Boys’ Hockey at Chigwell

Boys’ hockey is a major sport at Chigwell and is played throughout the Lent term. The school runs 12 teams from U10 all the way through to our Boys 1XI. All pupils, regardless of their experience, receive regular hockey training delivered by experienced coaches and our facilities enable every pupil to develop their hockey skills and enjoy competitive match play.

In the Junior School boys hockey starts in Year 3 and supports the development of the boys by introducing many of the pupils to the sport whilst developing their core skills. In Year 5 and 6 the boys play mini- hockey before progressing to full 11 aside matches at U14 and above.

We offer a full and competitive fixture lists against schools from across the region with matches taking place during the boy’s games sessions, after school and on a Saturday morning.

The school boasts an all-weather Astroturf pitch and has good club links with the local national league side Old Loughtonians Hockey Club, with access to their brand new Olympic training water base pitches for matches and games sessions. Chigwell has several England Hockey qualified coaches ranging from Level 1 to Level 3 among our dedicated members of staff. Our hockey professional is Chris Gladman an ex England international and England U18 Boys assistant coach, whilst head of boys hockey Will Tomsett is an EH Centrally Contracted Coach and England U16 Boys assistant coach.

The school regularly tours and most recently both the boys and girls hockey squads travelled to South Africa to compete in the Cape Town International U18 Hockey Festival.  A total of forty-six teams took part in the tournament which included schools from the UK, Namibia and South Africa. The aim of the tour for our pupils was threefold; to develop and improve their hockey, to embrace different cultures and new experiences, and to make friends through sport.

The tournament, was held across several spectacular venues in Cape Town each with their own backdrop of Table Mountain. It consisted of eight matches over nine days for both the boys and the girls.  Competing against several of the leading South African independent schools the pupils performed to an exceptional level and grew in confidence as the festival progressed.  Despite results not being the key criteria for success, the girls finished an impressive 14thplace out of 22 teams, whilst the boys finished a respectable 16th out of 24.  A measure of the development made by both squads was highlighted further in their final post tournament match against Outeniqua High School where both the team and individual performances were outstanding.

Away from the hockey pitch the squads experienced several once in a lifetime opportunity which proved to be the highlight of the tour for many pupils.  These included, a visit to Robben Island where pupils learnt about Nelson Mandela’s struggle against apartheid by a former inmate.

Meeting the local community at the Fisantekrall township and ‘making friends through sport’ at Welbedacht UCC Primary, where the pupils now wish to establish charity links providing sports kit and equipment in the future. The tour came to a superb conclusion at the Garden Route Game Lodge where pupils went out on both a dusk and dawn game drive to see the big five in spectacular surroundings.

The trip proved to be a resounding success due to the hard work of all staff and the exceptional behaviour of the Chigwell pupils both on and off the pitch.