Seaford College appoints a New Head

Seaford College appoints new Head 

Seaford College, Petworth, is entering an exciting new phase, having appointed a new headmaster.

John Green (45), the school’s current deputy, has been appointed headmaster with effect from September 2013, taking over from Toby Mullins who is to take on new challenges in the state sector.

For Romford-born Mr Green, it is his second spell at Seaford – he was their Director of Sport from 1999 to 2001. Prior to that, Mr Green was educated at the all-boys Campion School in Hornchurch, Essex, and then studied Sports Science at Cardiff University, where he went on to do a Master’s degree in Business and Sports Science, before taking an advanced diploma in Economics from the Open University.

He is perhaps best known nationally for his sporting prowess: he played rugby for England U16s, U19s and U23s and captained England students for three years. He played professionally for the Saracens from 1992 – 1997.

He combined his rugby with teaching in the state sector at Barry Boys’ School where he was Director of Sport and, later, taught at Ardingly College, Sussex, where he was deputy head of the Prep School and Director of Sport and PE.

Following two years at Seaford College, he was appointed Head of the Upper Sixth and a Boarding Housemaster at Hurstpierpoint. For the last four years at Hurst, he was Deputy Head and also taught Economics.

Married to Sian, whom he met in Cardiff, the couple have three children – Megan (17), Ailsa (14) and Johnny (8).

Mr Green said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been appointed headmaster of Seaford College. I will be taking on a school in great health, thriving on all fronts, both in and out of the classroom.

“Sian and I are looking forward to leading Seaford through the next stage of its exciting development and being part of such a strong, friendly and vibrant community.”

Mr Green believes his understanding of the Seaford ethos will stand him in good stead, as will his comprehension of the holistic nature of education, founded on a strong academic core.

Toby Mullins, who has been headmaster for the past 16 years, is leaving the independent sector to take on the challenges of running Lodge Park Technology College in Corby, Northants, an academy in the Midlands which was recently placed in special measures.

Mr Mullins said: “I have had a wonderful 16 years at Seaford College, during which time we have improved the academic results beyond recognition, increased pupil numbers and engaged in several major building projects which have brought the College bang up to date in the 21st century.

“I am happy to be leaving the school in the capable hands of John Green and am confident he will continue to grow the school in line with its ethos and principles, building even further on the foundations which have now been laid.”

“My new role will certainly be very different – but provide me with a range of challenges which I shall relish.”

Chairman of governors Graeme Sinclair said: “The interview process was not an easy one and involved over 100 applicants, with the short list going through three days of interviews and a wide variety of tests. In the end I am pleased to say Mr Green came out as the unanimous choice of the Board and we are thrilled that he will be leading the College from 1st September 2013.”

GCSE results buck the national trend

Academic achievement continues to increase at Seaford College, near Petworth, where this year’s GCSE results were once again marginally up on last year’s results.

The overall pass rate was 82.4% with 74.7% of students gaining 5 or more A* – C grades, including English and Maths – a figure slightly up on 2011.

A total of 81.1% of students gained 5A*-C grades and nine students gained in excess of 8A* or As, which headmaster Toby Mullins described as ‘very commendable indeed for a non-selective school.’

Star performers were: Alex Macpherson (Thakeham) 8A*s 3As, Ian Duff (Selsey) 8A*s 1A 1B, Sara Carr (Graffham) 5A*s 6As, James Watts (Midhurst) 3A*s 7As 1Bs, Oliver Gatland (Fittleworth) 6A*s 2As 2Bs, James Smith (Chichester) 5A*s 4As 1B, Georgia Barden (Graffham) 4A*s 4As 2Bs, Calum Syrett (Loxwood) 3A*s 5As 2Bs and Hugo Bell (Hindhead) 1A* 7As 2Bs.

A level Results excellent once again

Academic grades at Seaford College continue to show an upward trend in the A-level results, announced last Thursday.

Almost 30% of entrants gained AAB or above, with the A*-B  percentage rising from 53% to 56% and the A*-C to 82%.

A-A* remained at just over 30%, as last year, but, for the fourth year in succession, the grades averaged better than 3Bs per student.

Top performers were Jamie Simms and Ella Luo with 2A*s and 2As, Charlotte Rottier with 3A*s, Wayne Su, with 2A*s, 1A and 1B, Sam Suchal with 1A* and 3As , and  William Whitwell with 1A* and 2As.

Last year, Seaford College was identified as one of the top 25 most improved schools in the UK for its A-level results.

John Ellerton Memorial – a great celebration

Last Saturday saw the memorial service for John Ellerton in the Seaford College dining room. John Had been Housemaster of Millburgh House, run the CCF RAF section and, latterly, a prime mover in the Graffham Rustics and the Petworth and District Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

A great many of John’s Old Boys joined his family and other friends in a celebration of his wonderful life. There were tributes from all the areas of John’s life – stories from the family, the boarding house, the CCF and the G&S. All these wonderful stories and anecdotes were punctuated by musical pieces, beautifully sung. The whole event was compered by Giles White (Old Seafordian) who told a number of wonderful jokes from John’s collection that he had skillfully written down over the years.

It was a spectacular event, with some exceptional musical talent on show – John would have enjoyed it immensely!

Seaford College ‘Gryphons’ victorious

The Gryphons cricket team travelled to Kent to play the Cranbrook School Lynxes in their cricket week. The weather was kind, the Barbeque superb and, despite a wait whilst the pitch dried out, a start with 35 overs per side was possible at 1.30pm.

Gryphons won the toss and elected to bat on a pudding of a wicket that was very slow. Progress was unspectacular with runs hard to come by and was not helped by some of the star players failing to get a start! This team of Old Seafordians, current students, staff and friends of the College stuttered to a total of 118 in 33 overs all out and looked not to have scored enough.

The pitch was always going to be as difficult for the Lynxes to bat on as it had been for us and some miserly bowling early on put them well behind the required rate. Nevertheless, at 75 for 2 after 20 overs, they were well within reach of victory. However, in the nick of time, a return spell from DJ (the Grypon’s opening bowler and secret weapon) quickly disposed of the Lynx’s middle order and we were back in the hunt.

With the sun shining down, we ran through the last of their resistance to win comfortably by 20 runs. A great day out, a low scoring but exciting game and a superb win! Same time next year?

Thanks to the team:- TJM, DJ, Richard, Iain, Mike Duddy (SooS), SP, JDS, Torquil Deacon, Beck Hemmingway, Laurie Bowden and Matthew Langmead

Late Developers – Speech Day Address

Our brains, it seems, take much longer to develop than we have previously thought. In fact they undergo a massive reorganization between the ages of 12 and 25. During this period it seems that the brain undergoes extensive and continuous remodelling that, in some ways, resembles a network and wiring upgrade.

This process was once thought to be largely finished by the end of Primary School but, in fact, continues throughout adolescence. It is becoming clear that some youngsters’ brains do not become fully developed until they are mid-way through their twenties!

These physical changes move in a slow wave from the brain’s rear to its front, from areas governing basic functions to finish at the more complicated thinking areas in the frontal lobe.

The frontal areas are the ones that we need for complex tasks. Once the wiring is upgraded, it’s harder to change. So, earlier brain development comes at the price of flexibility. The later developers gain more connections and, thus, greater flexibility.

So what the implications?

Many parents want their child to be at the front of the queue when it comes to educational developmental milestones. They desire for their child to demonstrate a superior intellectual ability of the kind that would get them onto many gifted & talented programmes.

Limited places are coveted, some parents going to extraordinary lengths to get their kids certain schools and to prepare them for entry examinations.

It has always been assumed that those children who demonstrated a superior intellectual capability early in their lives would be ahead in the race, and stay ahead, forever. Such pupils have an intellectual development that is more precocious than their peers. This new evidence, however, questions whether early developers do indeed stay ahead of the race as compared with late developers?

The answer is basically NO.  In fact, it is the late developers who possess the capability to catch up and edge ahead of the early ones. Those with superior intelligence show a slower developmental curve, but the highest rates of change throughout that journey. A child who is not reading or doing maths like his peers may, in fact, end up doing even better than them years down the road.

So the key fact coming out from this research is: – That late developers could have an edge over the early developers, though the capabilities will show up later in life.

So, knowing this new data my questions to you are;

  • Why do we continue to associate lifelong ability with precocity?
  • Why do we continue to test at ever earlier ages assuming that we will identify the most talented children?
  • Why do we even test children all at a particular age? If they are all developing at different rates, what are we learning?
  • When we find a late developer – and there are many examples – how many others like him or her have been thwarted because their talents were prematurely judged?
  • How wise is it to devote resources to the development of child prodigies whilst relegating the ‘average chaps’ (which includes late developers) to the backseat.

So what about the average students?

Should they resign themselves to being the ones sitting below the elite performers who have proven their abilities at a young age? Or will they, given time, develop late with the capability to edge past these prodigies?

At Seaford we invest in every child including the average ones, in the hope that they will blossom and bloom into the leaders of the future. As Charles Johnson used to say “not too many Seaford pupils go onto to Oxbridge but ours usually end up employing those that go!” ….. and he was right.

Sources:-

Beautiful Brains
National Geographic                          Oct 2011

Late Bloomers aren’t necessarily inferior to young prodigies
New Asia Republic                              Jan 2011

STARS SHINE AT GALA SPECTACULAR

The clouds cleared and the stars came out for Seaford College’s first-ever opera gala spectacular.

Internationally-acclaimed baritone Sergei Leiferkus headlined a star-studded line-up of soloists who appeared at the College, near Petworth, for the Lavington Prom on Saturday evening, including Old Seafordian Matthew Rose, soprano Ilona Domnitch and tenor Robert Murray, accompanied by the Southbank Sinfonia, under the direction of conductor Simon Over.

Excerpts from La Boheme and The Marriage of Figaro preceded a rousing Russian-themed finale, with pieces from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and famous 1812 Overture, played with a backdrop of spectacular fireworks lighting up the night sky above the College grounds.

Rose, who opens as Claggart in Britten’s Bully Budd at English National Opera at the London Coliseum on 18th June,  organised the gala performance in conjunction with the Midhurst-based Showbusiness Production Company Ltd., said: “It has long been an ambition of mine to hold an event such as this at my old school. The College building and surrounding landscape is stunning and provided the perfect backdrop for the performance.

“After a week of abysmal weather, the skies cleared to provide a perfect evening.”

Seaford College headmaster Toby Mullins said: “The event was a resounding success and drew in fans of classical music from all over the South of England – not just parents and friends.

“We were honoured and privileged to have such a notable line-up of performers. Particular thanks go to Matthew Rose who spent a considerable time putting the event together. It was a delight to welcome him back to school for such a fantastic occasion.”

Big Open Air Concert June 9th

Here is a fabulous opportunity to see the best classical performers live in a magical setting.

Come and picnic on the terraces behind the Mansion and be part of this fantastic first ever Open Air Classical Concert at the College.

Set up by Matthew Rose (an Old Seafordian and Glyndebourne and Royal Opera House regular), this promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Tickets on sale now, buy online by using the LAVINGTON PROM link on http://www.seaford.org or for

all enquiries and ticket sales to 01798 867392 or  lavingtonprom@seaford.org

FAMILY TICKET (x4) NOW ONLY £80

 

Narrow loss against Marlborough

Unfortunately we lost very narrowly to a very strong Marlborough team who had already beaten Eton and Stowe this season and are probably the favourites to win the SUPA league.

Seaford started with 1.5 goals due to the difference in handicap and conceded two early goals thanks to some very strong attacking play from Marlborough. We hit back quicly though with a goal of our own and went in at the end of the first chukka 3.5 – 2 up. In the second chukka, although we conceded an early goal we scored a great goal and looked to be in a strong position to go in at half time in front but unfortunately gave away a silly goal in the closing seconds.

Chukka three was very defensive with Cody Jones sitting back and preventing Marlborough from scoring any breakaway goals. Unfortunately, once again, we conceded a goal right at the end of thee chukka and went in 5-4.5 down.

We came out fighting in the final chukka and although we put a lot of early pressure on Marlborough they scored two quick goals and we looked to be dead and buried. As it was, we kept up the pressure and benefited from a great solo effort from Cody who scored a neck shot goal from the boards.

In the end, a 7-5.5 loss was a fair reflection of the match and we can take a lot of satisfaction and confidence from the game.

Choir Performs for Bepton Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The College choir performed quite beautifully on Sunday to an audience packed into the church at Bepton. The concert had been organised to raise money for their roof fund and should have helped tremendously towards that goal. They performed an hour long, very varied, programme and the people of Bepton were obviously very impressed; everyone was very complimentary  Well done to Mrs Reynolds, Mr Bailey and the whole choir.

Boarding Inspection – Report Published

The Independent Schools’ Inspectorate visited us on the 8th – 10th May for our formal Boarding Inspection. I am very glad to say that they gave us a completely clean bill of health. Well done to everyone involved.

The report is now complete and can be read by clicking on the link below.

 

ISI Seaford Boarding Report

HOUSE CHARITY GOLF DAY

Today we played our first father and sons golf tournament to raise money for the British Forces Foundation. The first round was a family affair with fathers and sons taking alternate shots over the nine holes. The winners of this competition were the Danes (Alex and his father) who very impressively scored 20 points over the 9 holes to win by a 2 point margin over Ben Sweeney and his father.

After a short brunch in the mansion we then set out to play the second nine holes. This time it was fathers against sons in a match play competition. After some very tense games the fathers won one match (by one hole), the sons won one match (by one hole) with the final game being tied. The result therefore was a tie.

We headed to the Cricketers for refreshment and the prize giving and were very fortunate that throughout the whole day we managed to avoid any rain.

Thank you for everyone for taking part – we raised £125 for the charity – a great start for the fundraising for the term.

Another fine victory for the Polo Team

Thursday saw another great victory for the POlo team. This time it was against a strong Radley College team. We ended up winning 5-3.5 despite Radley starting with a one and a half goal start (due to the handicap difference). Cody Jones played superbly well as captain and this now sets us up for a successful rest of the summer. 

1st XI win 3 – 1 against Hampshire Champions

Seaford College 1st XI secured an excellent win against a strong KES Southampton side on Saturday. It was always going to be a difficult game against KES who had beaten PGS 6 -2 to win the Hamshire Cup.

Seaford started the game well taking an early lead through Callaway before a defensive mistake meant that they turned around at half time at 1 – 1.

Pelzner acored from a corner early in the second half before missing a penalty stroke that would have made the game more comfortable. A couple of very sharp saves by Mullins kept Seaford ahead until in the last few minutes, following a good dribble by Callaway, Bowden scored to make the final score 3 – 1. A fine victory!

Highlights can be viewed on You Tube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsL2x-Y3-A8

 

Seaford gets Animated

Seaford College Art Department has a number of young animators amongst its GCSE and A level candidates. Using the same software that Aardman use for ‘Wallace and Gromit’, youngsters can now create their own stop-frame animations.

Last year Millie Elwes finished a piece that she successfully used as part of her AS course and this year a number of GCSE candidates are making short animated films as part of their portfolios. Not only do they have to film the short scene, they also have to go through a lengthy design process to make the characters, and the set, whilst experimenting with the movements to make them convincing.

A couple of the early efforts can be seen at the links below.

Will Strivens piece    ‘DUTCH COURAGE’  –   Link  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw1KpUzh_kg

Ben Leonard’s piece    ‘MISERABLE LES’  –   Link  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enpLV4x4Ryg&feature=channel

 

 

Seaford qualify for Regional Hockey finals – just!

Seaford 1st XI came from behind to win a thrilling county U18 cup semi-final match at Lancing a week ago. Having beaten Lancing 4-0 comfortably the week before, the boys might well have been a little complacent and started poorly. The same could not be said for Lancing who were clearly up for the fight and determined to pull off a shock result.

After early pressure, Seaford appeared unable to find the net. Penalty corners went awry and good scoring chances were squandered. Lancing, in contrast attacked with energy and deserved their piece of luck when a ricochet into the D was deflected home for a half time lead.

Seaford pressed hard after the break but chances continued to go begging. With thirteen minutes to go, Lancing struck again from a penalty corner. There were some question marks about the legality of the first strike at goal but, with the umpire insistent, Seaford were 2 – 0 down.

Galvanised, finally, by the thought of defeat, the boys attacked with purpose and, from the next penalty corner, Julius Michaelis scored from the rebound. Soon after, Florian Pelzner finally found his range and scored with a drag flick at the next corner and the game finished frantically at 2 -2.

With the rules demanding a move straight to penalty flicks, Seaford started confidently. With Aidan Mullins in goal saving three out of the first four Lancing strokes and Seaford scoring three of the first four we were through – just! It had been a heart-stopping game but it means that the team progress to the County final and the Regional finals later in the term.

To see the video highlights of the game go to YouTube on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDplSVodNrE&context=C303da66ADOEgsToPDskLQqgG

More news from Cambridge

Mr Coulson has had quite a lot of correspondence with Gabriella Bird who went into the ‘Winter Pool’ at Cambridge University for English. She has been offered a place a Lucy Cavendish College (a mature ladies college where you have to be 21yrs old to enter) and hence the offer is to start in October 2013. We all hope that Gabriella will take up this wonderful opportunity but, in any case, she has done fantastically well to win the place. Well done Gaby!

Polo Team makes dream start

Seaford played their first ever polo fixture and beat a strong Wellington College team on their home turf. Seaford started by far the stronger of the two teams and went in 4-0 up after the first chukka. Wellington, as one would expect, showed true fighting spirit, and managed to close the gap to 7-5 at one stage, but Seaford never really looked in danger of losing. The team finished as strongly as they started with some great play from all players. Captain Cody Jones scored 5 goals as Seaford came out 11-5 winners. Well played to all the boys. Our next game is on 5th Feb against Cheltenham College.

The Final Acts

The final day! We were very impressed with the girls when each one of them gave the time trial run a go this morning, at 7am. After breakfast, and a final study session, the girls went out to sea on the dolphin adventure tour before heading back to the stadium to work on some principles of defending. They worked hard in the heat, right up until lunch.

The girls looked so professional in their matching dresses and T shirts, showing the U17 Gibraltar national team that we were ready for a good game. The girls put on their best performance, with every single individual focussed, and using all of the skills they had learned this week, to beat the opposition 21-19. A well fought out game and a much deserved win to end on. The girls enjoyed going for an end of tour meal and receiving their awards for achievements over the course of the week.

The fifth and final hockey match of the tour was against another club side that included a number of ex-professionals from both Spain and Gibraltar. Despite a number of injuries from the previous game, Seaford were determined to finish the tour on a positive note. It was young Bowden who broke the deadlock between the teams after fifteen minutes when a ball from Whitehouse was struck from deep, towards Haythornthwaite who deflected the ball in to the circle for a diving Bowden to deflect the ball high into the net.

The lead was not long lived as the club side were awarded a short corner in which they dispatched into the top of the net. After an excellent run and finish from Pelzner had put Seaford ahead once again,  the opposition capitalised on a short corner just before half time ending the half 2-2. In the second half Seaford continued to show a good deal of composure on the ball and strong mental toughness, to hold the structure as again the club side put on the pressure. This pressure eventually told and the opposition scored two more short corners before the end of the second half, ending the game 4-2.

A great finish to a trip enjoyed by everyone. Well done!

Day 4 – Further progress

There’s nothing quite like a morning aerobics session to wake you up for the rest of the day. It was hard work, but very enjoyable and the girls put in a great effort. After a shower and a study session, we headed to the upper reaches of the Rock to enjoy some breath-taking views from the viewing galleries and explore the caves and tunnels. We also saw the famous Barbary Apes in their natural environment.

A short lunch break in the sunshine, the girls had  another netball session. Some drills to test the girls’ competitive edge showed that Tiegan came out on top, showing assertiveness and determination. We ended the physical section of the day with another attempt at the strength and conditioning circuit. The girls all showed improvement on a number of stations, and were rewarded with some R & R, watching the boys play hockey. After dinner the girls had a team meeting, which included video analysis of yesterday’s match. The girls were able to identify areas of weakness and as a result have made their personal targets for the final match tomorrow.

Seaford’s fourth hockey match was against a side currently sitting third in the Premier League of the Spanish and Gibraltar league and fielding four former full Gibraltar Internationals. Despite this, Seaford were confident going into the game after yesterdays excellent performance but a tough start saw them concede early. Excellent defensive performances from Nelmes and Reilly kept the home side at bay but Seaford eventually conceded two further goals before half time.

In the second half, Seaford came out strong and with excellent skills from Whitehouse and Pelzner created some good chances. Patient probing eventually led to Whitehouse stealing the ball from the opposition and passing to Pelzner who crossed the ball across the goal for Haythornthwaite to beat the goalie at the far post. The game finished 5-1 to the home side but Seaford should be proud of their performance against a very good side.

Tomorrow we are scheduled to complete a second 1500 meter time trial along the coast before a cruise into the Bay of Gibraltar to see the Dolphins and then our final match.

Day Three – Four games

This morning began with a Zumba class! At 6.55am the music was thumping, ready for us. Connor & Aiden led part of the class joining Brenda on the stage for 40 minutes of workout. Breakfast was followed by an hour’s Study time and then we boarded the buses for the stadium and a heavy session of coaching and matches.

The hockey squads had circuit training and the keepers were pelted with high velocity balls, courtesy of the Gibraltar Cricket Association bowling machine and Mr Barnes. All this took place under Azure Skies in 21 degree heat. The Netball Squad met up again with the Gibraltar Netball Coaches for a coaching session before returning to support the U17 Hockey Team.

The game of the tour so far was Seaford U17 against a local club (Eagles) of mixed ages. Seaford started well and it wasn’t long before Bowden opened the scoring with a reverse stick shot from the top of the circle. Seaford continued to pressure the local side with some excellent tackling from Dimond and Gray. A superb aerial from Bowden set de Candole free to score Seaford’s second goal. The half finished with Seaford 4-0 up with excellent saves from D Jones having kept the Eagles at bay. Seaford continued to attack, despite being tired, and managed to score two further goals to end the game 6-0 to the good against a strong local side.

Seaford’s third game of the tour was against the U21 National Squad they had lost to the day before but 24 hours of Coach Paxton’s method training was about to be tested! Out for revenge, Seaford started very well working the press with devastating effect, creating many early chances. On 23 minutes some excellent work from Haythornthwaite and Pelzner saw the ball crossed for Bowden to score Seaford’s first goal. With the defence looking strong from Captain Callaway, Reilly and Nelmes, some excellent individual skill saw Whitehouse slot the ball past the keeper at the tightest of angles; 2 – 0 Seaford !. A well worked corner ended with Pelzner finishing in to the top corner; 3-0 Seaford at half time. In the second half we made a number of changes with Collins scoring a stunning fourth goal. The game finished 4-0.

The girls were fortunate enough to receive some more quality coaching from the Gibraltan International coaches, which developed their skills in a range of areas. They worked hard at a fitness circuit and earned a well deserved lunch out in the sunshine.

They took to the court for the first of two, back to back matches. In the first, they worked as a team and showed determination through the whole match, competing for every ball. The Gibraltan team ‘Storm’  were playing very fast netball and shot with the utmost precision. ‘Storm’ ended the game 21-14 winners, but in a very well contested game the whole squad should be congratulated on their effort.

The second game saw the stiffest test so far with a cream of the Gibraltar Netball fraternity represented by their U17 Squad. The Match finished 15 – 3 to Gibraltar. The girls’ fatigue was starting to show as mistakes began to creep into our game. None the less, the girls continued to play with enthusiasm and did not give up until the final whistle was blown.

Christmas Ski Trip a big hit

We left from Gatwick airport at 6.50 am on Sunday 11th December for a short flight to Barcelona. There followed a short transfer to the ski resort of Massela mountain, 90 minutes north of the capital. At this stage, things were not looking promising for skiing as there was a distinct lack of snow.

The equipment hire and fitting was like a military mission and took no time at all and we were able to get out for our first day on the slopes and the normal assessment of students abilities. We were divided into two groups with seven students being categorised as ‘intermediate and advanced’ skiers and three being on the novice slopes for the first two days.

Everyone made swift progress with the help of the well trained and experienced ski instructor. In common with most other resorts we were suffering from a lack of snow and  there were only two slopes open for the first two days but all the students still managed some good skiing practice.

Day three, four and five we had three more slopes open with a great deal of enjoyable skiing and good selection of graded slopes. By the end of the week all the students had improved and everyone had had lots of fun into the bargain! The Hotel was very good and all meals were buffets with lots of choice. The rooms were comfortable and the facilities included a swimming pool in the basement, a cinema, table tennis and a fitness suite.

We finished skiing on the Friday 16th December and returned to the UK on Saturday 17th December to a well earned Christmas break. Preparations are already under way for a 2012 ski trip with a launch in the near future.

Day Two – the first games

Once again we rose before the sun but this time to a bit of a surprise – total power failure across Gibraltar! Before we knew it we were being limbered up by the S&C Coach and on the start line for the 1600 meter Time Trial. Christopher Mansell led the field with an impressive time of 5.45 when one considers the route included four 6 in 1 inclines.

The girls began the day with a study session to prepare for the exams. This woke them up and got them ready for a rules seminar and umpiring workshop. They continued to work hard throughout a short coaching session and a strength and conditioning circuit. By this time, they had worked up an appetite for a well-deserved lunch. This was followed by a very beneficial coaching session with some Gibraltarian International coaches, helping the girls to adapt their attacking play. This must have had a positive effect on their game play, as they successfully won their first game 16-13 against a team called All Stars. This was the first game in a very long time for some of the girls, so they got back into it and put on an excellent performance. Their reward included a 5 minute ice bath which, once they had stopped screaming, was very relaxing and enjoyable.

The boys took to the Astro and were put through their paces by the Coach before a session with Gibraltar international umpire Brian Buckley who took them through scenario after scenario through the ‘umpire’s eyes’. After lunch we continued the coaching drills in preparation for the first fixture against the Gibraltar U21 Squad.

The match started nervously as players got use to the conditions and the high tempo. During a tough first five minutes Aidan Mullins made some fantastic saves to keep the score level, however the Gibraltar U21 side kept the pressure up and capitalised on a lapse in concentration scoring the first of two within a few minutes. Despite this, Seaford started to impose themselves on the game creating some excellent attacking moves. Endless running from Bradley Paxton created space for Florian Pelzner to give an excellent pass to Ben Barnes in space down the right hand side. From this Ben won a short corner which Florian dispatched high to the keepers right side with superb accuracy and speed. Despite good work from a number of players, Seaford were 3-1 down by half time. The second half began a lot more positively and Seaford started to take the game to the U21 side creating some good chances for Jamie Whitehouse and David Haythornthwaite. Seaford College got another goal back to make it 3-2 but Gibraltar scored a late goal to make the final score 4-2.

Warm down followed and then we were ambushed by the Coach who had requested and receive 6 ice baths! A tiring day meant and power restored we all tucked into a 3 course meal back at the Retreat, including chocolate cake!!!!! After another study session, an early night was much appreciated by the girls but the boys sat down to analyse the match video in preparation for the match tomorrow.

Tomorrow brings Zumba class at 7am followed by coaching, 2 matches each and tenpin bowling tomorrow night.