Celebrating sport at The Perse
Pupils, alumni, parents, staff and teams from six visiting schools celebrated sporting life at The Perse School on Saturday, as part of the School’s 400th anniversary year.
The Perse has a strong sporting tradition and a commitment to ‘sporting excellence’ and ‘sport for all’, and so Saturday’s sports showcase was a fitting celebration of the heritage, present and future of Perse sport.
The day began with the Roman Road Run, where pupils, staff and alumni completed a 10-mile run from Linton, finishing at the School’s flagpole, which is a long-held Perse tradition. The overall winner of the race was Perse teacher Matthew Fox, with a time of 59 minutes 31 seconds; making him only the second person in Perse history to complete the course in under an hour. The boys’ pupil race was won by Year 10 student Robert Anderson (1:03:06), and Ebony Zhang in Year 13 finished with a winning time of 1 hour 22 minutes in the girls’ race. The fastest Old Persean was Phil Doel, with a time of 1:04:30. Teams of Old Perseans then faced each other in a series of netball, football, basketball and hockey matches.
The afternoon saw Perse pupils meet teams from local schools including: Felsted School, Framlingham College and Uppingham School, in a series of hockey and netball matches. This busy day of fixtures was rounded off with an U14 rugby festival, where the School welcomed teams from Uppingham School, Oundle School, Belfast Royal Academy, Langley School and Stowe School. The eventual winners of the festival were Uppingham, followed by Oundle in second place, and The Perse in third.
Principal partners of the event, Strutt & Parker were also on hand to enjoy the day’s matches. Cameron Ewer of Strutt & Parker said: “Strutt & Parker were delighted to be part of an excellent showcase of sport to help mark The Perse’s 400th anniversary. It was great to see so many children getting involved. The event was incredibly well organised and the School’s facilities excellent. We were thrilled to use this event to launch our offer to Perse parents, where should they instruct Strutt & Pa rker to sell their home we will donate £500 to the School’s bursary fund. Strutt & Parker aspire to sell the best in class homes and we hope our support will enable greater access to a best in class education.”
Director of Sport at The Perse Simon Ball said: “It was a fantastic day of sport with over 1,000 attending who either participated or came to spectate over the course of the day. It was great to have schools from our regular fixture list join us in celebrating our 400th anniversary.”
The School was delighted to welcome England test cricket captain Alastair Cook for a batting masterclass with pupils, after which he attended the special sports dinner, where he led a ‘Q&A’ session.
During the sports dinner, a special raffle was held in aid of the three charities the School is supporting during its 400th anniversary year; East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, Christel House and the School’s An Enduring Gift campaign. Ticket sales raised over £1,300 for the charities, where among the prizes were two Gray Nicolls cricket bats donated by Perse sports kit supplier Mr Cricket, Mr Hockey, which were signed by Alastair Cook.