The arrival of talented sixth form entrants can ruffle feathers in the existing cohort as they bring in high quality expertise and experiences from their previous schools. As a Housemaster I was often aware of the role many of these boys play in recalibrating our expectations and aspirations in the top two years.
Judoka (a practitioner of judo) Michael is a very good example of such a student. His arrival last year has seen a tremendous increase in the Judo club's membership and a great partnership flourish with his coach, Mark Fricker, "As Captain of Judo, Michael has been a valuable asset assisting me in coaching the novices. He is an excellent role model to them and a very challenging practice partner for me! Our current judo group, many of whom started just this term, are training hard and showing real promise. I am excited to see how far they can take their judo.”
Mark is also Head Coach of the prestigious Pinewood Judo club, named British Judo Association’s Performance Club of the Year 2018 as they provide more judoka to the British Olympic team than any other club in the UK. Michael has been very fortunate to be benefitting from Mark’s expertise, attending as he does the mid-week practices at Pinewood, after lessons on a Wednesday.
As Michael explains, “Judo has been one of the constants that helped me settle in at Winchester College. I could train twice a week and not think about anything else during training, just like in Singapore. Mark Fricker has constantly gone above and beyond what he needs to do as a coach, not just helping me improve in judo but also ferrying me to and from trainings at Pinewood and competitions. All the training is paying off, as I recently won a bronze medal at the 2019 London Colleges and Universities competition in the -73kg category.”
Michael has integrated into sixth form life here very quickly, both academically and socially. There is no doubt that judo has played a role in his successful integration, and the ease with which he has joined is as much a testament to Michael’s charm, affability and judo skills as it is to the friendliness of the boys and staff around him and the dedication of Mark’s tutelage.
22nd January 2021
Despite a challenging 2020, progress on Winchester College's new state-of-the-art Sports Centre continues, as the school and local community look ahead to the opening in 2022.
18th January 2021
Southampton FC midfielder Oriol Romeu visited Winchester last month to share the secrets of his success with the sports scholars.
17th November 2020
The latest milestone in the development of Winchester College's new Sports Centre was marked this November as the contractors reached the lowest point of the dig, where the foundations of the swimming pool will be laid.
18th May 2020
The traditional programme of inter-school sporting fixtures has been a feature of life at Winchester for more than 150 years. With no opportunity during lockdown to face familiar opponents, Mark Burley, Director of Sport provides an insight into the history of sport in public schools, as well as the role that Winchester has played in making it such a prominent part of school life.
16th May 2020
According to his Div don, "more people have climbed Everest" and the final stages of an endurance event, such as this, will be the toughest, but sixth form pupil Freddie remains unfazed and focused on raising money for a charity close to his heart.
10th March 2020
Following XVs last month, the two captains reflect on their journeys from First Year boys trying to understand 'Winkies', through to the honour of leading their teams out for the biggest game of the year.