1st February 2015
Match marks the opening of the Ken Waydelin Hockey Pitch
Old Biltonian Team hold England O50s to a 2-2 draw in closely fought match
Bilton Grange Preparatory School today hosted an unique hockey match, featuring the England O50s Hockey Squad against an Old Biltonian team, to mark the opening of the Ken Waydelin Hockey Pitch which has been built within the school’s Pugin Walled Garden.
Olympic Bronze Medallist Georgie Twigg, and GB Hockey star Tom Carson were also invited along, and the pupils were lucky enough to enjoy a coaching session not just from Tom and Georgie, but also from the England Squad coaches.
Spectators, including the Mayor of Rugby and Old Biltonians from across the generations, braved snow and arctic winds to enjoy a closely fought match, which saw both sides play hard until the final whistle. The final score, 2-2, reflects that it was a very equally matched game, although towards the end of the match the younger legs of the Old Biltonian Team ensured that they dominated, with several shots at goal well defended by the O50s. The OB goals were scored by Harry Carr and Lukas Lakin, and the England goals by Jeff Longdon and Phil Cobbold.
Paul Nicholson, Deputy Headmaster of Bilton Grange is a current member of the O50s England Squad, and had (fortunately) been chosen by the England selectors for this match! The opposition included a number of pupils he had taught – including Mimi Tarrant and Ollie Rogerson, current members of the U18 and U16 England Squads. The Old Biltonian team was a sharp match for the O50s England Hockey Squad, and featured pupils from across several decades.
The pitch is located in truly spectacular surroundings, within the only Walled Garden ever designed by renowned architect AW Pugin. The pitch has been made possible by an incredible fund raising effort over several years, and the opening ceremony was an opportunity not just to celebrate the wonderful facility, but also to thank the many donors who had made it possible.
Headmaster Alex Osiatynski, commented;
“To mark the opening with such a match between an England Hockey team and an Old Biltonian team, truly marks a momentous day in the history of Bilton Grange. This hockey pitch, in the stunning location of the Pugin Walled Garden, will play host to many memorable matches, of which today’s was just the first.
“I would like to thank the many people who have made this possible, with their donations. As a school we will go ahead now with an unrivalled facility that enables our pupils to play truly great hockey.
“Ken Waydelin was an international hockey player who was the longest ever serving master at Bilton Grange. He inspired many generations of Biltonians to play hockey, and his name will now live on in the minds of current and future pupils, as Bilton Grange hockey goes from strength to strength.”
Photos to follow shortly.