving out his own place in the music industry. Sam won Open Mic UK in 2017 and released his first album Colour Blind later the same year. It is great to hear Sam’s music being used in such a popular show and we look forward to hearing even more of Sam’s work in the future!