Oakham School World Tour 2001

It is a tradition over the August month for our school sports' teams to go abroad on a sporting tour. Many countries have been the destination for our pupils but perhaps one of the most exciting and lengthy tours in recent history has been the 2001 World Tour.

This tour saw three sporting teams take part: rugby, hockey and netball. In total, 45 pupils went on the trip along with six members of staff, the Chairman of Trustees (Tom White) and then headmaster, Anthony Little.

Among the staff members who attended the tour were Brian Welford, Tour Manager & Senior Master; Jenny Welford, Nurse;  Charles Welch, Rugby Coach; Phil Corbin, Assistant Rugby Coach; Jo Welch, Netball Coach; Claire Ryan, Hockey Coach.

The tour kicked off on the 18th July when the excited teams flew from Heathrow to Cape Town, South Africa. Whilst there, the teams had several training sessions and matches against local teams such as Hermanus H. S. Yet it wasn’t just sports that the pupils experienced. A thrilling cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain, trips to the Cape of Good Hope Nature reserve and Lesedi, and exploring the local towns of Cape Town and Johannesburg, were on the scheduled events list. 

Leg two saw a long haul flight to Australia, landing in Perth on the 28th July. More matches had been scheduled against teams such as Corpus Christi College, Perth School and Galston High School. The rugby team, in fact, beat Corpus Christi 3 – 64, an incredible score. The netball team beat their rivals of Corpus Christi and Galston, and the Hockey team also won their matches 0-3 (Corpus Christi) and 0 – 7 (Galston). Some of the leisure time in Australia included visits to Swan River and Rottnest Island, the Rocks area of Sydney – said to be the birthplace of modern Australia, and sightseeing in Perth.

Seb Smith and Mark at Sydney Zoo.

The penultimate stop on the tour came on the 5th August when the teams were flown to Auckland, New Zealand. Against our New Zealander opponents, Hauaki, the rugby team won 31 – 0 and the netball team also claimed a victory with a score of 25 – 37. The travellers had a busy day exploring tourist sites on the 6th August when they visited Whakarewarewa Maori centre, Waiotapu Thermal Park, Rainbow Springs and the Agrodome.

Like all good things, the tour had to come to an end and this trip's ending was in Fiji. Arriving at Nadi, pupils enjoyed a variety of water sports, cruises on Tui Tai, a trip to Beachcomber Island, and a farewell party. The sports teams' incredible forms continued with wins against Nadi School: Rugby 0 – 39, Netball 25 – 37, and Hockey 0-4.

The solo hockey player in the top left picture is C. Steele.

Nearly a month of travelling, playing sport and exploring the world must have been such an exciting opportunity for all of the pupils and staff involved. We look forward to seeing what the students get up to during their trips this summer! 

Please do let us know if you were part of this tour or have any memories. Alternatively, do get in touch if you perhaps visited any of these places on a different school trip. We love hearing from you.

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