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#51 - 2008

Shiplake College pupils are fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to travel around the globe for school trips and sports tours. 2008 saw the first ever girls’ sports tour to Barbados and the Shiplake team secured an historic first overseas netball win. See this report here, taken from The Court:

"We arrived in St. James Barbados on Wednesday 19th March and had a brief evening to acclimatise. The next day after a shopping trip to the local supermarket we prepared for our first match against Springer School. Their courts were worn and had holes in the side fencing, as well as a goat grazing in the shade next to them! After a quick warm up we got stuck in, but the heat and humidity soon got to us. They took an early lead and had the upper hand; after the first two quarters Springer had a lead of 10-5. The game wasn't over and with some fresh legs on the court we gave it our best shot. With us unused to the conditions they clearly had the upper hand and we only were able to gain another two goals in the last two quarters; the final score being 17-7 to them. Friday was an early start with a jog at 7am. After this we all sat down to breakfast and spent the day exploring the local area and convenience store. That evening we went to a local restaurant for dinner and returned to the apartments for a karaoke night with some of the locals as well as a bit of dancing! We spent the next morning relaxing in preparation for a match in the afternoon; this was unfortunately cancelled which left us with a free afternoon. We took the opportunity to go into Bridgetown where we drove around the shops and harbour. We ended up at 'the boatyard' and spent the afternoon on the beach followed by cocktails as the sun set.

On Easter Sunday the whole squad took a trip on an island tour. We visited the world-renowned Crane beach in the morning and spent the afternoon on a semi private beach with the opportunity to take part in water sports or relax on the beach. We also enjoyed a barbecue, cooked by Mr and Mrs Curry in their private apartment. The next day we were back into 'game mode' and had a match at 9am, against Shamrocks, a team from St. Lucia who were also on tour in Barbados. We played this at the Barbados National stadium. It was a hard fought match and praise must be given to the squad who played, in my opinion, their best game of the season. The opposition were closely matched to our ability, luck, however, favoured them and we just couldn't manage to get the goals in; the final score of 19-4 not reflecting our abilities. A relaxing morning was needed, and well deserved, on Tuesday; and was enjoyed by most round the pool or under a palm tree! In the afternoon we played Deighton Griffiths. Everyone was exhausted going into the match with a couple of the team not feeling well, and tempers were on a short fuse. However after a team talk before playing the team pulled together and started the match positively scoring the first goal. This raised our spirits and we continued positively for the rest of the match, resulting in the first win of our tour, the final score being 16-4 to Shiplake."

Who remembers the U15As Rugby team winning the Oxfordshire County Cup? Coach Adam Hurst said in The Court “This team have earned a lot of praise, and rightly so. Their sheer desire to win and keep going for the duration of a match, whatever the score, marks this team apart, as well as a cohesiveness that belies their years. These traits will stand them in good stead for the future and I hope they will remember this season with pride - well done!”

We enjoyed reading this extract from the CCF section of The Court magazine:

The longstanding College tradition of celebrating Ascension Day with early morning prayer and a rounders match had to be postponed as on 1st May the College had walked twenty miles, for charity, along the Thames Path from Moulsford back to Shiplake, and the Chaplain had feared that an early game of rounders might prove too much. So the event was postponed for a week and used to celebrate Whitsun instead. After an early morning prayer, as deer grazed on the horizon, the rounders battle began. This year's game saw the skills of Charlie Ingham-Clark's XV versus Joe Holmes' XV. In the battle between Charlie's Angels, the Head Chapel Warden's team and Joe's Giants, the Deputy Head Chapel Warden's team, the Giants won 45-43 in a high-scoring match.  

Also in 2008:

- Falkland Veteran Simon Weston OBE gave the most inspirational speech at Prize Giving.

- Former Headmaster Nick Bevan returned to Shiplake to address the College as part of the founders day celebrations on 1 May.

- The College announced that with effect from September 2009, we would be accepting boys from age 11.

- In a break from the norm, the College performed a Christmas Pantomime. The thigh-slapping production of Aladdin was enjoyed by all.