Ipswich Prep boys are the latest hockey county champions
Ipswich Prep School’s Under 11 boys’ hockey team are the latest Ipswich School team to clinch a county hockey championship title.
The Prep side drew against South Lee, and beat The Abbey School, Culford, Orwell Park, Old Buckenham Hall and Brandeston, all without conceding a goal, to win the U11 tournament and the county title. The team has followed in the footsteps of the senior school’s U16 boys, who also won the county title this season. It’s the first time the U11 team has won the Suffolk championship since 2008.
Amanda Childs, Head of Ipswich Prep, said: “We are very proud of our boys! They played extremely well to dominate the tournament, and their achievement is testament to the work of the sports staff here and the children, who embrace hockey from an early age.”
These solid foundations in hockey are laid early on, with hockey being taught in games lessons from Year 2. This gives pupils the chance to develop their core hockey skills as they progress through the Prep and into the senior school, and this introduction to hockey has benefited the many senior school teams.
The U11 county title is one of a list of accolades held by the school this year, with the U16 boys’ team winning the county title earlier in the term as well as the U14 and U13 boys being county runners up. The U18 boys are also flying high in the England Hockey Schools U18 cup, having progressed to the fourth round after beating Framlingham College, Felsted School and Eltham College. With regional finals and further rounds of the cup to come after half term there is further chance for all the Ipswich School boys teams to progress in these competitions.
Earlier in the season, the U18 and U14 girls’ teams were county runners up in their competitions. The U16 girls’ indoor team were county champions and finished joint third nationally, as did the U16 boys indoor team. The U11 girls finished third in the county, losing in the semi-final. In addition, the recent Junior Academy Centre selections saw 53 Ipswich School pupils selected, 35 of whom came through the Prep.
Bill Williams, Acting Head of Hockey at Ipswich School, said: “By coaching hockey from Year 2 we are able to introduce fundamental core hockey skills at an early age. As children progress through the Prep School we can then gradually add to their range of skills and fine tune their performance. To win the U11 county title shows that we are the leading school in the region at this age range which is testament to the quality coaching they receive here and the dedication of the team.”
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