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31st July 2023

sport&me with Eric

The sport&me series of blogs looks at Oakham School pupils’ relationship with sport. We ask how their sport has developed during their time at Oakham, how it fits into their busy lives and what they love about the sports they play.

Form 6 pupil Eric is a keen hockey player. He joined Oakham School in Lower 1 in 2016.


Eric’s Story

I joined Oakham in Peterborough House in Form 1 and came up through Middle and Upper School in Wharflands. Now I’m excited to move up into School House for Form 7.

I’ve always been a keen hockey player, especially throughout my time at Oakham. I was lucky enough to captain the A team in Form 5.


Hockey at Oakham

I began as a midfielder until moving up the pitch to a forward when advancing into the 1st XI last year.

Throughout Lower School, we competed in both county and regional tournaments, coming first or second for three years running.

After coming back from Covid and the lockdowns, we reached the semi-finals of the national cup second tier, winning every game up to that point.


Love for Hockey

Hockey is a great sport for building friendships. Training is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with extra sessions sometimes taking place if needed.

At 1st XI level, both Mr Cooper and Mr Prosser are coaches who work well together in developing different elements of my game.

Matt Taylor, a well-established coach, also came in and helped with training which allowed for much more personal coaching in smaller groups, which I think helped my and the team’s development.


Memorable Match

Playing against Bromsgrove in the semi-final of the national Schools Championship second tier was a memorable moment for me.

We lost 2-0. They beat us on the counter attack and we couldn’t put anything away that day.

Although a painful loss, we learnt a lot from the experience, and it was great to play at that level.


Other Sports

I have also played rugby and cricket in school and enjoy playing golf in my free time.

Oakham has allowed me to focus on hockey, but also enjoy and develop in these other sports throughout each year.


Balancing Sport & Academic as a Weekly Boarder

Coaches here are very understanding of the fact that this is a school, so there have been times where I have had to miss training to complete some work or go to an extra lesson outside of the normal times.

My Housemaster and coaches are also always in communication and work around each other well, so I can play sport as well as get all my work done.

I board throughout the week, so often my mates and I go out onto the pitches and play football or hockey in the evenings. It’s always nice to have some social sport in your life too.


Advice for Younger Pupils

The facilities that Oakham School offers and the opportunities that are available will help make you a better hockey player.

So I guess just make the most of it all whilst you can – I know it benefited me a lot.

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