Cranleigh has a proud tradition of hockey success for both boys and girls. The school has produced two Olympians, David Westcott and Don Williams, as well as 14 England players since 2010 (Zoe Allchurch, Megan Batchelor, Tom Batchelor, Autumn Brown, Charlotte Calnan, Will Calnan, Ali Clift, James Gall, Jonny Gall, Harry Gough, Izzy Petter, Fifi Robinson, Taylor Seager-Green, and Amy Thompson).
There are many more who have reached Academy (JAC) and Regional level (no less than 32 at JRPC this season). Many have represented their club sides, especially at Surbiton, East Grinstead and Guildford. Indeed the 2015/16 season has seen six players play for their club side in the adult Premier Division of the Women’s National League, either indoors or outdoors.
Over the past six years we have been to National Finals 21 times resulting in seven Gold, seven Silver and four Bronze medals.
The school is committed to giving all players with an interest in hockey the opportunity to enjoy the game and to improve their skills. With three sides at U14 level, more than 40 girls have the chance to represent the school: for 80 boys there are five teams that have regular matches. The girls have 12 teams competing on a Saturday, the boys have 16.
There is a regular invitation to Outdoor and Indoor practice sessions, taking place on the school campus, in each of the three terms; boys and girls sometimes play together, as well as in separate groups. Indoor hockey is important for technical and mental development.
The regular programme of team training (for girls in the Michaelmas term, for boys in the Lent term) includes three sessions a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
We are also starting regular training sessions specifically for goalkeepers with Tom Millington (GB U23s) taking these one day each week. We also encourage the better players in Cranleigh Prep School to come across the road (as part of our 7-18 philosophy) to practice with Senior School players in the Summer term.
There is the opportunity of relevant quality club training for those who reach a particular, agreed level in the England hockey programme; and a good number of players enjoy regular Strength and Conditioning sessions in a programme linked with England Hockey.
The School’s current hockey fixture cards for every Saturday and some midweek fixtures are strong: for the boys this includes playing Whitgift, Tonbridge, Charterhouse, Wellington and Reeds, and for the girls this includes playing Canford, Eastbourne, KES Southampton, Beaconsfield High School, Sevenoaks, Hurstpierpoint and Wellington.
There are three astro pitches in the senior school (Lintotts, Marcon and Pickup), and one in the Preparatory school (Westcott), just across the road. Lintotts has very recently been re-laid, and Pickup has floodlights. All of the home fixtures and practice sessions were played on one of these four surfaces in the 2015/16 season: none were played on grass.
The Trevor Abbott Sports Centre in the senior school provides enough capacity for two small indoor pitches with four indoor hockey goals.
Managing Elite athletes
Each elite hockey player has a weekly calendar, in agreement with that player, the parents, the Housemaster/Housemistress, Head of Sport, the club, the Region and, if appropriate, the England national coaches.
National Champions: 2011
National Runners up: 2013
South Champions: 2013
St George’s College Sixes: 2011
Boarding Schools Cup: 2009, 2010, 2011
National Runners up: 2011, 2012
National Champions: 2010
National Runners up: 2011
National Bronze medal: 2016
South Champions: 2016
South Champions: 2015
National Runners up: 2007
National Finals top 4: 2010
National Outdoor Runners up: 2015, 2016
South Outdoor Champions: 2015, 2016
St George’s College Sixes (Outdoor): 2011, 2012, 2015
National Indoor Finals, top 4: 2016
South Indoor Champions: 2016
National Outdoor Champions: 2013, 2014, 2016
National Indoor Champions: 2016
National Indoor Finals, top 4: 2013, 2015
South Indoor Champions: 2015, 2016
National Outdoor Runners up: 2015
National Outdoor Bronze medal: 2012, 2014
National Outdoor Finals top 4: 2013
South Outdoor Champions: 2015
2016/2017 Season Achievements
- Boys’ U18, St George’s College Sixes competition winners
- Boys’ U14 outdoor squad created school history by becoming National Outdoor Runners-up. It was the first time that this age group for the boys had reached the final and been South Regional Champions
- Girls’ U18 St George’s College Sixes competition runners-up
- Girls’ U18 Indoor squad created school history by becoming National Indoor Runners-up. It was the first time this age group for the girls had reached the final and been South Regional Champions
- Girls’ U16 Indoor squad National Indoor Runners-up, having also been South Regional Champions
- Seven players at England Girls U18 training camps, with three gaining full caps
- Two players at England Boys U18 training camps, both earning full caps
- Thirteen players involved in Girls U17 and U15 Regional Performance Centre programme
- Nine players involved in Boys U17 and U15 Regional Performance Centre programme
- Six current students and former students involved in National Premier League play-offs at Lee Valley, for East Grinstead Ladies, Surbiton Men, and Hampstead & Westminster Men
- Further 15 current students involved in Junior club hockey finals and play-offs
- Great Britain Central Contracts given to former students Charlotte Calnan (left school 2016) and James Gall (left school 2013)
Trips and Tours
Each year various teams across the school have the opportunity to tour with Hockey. Each year the School takes both U15 squads to the Netherlands. Later in the year the U18 & U16 Boys also go to the Netherlands. In recent times additional tours have also seen us take the Girls U18 & U16 squads to Pretoria in South Africa. In January 2015 the U18 Girls squad played in Barcelona.
Along with regular overseas trips we also take part in domestic tours with a Boys U18 preseason hockey tournament at Clifton College and a Girls U18 & U16 tournament at Repton School.
Richard Organ, Director of Hockey has been both an England Hockey Centrally Contracted Coach and the coach of the England Senior International Women’s Indoor team. At club level, he coaches East Grinstead Men’s Indoor Team, which has won a Silver medal in the European Indoor Division B and gained promotion to the top European Division: this is only the third time an English club has managed this since the start of the competition over 25 years ago. They have won the National Indoor title for eight consecutive years. He has been the Director of Hockey at Cranleigh School for eight years.
Steve Batchelor famously won a gold medal as part of the Great Britain Olympic team in Seoul in 1988, though he represented GB for 12 years, achieving many successes: a Bronze medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and a Silver medal in the 1987 Moscow European Cup for example. He played for England at U16 and U18 level and has extensive coaching experience at Junior, club and Senior level.