A chance to catch up
- OP Sports Festival 2019
As part of our annual Old Persean Sports Festival on Saturday 30 March, over 200 Old Perseans from the Classes of 1987 – 2018 took on current pupils in fixtures at the Upper. The sun was shining as OPs competed in seven sports: the annual Roman Road Run, tennis, basketball, netball, football, hockey and touch rugby. We were delighted to see so many OPs and friends of the School back for the event, with many returning as spectators as well as playing. See below for match reports on individual sports.
After the matches, attendees enjoyed BBQ match teas on the school field before heading into town for drinks.
Photographs of this event can be found on our OP Facebook Group here
Roman Road Run (Chris Ingram)
The dry weather meant the ground was hard and conditions good for fast times on the 10 mile course. The race was won by Jamie Sales (U6), following up from a fine run in the Cambridge half marathon a few weeks earlier. His time of 58:23 was the 2nd fastest ever by a pupil. In second, and also joining the elite sub-hour club, was Year 11 pupil Ethan Seal. A very impressive run from Isaac Rothwell (Y9) rounded out the top 3. Head of School Katy Ellis was the first girl, her time of 1:10 breaking the girls’ record in the process. Dr Goodson ensured the staff were not left out of the top finishers with an excellent PB performance. In the age-handicapped team competition the Year 11s triumphed by just 3 seconds over the Year 9 team.
The standard of this race continues to soar, reflecting the pedigree of distance running at the school right now. It is worth noting that the winning time from 2010 would not make the top 10 places any more!
Netball (Emma Jones)
It was brilliant to welcome back so many Old girls for the annual OP netball tournament. The OPS made up two teams- O21 and U21, facing each other as well as the current 1st VII in a triangular tournament. The U21s were first up to take on the 1st VII, putting in a performance to be proud of, however the 1st VII just edged to victory with the final score being 11-7. The O21s or OAPs as they called themselves, then took on the 1st VII. This was another tight game, with the O21s attacking well, however the 1st VII also stole the win with a final score of 23-13, pushing on in the final few minutes of the game.
The eagerly anticipated game of the day was the O21s v U21s. Would youth or experience prevail? The O21s stamped their authority on the game from the first centre pass with the U21s struggling to take control. The O21s finished the game in a commanding lead of 10 goals, with the final score being 17-7. Well done to everyone, there was some brilliant netball on show; and it was great to see so many familiar faces.
Tennis (Simon Ball)
Tennis made its first appearance at the OP Sports Festival after a request from an OP, and we welcomed a men’s double. Ilya Altschuler and Nick Leach (both 2014) took on Mr Ball and Ciaran Flaherty (2016) in what ended in an excellent and fun match. Ilya and Nick took the first set 7-5 after Mr Ball and Ciaran pulled back the score to 5-5. Thankfully Mr Ball started to serve properly whilst the OPs fatigued which resulted in a 5-7 second set win for Mr Ball and Ciaran. If you fancy joining in with a relaxed couple of sets with old friends and teachers then sign up and get involved for 2020.
Football (Charlie Baker)
It was a great turnout for the Old Perseans football match with 3 returning OP teams. The day kicked-off with the current 1st XI facing the over 25s, ending 1-0 to the less experienced but more energetic 1st XI. The next game saw two under 25s OP teams battle it out until the recent OP leavers managed to win on penalties after a 0-0 result. Playing back to back, the under 25s then managed to sneak a 1-0 win against the over 25s. The final game saw the recent OP leavers take on the current 1st XI in a very even affair, the deadlock only broken by a Flynn Cray penalty to finish the game 1-0 to the 1st XI.
Hockey (Ravi Mahendra)
It was great to see so many old boys and girls (55) back for some hockey on a sunny Saturday at The Perse. In the men’s competition, this year saw the introduction of a Vets team making a four way tournament with three OP teams and the School 1st XI. It was even a family affair, with Phil Doel (1988) playing for the Vets and taking on sons Sam (2018) and George (L6). The 21-30s and 1st XI ran out as joint winners both winning both their games. The standard of hockey continues to be extremely high.
In the women’s competition the School 1st XI beat the OPs (who were minus a few key players, one on international duty with GB) 4-0.
21-30’s v U21’s 2-1
21-30’s v Vets 2-0
Boys 1st XI v Vets 1-0
Boys 1st XI v U21’s 3-1
Girls 1st XI v OP’s 4-0
Touch Rugby (Liam St John)
There was a great turnout for the rugby – approximately 50 participants, male and female, from a 10 year window at school. The Old Perseans fielded three teams – U21, 21-25 and OAPs. The current pupils played well but lost all of their matches. After beating both OAPs and current pupils, the U21s took on the 21-25s in the final match of the day. The victors on the day were the 21-25 team, including former 1st XV captains Alex Lockie (2016) and Noah Collins (2015), who beat the U21s 6-4. We were missing current captain Matt Burson (U6) who was playing for the Lambs old boys’ side (The Rams) beating Bath University U20s, Henry Hackett (2017) playing for Oxford University as they won the county shield and Alex Coles (2018) away with Northampton in their Challenge cup quarter final.
- Perse Players Gala Dinner
On 9 February 2019 we held a Perse Players Gala Dinner, celebrating the legacy of drama at The Perse on the 70th anniversary of Peter Hall’s performance as the title role in Hamlet.
Upon arrival at The Perse, guests enjoyed a tour of the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre before a drinks reception in the foyer. Susannah Townsend (2015) brought the room to silence with a performance of a soliloquy from Hamlet before inviting guests to take a seat in the auditorium for an exclusive Perse Players performance. The Players reprised their roles from the past productions Our House, Lord of The Flies, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Billy Elliot the Musical and gave a sneak preview of the Spring 2019 production Chariots of Fire.
After the performance, guests headed over to the main hall for dinner. Alan Weeds (1951) gave a toast to former Perse drama teachers Charlie Tanfield and Douglas Brown before Kenneth Tharp CBE (1978) spoke about his time at The Perse, his varied career as a dancer and choreographer, and of the broad and wide-reaching value of an arts education.
- 1999-2004 Reunion Dinner
In November almost 60 members of the Classes of 1999-2004 joined us for a reunion dinner. After touring the School, guests gathered for drinks in the School Hall and a welcome from the Head. OPs enjoyed catching up with a number of their former teachers over dinner, including Gail Hague, Adrian Roberts and Bob Smith.
- OP Cricket 2018
It was a glorious day for the 2018 OP Cricket match on 22 June. A very strong Old Perseans side posted 244-3 from 30 overs. (Abbasi 100*, C Pepper 82) The 1st XI scored a 150 in reply, D Shaw with an unbeaten 40.
- Benefactors' Reception 2018
The sun shone on Cambridge on 16 June for our annual Benefactors’ Reception. The Head was delighted to have the opportunity to personally thank over 100 donors for their gifts to the School. Following lunch, Old Persean Alastair Whatley (2002) took to the stage in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre to talk about his work as Artistic Director of the Original Theatre Company.
- Half Century Club Lunch 2018
We were delighted to welcome back over 70 Old Perseans and their guests to our Half Century Club lunch on Saturday 12 May 2018. The Half Century Club brings together Old Perseans who left the School over fifty years ago, and provides an opportunity to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, and reminisce together about memories of The Perse. Photos of the event are available online here.
The next Club lunch will take place in May 2019.
- Class of 2008 Reunion Dinner
We were delighted to welcome back almost 40 Old Perseans and their partners to the School on Saturday 5 May for a dinner to celebrate 10 years since they left The Perse.
Photos of the event are available online here.
- 1994 - 1998 Reunion Dinner
We were delighted to welcome back the Classes of 1994 – 1998 to the School on Saturday 21 April for a reunion dinner.
Photos of the event are available online here.
- OP Sports Festival 2018
We were delighted to see over 150 OPs taking part in our OP Sports Festival on 24 March, with many more coming along to spectate. The day started with Tim Harrison (2017) smashing the 10 mile Roman Road Run record by over two minutes, finishing in 55:57 (beating Mr Fox by 40s). OPs took part in football, basketball, netball, men’s and women’s hockey, and touch rugby. A minute of applause was held before the men’s hockey matches in memory of Rajen Mahendra (2010). Our thanks go to the Perse Sports department for all their help and assistance, and to all OPs who helped organise the teams on the day.
- Perse Business Network
Our latest Business Network event took place at Allen & Overy, London on 22 February 2018, generously hosted by Jane Paterson-Todd(Current Parent). As well as an opportunity to network, Old Perseans, Parents and Friends of the School gathered to hear from economist and journalist Liam Halligan.
We hold two Perse Business Network events per year. To find out more, or to join our mailing list, please contact us.
- USA 2018
Our Sixth Form team took a trip Stateside in 2018 to learn more about university admissions in US institutions. Whilst there, they were able to meet up with a number of our North American OPs.
Boston Brunch: Sunday 18th February 2018
After a snowy night in Boston, some Old Perseans who live or study in Massachusetts met at the home of Chris Covey (2003) and his wife Susie (formerly a teacher in the History Department at The Perse), who kindly hosted the gathering. Joined by current staff Jonathan Green, Sam Black and Richard Morgan, the group shared memories from experiences of The Perse in the 1960s right through to last academic year.
Over plentiful coffee and a brunch banquet, thoughts were shared on a wide range of topics and the current staff learned a lot about what it was like studying and working in America. With a broad range of perspectives and experiences, the conversation (much like the coffee) flowed through into the early afternoon.
New York Dinner: Wednesday 21st February 2018
This event was kindly hosted by Simon Hornby (1977), who organised drinks and a buffet dinner in a function room at Bocca di Bacco in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.
While most attendees were based in and around New York, there were also longer journeys made from Washington DC and Toronto to attend this gathering. The experiences of The Perse spanned across five decades, while subsequent careers have included law, business, media, software, education, research and government to name a few. Naturally this made for a really interesting evening sharing memories, thoughts and hopes for the future.
This is the second event in New York for Old Perseans and Simon Hornby would love to hear from those who are keen to attend future events.
- Doug Collard's Testimonial Match
On Sunday 25 June 2017, OPs, staff and friends of the School came together for a cricket match in celebration of Doug’s 38 years at the Perse. A match report and photographs can be found here.
- 1989-1993 Reunion Dinner
We were delighted to welcome back over 50 Old Perseans and their teachers to the School on Saturday 6 May for a reunion dinner. Photos of the event are available online here.
- 1969-1973 Reunion Dinner
We were delighted to welcome back almost 50 Old Perseans to the School on Saturday 22 April for a reunion dinner. Photos of the event are available online here.
- Edinburgh 2017
We held our third reunion for OPs in Scotland on Saturday 18 March, which was an intimate gathering of alumni at Bon Vivant in Edinburgh. We enjoyed delicious cuisine and interesting conversation, which included many memories of life at The Perse, as well as thought-provoking discussion of topics relating to OPs’ far-reaching expertise and careers, from economics to engineering.
- Oxford Reunion
On 28 October 2016 we welcomed a number of OPs to a drinks reception at the Turl Street Kitchen in Oxford. An enjoyable evening was had by all, with many OPs able to catch up with old friends and share experiences of university life.
- New York Reception
The Head and Director of Development travelled to New York in September 2016 for a reception at the Terrace Club for OPs and friends of the School in North America. James von Klemperer (1974), President and Design Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, spoke about his work – including his design for the upcoming One Vanderbilt building. It was great to see some old friends and make new ones and we have planted the seeds for a local OP network – more details to follow.