Rugby legend Shaun Edwards puts Seaford players through their paces

The boys did alright We were incredibly honoured that Shaun Edwards OBE was one of our guest speakers at our Annual Sports Dinner almost two weeks ago, and grateful when he also agreed to take a training session with a group of our rugby players.

Shaun made his name in Rugby League playing for Wigan, England and Great Britain. He won 8 Challenge Cups and 3 World Club Championships and was voted Man of Steel in 1990, before switching codes for a hugely successful coaching career in Rugby Union. 10 successful years as Head Coach at Wasps led to his current role as Assistant Coach for Wales and the Defence Coach on the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa.

Shaun visited us on 12th January, and along with Anya Shrubsole MBE, was one of our two guest speakers at our Annual Sports Dinner. This is an annual fundraising event to raise money for Seaford Sport which involved auctions, raffles, games, and Q&A’s with our guests. It was a fantastic evening, enjoyed by all, but before the evening began, Shaun took a two hour training session with a group of our senior rugby players.

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Stand Together Saturday: Seaford and Canford

Spirit of Sport AwardLast month, Seaford College joined forces with Canford School and renamed their usual rugby fixture as Stand Together Saturday, a day designed to prioritise the experience and enjoyment of rugby for our pupils, above winning and losing.

Seaford student playing rugbyBoth Seaford and Canford have similar values, and each school is proud to help their students discover themselves and their passions. The idea behind the day was to focus it on enjoyment, right through the age-groups, and foster good relationships between players, parents, and staff from all sides and all teams. Before the game, Seaford’s rugby coach, Kevin Rich, said: “The idea behind this was to engage parents a little more on match days and attempt to help them to learn about how their touchline behaviour impacts the sporting experiences of pupils.

Canford playing rugby“Both Canford and Seaford are trying to create the best possible environments for young people to thrive in their sporting lives. With regards to rugby, the very physical nature of the game can sometimes draw out the worst in those watching and we feel that certain behaviours such as yelling instructions, jeering and berating the ref should have no place at school matches.

“By promoting an openness and convivial atmosphere in which it is normal for both sets of parents to connect and simply enjoy the game for it’s own sake we feel that this will minimise these negative tendencies. We put together a programme that highlighted some of these thoughts and also emphasized the importance that both schools attach to using sport as a vehicle to develop character and resilience.”

Below are some of the tips that were included in the programme, which you can also download below.

Stand Together Saturday Programme

Seaford playing against Canford

HOW WAS THE GAME ?

The game is so much more than who won and lost. Of course winning feels nice but let’s celebrate the character,
temperament, endeavour, bravery and teamwork. It’s not professional sport. The pupils are learning to get better at
something they love doing. Try using ‘how was the game’ instead of analysing why a team may have won or lost.

SHARE THE SIDELINE

One of the best parts of watching a Premiership match live is to share in the experience with supporters from other
teams. It is a pleasure to connect and watch sport to appreciate skill and strategy from both teams. To simply enjoy
the game without wondering what the score is. School sport should not get caught up in creating divides. Sharing the
sideline puts the game first.

MODELLING BEHAVIOUR

Of course we want the best for our children. But ‘best’ is perhaps not always having to be ‘THE STRONGEST’. We want
pupils to build character and play with spirit in their sporting lives. One of the greatest gifts that we (as adults) can give
them is to model courage, integrity and respect; especially in defeat. How does our touchline behaviour shape character and enhance the enjoyment for the players during the game?

In the matchday programme, both Seaford and Canford students shared what they love about rugby, which you can read below.

What do you love about rugby“Rugby has allowed me to meet so many different people, if I look at my close group of friends I have at the moment I have played rugby with them. The sport is so great because in the game you do everything to win but then when the final whistle goes we have the respect to shake hands and catch up. Some of my closest friends have been people I have played against and got to know after the match. The physical demand of the sport is another reason I love rugby. When playing rugby you put everything on the line and you know you have done this when you feel the aches and pains the next morning. Finally rugby has given me many memories and experiences which will stay with me for a long time.”
James, Canford

“I love playing rugby at Seaford College because not only is it brilliant fun, but also it is so inclusive. Everybody can play for a team no matter what their ability. Personally, what I love mainly about rugby is that there is so much competition for places in the team. So, I must improve myself every week to make sure I stay in the A team. Also, there is no prejudice between teams, the A team and B team are considered equals and nobody is looked down upon.”
Caelan, Seaford

“The reason I like rugby so much and why I have carried it on for so many years is because in no other sport do I get the sense of a brotherhood as strongly as I do in our current team in rugby, and a desire to put our bodies on the line for each other for that win. In no other sport do I think you will get a group of players so passionately playing for each other and that is why I love rugby, and this year especially.”
Cosmo, Canford

“I love rugby because it gives you an opportunity to express yourself in a way through hard work and skills, whilst it also helps me to stay fit and look at the nutrition side of sport which I can take into everyday life. But the main thing is
it helps to block out everything else that is happening in my life meaning I don’t have to worry about anything whilst I’m playing rugby and knowing I am enjoying myself.”
Jack, Seaford

Character Web“At the end of the home games played at Seaford, visiting Canford parents awarded a ‘Spirit of Rugby’ plaque to a Seaford player that best reflected the values of each school,” added Kevin Rich. “The Seaford parents selected a Canford player too. This was a gesture to remind parents that both teams are fighting for the same cause and to try and enjoy the game a little more neutrally – not an easy task when parents are watching their own children but something we think is worth is working towards.”

 

New Zealand School visit Seaford College on their rugby tour

Palmerston North Boys perform the HakaOn Wednesday 11th October, Seaford College hosted Palmerston North Boys’ High School from New Zealand, here in the UK for a rugby tour.

Along with our netball teams, our rugby teams had been in New Zealand on tour themselves only a few months previously, and it was fantastic to welcome a school from New Zealand to the beautiful grounds here at Seaford College.

The experience of hosting a New Zealand side, and in particular, to watch them perform the Haka, was hugely exciting, not only for the players, but for the many people who came along to watch the game.

“What a fantastic experience for our students at the College,” admitted Liam Doubler, Director of Sport. “For the community to come down and witness that… it’s what touring, it’s what sport’s all about.”

Palmerston North are one of the strongest school rugby sides in New Zealand, and this was the final stop on their tour, so it was always going to be a tough ask to get a victory, and so this proved.

“The level, and the intensity that Palmerston played with, was outstanding,” said Liam Doubler.Palmerston and Seaford 1st XVs

In the 1st XV game, Palmerston took a very strong lead in the first half, and whilst Seaford improved dramatically after the break, the damage had been done and they ended up losing 0-30. Despite the scoreline, the Palmerston tour administrator, Lindsay Calton, felt that “even though the score might have blown out a little bit, it was still a physical game, a tough game, and the boys are really tired.”

The 2nd XV also struggled to cope against the strength and power of the Palmerston boys, losing 5-42.

A defeat is always hard to take, but it’s important to take the positives from them, and to focus on what can be learnt for the future. “They’ll definitely take something from the game,” said Kevin Rich. “And I think it’s a great experience for them to be able to push on after half term. They’ll reflect on this game, review it, and they’ll build on it.”

The Palmerston coach also felt that Seaford rugby was going in the right direction, and predicted that “In three years’ time it’ll be a different game.”

We certainly enjoyed hosting Palmerston North, and if they go on any tours in the future we would gladly host them again!

U14 Netball team progress to regionals in National Schools Competition

The Netball U14 team celebrates qualifying for the regional round of the National Schools CompetitionBreaking news! Seaford’s U14 Girls Netball team came 2nd in the County on Saturday, in the first round of the National Schools Competition. This is the biggest school’s competition in the netball calendar, and Georgie Hegarty, Head of Netball at Seaford, is very proud of their achievement.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve been getting closer and closer to progressing, but this is the first time that a Seaford team has managed to make it through to the regional round. We really look forward to representing the top Sussex schools in January.”

Congratulations to the team for making it through, we can’t wait to cheer you on in the next round!

Seaford students take on Butser Hill

Seaford College Cross Country team At 889 feet, Butser Hill is the highest point on the South Downs, overlooking Petersfield. And, since 1978, it has also been the site of a fantastic cross country mass run, raising over £200,000 for different charities over the years. Seaford College took a team along to this year’s race, and it was a great day. Continue reading

Seaford takes to the waves in the Schools Week Sailing Championships

The Seaford Sailers with teacher Paul HarkerDuring the second to last week of the summer term, six students from Seaford College competed in the Schools Week Sailing Championships, which has been held annually at Itchenor Sailing Club since 1953.  It is one of the biggest school sailing events in the UK, and attracts teams from across the country, and this year attracted entries of over 150 racing dinghies. Paul Harker, who took the students to the competition, told us about the event.

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Dream England Rugby 7s Contract for Seaford College’s Fergus Guiry

Fergus Guiry at Seaford College WEBSeaford College student Fergus Guiry will never forget the phone call he received earlier this year. It was from Simon Amor, the England Rugby 7s Head Coach, offering Fergus a one-year professional contract with the England 7s squad.
Fergus, who completed his A levels in the summer, was spotted by the England coaching team playing for Seaford College at the Rosslyn Park 7s tournament and they invited him to an England trial. After impressing at the trial, Fergus received the dream phone call offering him a contract, and he has now joined up with the full England squad and played in several tournaments. Continue reading

Day 7 & 8 – Australia and New Zealand Rugby and Netball Tour Blog

Tour Blog Day 7 & 8

Rugby Pitch at Kings School

Today was a good day… all the usual waking up for breakfast went on before we headed to the Signal Hill, right at the top of Dunedin. The sights were incredible, right across the whole city. We went straight from here and onto the Cadbury World factory tour, which lived up to expectations. We think that most enjoyed the part where they could pour their own liquid chocolate into little pots with all the toppings. Most were feeling quite full of chocolate by the end.

There was a little time to shop and buy lunch in Dunedin again before transferring to Kings’ and Queens’ High Schools for our matches. Continue reading

More Equestrian success for Seaford Prep School

Equestrian Team at FelbridgeThe Seaford Prep Equestrian Team had a fantastic day a week ago at Felbridge Showground, East Grinstead, winning both the 50cm and 60cm show jumping classes, and coming 3rd in the 70cm, qualifying for the National Regional finals at all three levels. Continue reading

Getting to know Seaford’s resident golf professional, Jack Halsey

Jack Halsey on Seaford's golf courseWhen you first drive through the gates of Seaford College you are greeted with the unique sight of the golf range and the first tee of our magnificent nine-hole course.

Golf at Seaford is thriving, with more and more students taking up the sport, and using the wonderful facilities we have at the school. And, as we’ve had such fantastic weather recently, we took the opportunity to join Jack Halsey, Seaford’s resident golf professional, on the course, to watch him in action and discuss his career so far, and philosophy on teaching golf. Continue reading

Another victory for Seaford’s polo team!

The winning Seaford Polo TeamThe Seaford College polo success continues! We are delighted that on Saturday, Seaford College won their division at the Senior Schools National Summer Tournament at Kirtlington Park Polo Club, beating Felsted, Marlborough College and Stowe. Continue reading

Fantastic Medal Haul at County Athletics Finals

Inters Relay Gold winning team of Max Bracewell Rupert Blackwell Dom Easton Josh HarrySeaford College is a relatively small school, but always manages to punch well above its weight in athletics, and this year we managed to match last year’s record haul at the County Athletics Finals, with 3 golds, 5 silvers and 3 bronzes, with some fine performances. Continue reading

Celebrating Seaford’s Sporting Success

Sports Awards Dinner Group PhotoBefore half term, the Annual Sports Awards Dinner took place to celebrate the achievements of those pupils that have represented the college in our major sports. Just shy of 100 pupils and staff were present on the evening, which began with welcome drinks in the garden room followed by a group photo on the terraces outside mansion.

After being welcomed by the Headmaster, the guests played “Guess the staff member.” This included 10 questions Continue reading

Fantastic debut for Prep School pupil at Show Jumping competition

Honey Bea JumpingSeaford College is proud to have a very strong equestrian programme, and our pupils have achieved some fantastic successes recently at a number of competitions, and it seems that the Prep School has another budding star in our midst.

Honey-Bea Hogan joined Seaford’s Equestrian regulars at the Alton Convent Inter Schools Team Show Jumping competition at Coombelands, Pulborough. It was her first ever show on her pony Charlie Brown, and in the 30cm and 40cm classes she came a superb 2nd and 6th, judged on a mixture of faults, style and an optimum time. Continue reading

Seaford Prep School take on their first swimming galas

The Seaford Prep School Swimming SquadThe Summer term has sprung a new sport into the calendar, with Seaford Prep School taking on their first two swimming galas, and here Seaford PE teacher Patrick Disley-May reports on the events.

Originally starting as a few pupils interested in an enjoyable swimming activity, it was not long until competition was rife, and we soon noticed some natural talent parading up and down the pool. There was an air of enthusiasm amidst the Prep School when we confirmed our very first galas, and this made the training suddenly become slightly more serious. Continue reading

Enthusiasm for tennis growing at Seaford

Tennis at Seaford CollegeDuring the summer term at Seaford College, one of the most familiar sights is students playing tennis on the numerous courts around the school grounds. The sport is thriving and students are now playing tennis during their games and PE sessions, and can be on court for up to three hours a week.

James Bird, the Head of Tennis at Seaford College is delighted that so many students are getting access to the sport. Continue reading

Seaford students complete gruelling DW kayaking race (part 2)

At the end of the raceYesterday, we wrote about the Seaford students who’d taken on the epic challenge of kayaking from Devizes to Westminster, a 125 mile race. If you missed it, you can read the first part of their story.

With their training and preparation races completed, five students from Seaford College and one from Heathfield School set off on their epic four-day challenge, kayaking from Devizes to Westminster. Henry and Cally, Ethan and Evie, and Izzy and Franny set off in their boats early on the morning of 14th April. Continue reading

Seaford students complete gruelling DW kayaking race (part 1)

Devizes to Westminster RaceLast October, a group of Seaford Year 12 students decided they wanted to take on a challenge. But not just any challenge, they decided to take on the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race.

The Devizes to Westminster race starts in Devizes Wiltshire, and finishes just downstream of Westminster Bridge in the centre of London, opposite the Houses of Parliament.  The first 52 miles is along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington, and the final 17 mile section is in the tidal portion of the Thames. Continue reading

An evening with Mike Teague

PosterBlogOn Friday 26th May, Seaford College is hosting a black tie Sports Dinner in aid of the Australia & New Zealand Netball and Rugby Tour. The College is pleased to be welcoming Mike Teague, widely regarded as one of the all-time greats of Gloucester, England and British Lions rugby, as the guest of honour. As well as a Q&A with Mike Teague, we’ll be holding auctions, raffles and fundraising games during the evening.

“We’re very pleased to be welcoming Mike Teague to Seaford College,” said Antony Cook, Director of Sport at Seaford. “It’s sure to be a fantastic evening, Continue reading

Chris Adams to captain Duke of Norfolk XI against Bangladesh on Monday

Chris AdamsChris Adams, the Head of Cricket at Seaford College, will captain the Duke of Norfolk XI against Bangladesh this Monday at Arundel Castle Cricket Club.

The match is part of Bangladesh’s warm up programme for their Tri Nations Series against Ireland and New Zealand and the ICC Champions Trophy which starts in June.

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Chris Adams awarded special England cap

Chris Adams England capChris Adams, the Head of Cricket at Seaford College, attended a very special dinner at Lord’s during the Spring term. Having played for England in five Test matches and five One Day Internationals, he was invited to the home of cricket for a unique assembly of all past and present England players.

The guest list spanned many generations of men and women’s players, from those representing England in the 1950s, to those playing for England today. More than 30 current and former captains were at the dinner and it was an evening for sharing memories, swapping stories and taking pride in wearing the Three Lions.

“It was an incredible night and I was amazed by how many legends of the game were at the dinner”, said Mr Adams. “It was lovely to catch up with so many people I had got to know when I was playing professionally but hadn’t seen for a number of years.”

The evening gave all the players a chance to discuss and share stories about their experiences of playing for England. “My table was very special with Nasser Hussain on it who gave me my Test debut,” said Mr Adams. “Jason Roy was also on my table and I had the privilege of giving Jason his first professional contract at Surrey. And it was Jason’s job, as the current England player on our table to present us with the caps we were given to celebrate the evening. It was an incredibly special occasion and I will remember it for ever”.

 

Seaford’s paddler’s making waves

Over the spring term, Seaford’s young kayaker’s have taken part in a number of races as they look to improve their skills.

Kayaking Spring Term

Starting in March, Seaford entered two K2’s in a 17.5 mile race from Newbury to Aldmarston Wharf, with a return leg. Ethan and Evie finished in 3 hours and 21 minutes, followed by Izzy and Henry 27 minutes later. It was a tough course, trying to avoid oncoming, faster boats on the return leg, and strong, blustery head winds really hampered progress.

Charles Lunt, kayaking trainer, was very pleased with the paddler’s. “It is great to see the progress that everyone has made and the determination of every paddler. It is also interesting to see Seaford College’s name alongside some of the DW ‘old boys’ such as Churchers, Cranleigh, LWC and Marlborough but also interesting to see Seaford featured in the same breath as the likes of Eton, Radley, Tonbridge and Heathfield, and beating some of them!”

Kayaking Spring Term

The following week, the teams raced 19 miles from Reading to Marlow, their first race on the Thames. This one was a mass start, with 50 boats starting together, and over 200 boats competing in total. Seaford entered 3 boats, although for the third boat, Seaford joined forces with Heathfield School because each team had lost a member due to injury.  All 3 boats finished within 12 minutes of each other – Ethan and Evie completed the course in 3 hours 11 minutes, followed by Henry and Cally in 3 hours 13 minutes and Izzy and Franny (Heathfield) in 3 hours 23 minutes.

Kayaking on the River Thames

“All of this was achieved despite dropping a paddle into a weir, a first outing with a new team mate, split starts, heavy rain at the beginning and paddling past weir flows for the first time so a fantastic achievement by all the paddlers,” said Charles.

Last weekend, they then had a gruelling 23 mile, 35 portages paddle from Pewsey to Newbury. On this paddle they took in, for the first time, the infamous Bruce Tunnel – a 5m wide, 1/2km long unlit tunnel under the Savernake Forest – and the energy sapping 10 locks to be portaged over 5 miles between Wootton Rivers and Crofton.

Kayaking Spring Term

 

“All the boats did really well finishing in very respectable times and towards the mid-table in their classes with both mixed K2s finishing just over a minute apart despite Cally having to paddle with a broken paddle for 2 miles before it could be changed!” said Charles. “The very new partnership (only their second outing) paddled well together, managing to beat the other Heathfield crews who have been together since September! All paddlers finished very tired but in excellent spirits,” said Charles Lunt. “They are certainly embracing the school motto, Ad Alta!”

The teams are going to be entered as the inaugural Seaford College crews for the 125 mile Devizes to Westminster canoe race over the Easter weekend, and we’ll have more kayaking updates over the coming weeks.

 

 

FastNet tournament a huge success

Fast net Blog 3Seaford College played host to their annual end-of-season FastNet netball tournament last week and once again the competition was a huge success.

FastNet is a faster-paced form of the sport that was launched in 2008 and features music, shorter games, rolling substitutions and powerplays where double points can be scored.

Seaford College had five teams playing Continue reading

Seaford Polo team triumphant again

The winning Seaford Polo teamThe Seaford Polo team have claimed their second win in two weeks.

Playing up a division, Seaford’s team of Isabel Anderson, Andrea Aranda and Martha Crosdil won their section of the Senior School Ladies Tournament at Continue reading

Rugby 7s expert Dai Rees trains Seaford Under 18s

Dai Rees watching Seaford rugby 7s trainingAhead of the start of the Rosslyn Park 7s rugby tournament this week, the Seaford College Under 18s squad were joined for a training session by an
expert in the art of 7s rugby. Dai Rees is the Head of High Performance for the Hong Kong Rugby Union side, but he has also coached the Welsh 7s national squad. Dai was at Seaford College last week Continue reading