The school’s annual derby against Beaulieu College that took place over the weekend of 20 – 21 May was a great success on all fronts. Staff and pupils from both schools were clearly very excited about the prospect of a Derby after a two-year layoff, and the whole Beaulieu campus was buzzing with anticipation when Stanford rolled in on Friday afternoon.
The competition kicked off with golf on Friday morning and it was clear that it would be a competitive weekend when the golfers drew their match. The chess, boys’ hockey and netball fixtures got underway on Friday afternoon, with some good wins by the Stanford teams and individuals in all three disciplines. The support was amazing and there were goosebumps a plenty as both schools sang and danced their hearts out in support of their teams. Unfortunately, the 1st Team netball game was called off due to lightning, but it was clear from the 15 minutes that were played that the Stanford ladies have improved dramatically since they played Beaulieu on tour in early April. The 1st Team Hockey Boys played against an exceptionally talented Beaulieu team. The Stanfordians fought really hard throughout the game and should be proud of keeping that team to just 0 – 4. Our pupils were then hosted out and all enjoyed a pleasant evening with their host families.
On Saturday morning, both schools’ support teams were out in force again and despite the cold, wet weather, the hockey girls and rugby boys were rearing to go. The girls’ hockey teams faced the same skill and talent that the boys did the night before, and although Stanford managed a win at U/16 level, our 1st Team ladies battled against very strong opposition. The rugby teams had a very good day for the most part; our U/14s lost their game but are still in the learning phase and will improve given time. The other three teams managed convincing wins, topped off by a very physical and entertaining 1st Team match.
Watching our school sing their war cries on the field after the 1st Team rugby game was inspirational and reminded us all how important these annual derbies are, not just for school spirit, but also for teaching our pupils to go beyond their comfort zones. Thank you to all pupils who participated, the Beaulieu College pupils and staff for hosting us, as well as the Stanford staff who looked after our pupils so well throughout the weekend. We can’t wait for next year!