Double delight for hockey and tennis teams

CULFORD School’s senior students mixed tennis team has again reached the National Finals and will compete later this month to attempt to retain their title.

The team, made up of Johannes Dohr, Charlotte Harpur, Alana Martin and Kazimieras Zakaitis, won their regional finals stage match 3-1 against Sharnbrook Upper School from Bedfordshire in order to qualify for the finals.

David Hall, Culford’s director of tennis, is delighted for the players: “This is a reward for all the hard work throughout the winter both on and off the court,” he said.

“I am thrilled that we have the opportunity to defend our national title.

“The mixed team won the tournament in 2011 and the girls’ team won it in 2010.

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“In Charlotte Harpur, we have a girl who will be in the final stages for the third year in succession, having been part of last year’s mixed team and 2010 girls’ team

“The players train six to 12 hours a week and they are getting out what they are putting in.”

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Mr Hall has been at Culford since 2005 and became director of tennis two years later.

“It is a relatively young programme at Culford and we have had a lot of success in a short space of time,” he said.

“We have now won 11 national titles in the last four years.”

Meanwhile, Culford girls’ under-14 hockey side are now ranked as one of the top five hockey teams in the country following a dramatic day at the National Schools Championship for Girls held at Cannock Hockey Club.

Having succeeded in the regional qualifying round before Christmas, Culford faced some of the best sides in the country at the prestigious tournament. Over three well-fought matches, Culford came away with one win, one loss and one draw, missing out on a spot in the final by only one point.

The passion, enthusiasm and commitment each and every player gave cannot be faulted and it was a great experience for all those involved. Team manager, Jo Pineo summed up, saying “We couldn’t have asked for any more from the girls who have given their all. I’m so proud of them for what they have achieved.”

Director of Hockey, Matt Copping, added “It has been a great experience and huge learning curve for the girls and we can’t wait to come back next year a little older and a lot wiser.”

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