News from The Kings of Wessex Academy


U18 Girls Rugby Team are The Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens Plate Winners for 2019

1st April, 2019 by Jude Owens

The road from Cheddar to London was well travelled last week when the Kings Sports Academy had three day trips competing in The Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens competitions when the Kings’ Under 18 girls ultimately took the trophy as the Plate Competition winners!

The National Schools Sevens at Rosslyn Park based near Wimbledon is a very prestigious, annual oversubscribed event for state and independent schools with no guaranteed entry for teams who apply to the competition. Earlier in the week on Tuesday the boys were competing and gained essential experience in a tough group playing against Mount Kelly (Tavistock), Wallington County Grammar School (Croydon) Rossall School (Fleetwood) and Liverpool College, in 4 x 14-minute games. Although results were not in the boys’ favour, they can take a lot of pride from the way in which they conducted themselves on the pitch and know that on another day tight decisions would have gone the other way and they would have reached the knockout stages.

Having left Cheddar on Friday at 5am for the five-hour drive to the Capital, the Years 11, 12 and 13 girls then started off with a tough fixture against Epsom College, with the winner going into the Cup competition and the loser entering the Plate. The girls hit the ground running but made some small costly mistakes and whilst they dominated the second half, they ended up losing 24-33. Epsom proceeded to the semi-finals of the cup, demonstrating their quality and are to be congratulated.

After the girls’ initial disappointment, all their focus turned to the Plate, with the winners of the seven groups and the best runner-up progressing to the knockout stages. Kings beat Peter Symonds College (Winchester) 50-0, and then put 44 past the Peterborough based Oundle School (without conceding).

Having won their group, the Kings’ girls were on a roll, beating best runners-up, Bishops Veyzey School (Sutton Coldfield) 19-0 in the quarter finals and then powered onto a 31-14 victory in the semi-finals against Clyst Vale Community College (Exeter) making Kings the National Finalists!

The team then moved across to one of the main pitches that was being live streamed on YouTube, where they were up against a strong Reigate Grammar School in the Final of The Rosslyn Park Girls Sevens Plate. This proved to be a tense encounter, with Kings trailing at the break, leading into a second half of last-ditch tackles with composure and strong breakaways. That, and the girls’ seamless ability not to feel the pressure, led to them coming back to win the Plate with a triumphant score line of 17-12 making them the 2019 Plate Winners! An excellent win.

The Kings Sports Academy, that operates from Kings Fitness & Leisure, would like to thank Coach Gareth Waterfield, Subject Leader for P.E. Carl Bennett, Scott Franklin and Adam Sinden for their support. Gareth and Sports Academy Manager, Shane Fear, travelled to London three times last week, also supporting the Year 8 rugby boys from Hugh Sexey Middle School on the Monday. After watching the boys trounce every team in their matches, the coaches are looking forward to the boys coming up to Kings next school year.

Special thanks also to sponsors Smidge based in Weare for their continued support and for providing the girls’ smart kit and the Sports Academy commends their work with sustainability, specifically, in reducing single-use plastic. The Sports Academy are very proud to be supported by such a forward-thinking local organisation and look forward to their continued work together. See: https://www.wearesmidge.com

Executive Headteacher Gavin Ball praised the team:

“A big well done and congratulations to our U18 rugby girls for their wonderful win and for being such a force to be reckoned with! This was a high-profile national event for the Sports Academy and I am very proud of both the boys and the girls for giving their best in this exciting tournament.”

The rugby girls have trained every Tuesday after school at the Sports Academy and the boys train on a Wednesday afternoon. Over the years, Kings has enjoyed rugby success in local, South West and other national finals.

Congratulations to:
  • Mia Bailey
  • Katie Britt
  • April Callanan
  • Cara Ellis
  • Abi Fisher
  • Milly Harris
  • Izzy Hemms
  • Anna Jenkin
  • Frances Leader
  • Gemma Rosati
  • Ellen Scantlebury
  • Izzy Taylor
  • Nneka Ugoji