It has been a challenging yet thoroughly entertaining first half of term for sport here at Cranleigh. With the unprecedented situation that the whole country is in, sport like so many areas of school life has had to adapt.

Without external fixtures, and with new COVID guidelines in place, it was decided in May that we would enter into a three phase approach to school sport. Phase 1 would be a mix between winter and summer sports, following Government guidelines, combined with our desire that all pupils develop a passion for a sport, with the goal of enjoying a lifetime of participation in it. 

It was the first time that we saw cricket and rugby being played at the same time of year, with the ground staff working incredibly hard to get facilities ready so that tennis, golf, hockey, cricket and rugby etc. could all happen at the same time. Within Phase 1, each year group had at least two summer and two winter sports each week. Both boys rugby and girls hockey sessions were run by a small group of coaches, who worked with every pupil across all teams and all age groups. This meant that the 1st team coaches were also coaching the bottom sides. Within Phase 1, new sports were added to the full time sports programme with golf, Fives, HiiT and Yoga becoming very popular with both boys and girls across all age groups.

Within Phase 2, pupils once again were free to choose sports that were more suited to the winter months. Cricket continues with our winter net programme, but badminton and some more indoor sports started up too. Phase 3, which comes into play after Long Leave, will see the majority of boys playing two sports during the week. Football will be offered alongside rugby, and a boys hockey squad will train throughout the week for the first time. The girls programme will see hockey in full swing, with Fridays given over to a variety of options including military-style fitness and Yoga.

Although the vast majority of external fixtures were cancelled, there were several internal house matches, and our riding team continued to compete off site too, winning both individual and team events. A huge thank you to Mrs Chris Allison, Head of Riding, and the whole team for their efforts.

Into the world of swimming now where Mr Jones, Head of Swimming, ran a highly popular and successful Aquathon. This involved a race with a mixture of a swim and a run. Jamie T. won the overall race, completing the course in a wonderful 12 minutes and 54 seconds. Sophie M. won the girls in 13 minutes and 58 seconds.

Our traditional Fourth Form House Cross Country took place, albeit without spectators, and with staggered start times, and it proved to be a wonderful occasion with all Fourth Form pupils taking part. West won the girls competition and Loveday the Boys. Kingsley P. (Loveday) won the boys race in 11 minutes and 22 seconds and Isobel P. (Martlet) won the girls race with a time of 13 minutes and 28 seconds. A huge well done to all runners, and to Mr Pidgeon for once again putting on a wonderful race.

Mr Burgess, Cranleigh’s new Head of Rugby, ran the 2020 House Touch tournament across two Saturdays seeing each age group and house competing in a six-aside competition. East were the overall winners. Junior Girls House Hockey has also begun and will be finished after Long leave.

I would like to publicly thank all the students, coaches and support staff for their efforts during this period. It has been fantastic to see all 691 pupils out playing sport each day. Have a wonderful Long Leave.