Oakham is one of the top hockey-playing schools in the country, both for boys and girls, thanks to our excellent facilities and the exceptional standard of coaching we provide. Led by our Director of Hockey, James Bateman, who has recently been selected to take part in the European Hockey Federation’s ‘Top Coaches Programme’, our team of dedicated and highly qualified coaches include Matt Taylor, Director of Hockey at MT13 and Nottingham University and Jamie Cachia, Head Coach of Durham University and Goalkeeper Coach with the Great Britain Elite Development Programme.
We embrace a philosophy of sport for all alongside the pursuit of excellence, and as a result, our teams enjoy considerable success in league and cup games: Our U18, U16 and U14 Girls and Boys teams compete in the Tier 1 National Cup competitions, regularly making it to the final 8 stage of the competition. In 2018 the U18 boys have placed second in the Country after having won silver medals in the Indoor and Outdoor National Finals. Their achievement follows their success as runners up in the Outdoor National Finals in 2016. Meanwhile our U18 Girls regularly rank in the top 15. Both the U16 boys and girls are reigning County Champions along with our successful U13 Girls and Boys who regularly compete in the National Finals.
Girls’ hockey is our main Winter Term sport and for boys it is the Spring Term, with our performance players competing over both terms. We field hockey teams from 1st XI to U11 level for girls and boys and fixtures include schools, clubs, universities and national competitions.
Individual player development is of paramount importance to our hockey programme, making Oakham a superb choice for any student who wishes to play top school and club hockey. Access to our own Skills Academy, County and Regional Performance Centres, Men’s and Women’s National League Clubs and a highly competitive school fixture list deliver an exciting, dynamic, and progressive hockey programme for our players.
Our most talented players have the opportunity to practise and play at Beeston Hockey Club, or Leicester Hockey Club, two of the top National League clubs in the country. This link gives our performance players access to two-term hockey at a club with international standard facilities and coaching. In addition, we provide support to our players through Physiotherapy provision and our Strength and Conditioning programme, where we help our pupils to develop the physical aspects of their game. Beyond Oakham, players have gone on to play hockey for a number of top clubs, including TSV Mannheim in Germany, Rotterdam in Holland, and Reading, Clifton and Holcombe in the UK.
Touring is an important element in our training programme and we run regular overseas pre-season tours – most recently to Holland (girls) and Barcelona, Spain (boys). A highlight for many is the major overseas sports tour that Oakham runs every three years, most recently to South Africa.
I joined Oakham in 2013 as a Sports Fellow, having previously studied Sport & Exercise Science at Sheffield Hallam University. I have since then completed my PGCE and became a teacher of PE in 2015. I have been Director of Hockey since 2016 and I am a tutor in Barrow House. My coaching experience includes Head Coach of the Silver Medal winning England Blue Girls team at the UK School Games; Head Coach of the Mercia Lynx U16 Girls team, who won the Silver Medal in 2015 and 2016; Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) Mentor for England Hockey; Assistant Coach for England U16 Girls and England Hockey Talent Development Coach.