Category Archives: Sport

Ski Trip Blog – Day 5

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More glorious weather today (apologies, that may be getting boring to read each day!) and more fantastic skiing from all groups. The beginner groups carried on working on their parallel turns down some blue runs whilst all of the other groups continued to push themselves to progress even further on the slopes. All of the Interski instructors have commented on how well each group is doing and how impressed they are with the progress that they are making, which has been wonderful to hear.

After skiing we headed straight down into town to give the children some free time to explore and look around the local shops and, more importantly to them, the creperies and gelaterias! We then headed back to the hotel to get showered and ready for supper and then after supper headed out for some ice skating fun! A few children opted to stay in the hotel and get an early night instead of joining the ice skating activity as the busy days of skiing are catching up with them.

There are some thick clouds developing over the mountains tonight so we may not be lucky with glorious sunshine tomorrow but, as we are skiing, some more snow would certainly be a welcome sight!

For more photos, please go to the Photo Gallery

Lottie on Fire in Poland!

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Well done to Lottie, who is competing in U11 epee and foil at Challenge Wratislavia in Wroclaw, Poland, an international fencing competition held over 6 days, where children come to compete from all over the world, including India, Australia, Israel, South Africa, USA and all across Europe.

Lottie had a hard epee pool in the seeding round, winning 2 from 5 bouts with 130 competitors in her age group. She was promoted to the direct elimination and fought beautifully to come 63rd, taking out seeds ranked higher than her (including the 46th seed)!

She now has 2 days off before competing in the U11 foil on Sunday.


Ski Trip Blog – Day 4

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We really have been blessed with the most amazing weather so far this trip. Whilst today was the coldest day we’ve had, the sun was still shining beautifully for us.

We all had another action packed day today with all of the beginners now having been on the button lift and some of them even navigating some red runs! The most experienced group tackled some tricky black runs today and their instructor was more than impressed with how they all handled themselves. All of the other groups carried on fantastically taking on trickier runs and they have all commented that they feel as though their skiing is improving every day, which is brilliant.

After our day of skiing had finished and we had showered and dressed we all headed onto the bus to go to our bowling activity. Great fun was had at bowling and the children certainly enjoyed trying to beat their teachers which, unfortunately for us, most did…!

We have just had some very delicious roast pork for supper and everyone is now in bed sleeping soundly, building up some more energy for another action-packed day of skiing tomorrow.

For more photos please go to the Photo Gallery.

Ski Trip Blog – Day 3

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We woke up to more stunning weather in Courmayeur this morning! The sun was shining, the skies were clear and everyone was ready and raring to head up the mountain! When we arrived at the gondola to take us up the mountain there was a large group of professional skiers waiting to head up for a slalom race so there were lots of excited and inspired Pinewood children after our encounter.

Once we’d kitted up we then went our separate ways again. The beginner groups again headed to the ‘baby bowl’ where they continued perfecting their turns and one group even managed to go up a small slope on the button lift and skied down it! The other beginner group are also doing brilliantly and will be heading up on the button lift tomorrow!

Groups 2 – 5 all continued to work hard on the slopes taking on board lots of advice and improving their skiing whilst enjoying the prefect conditions.

When we got back from skiing we showered, dressed and tidied dorms for the ongoing dorm competition and then had a bit of relaxation time ahead of supper out tonight. We have just returned from a delicious supper at a pizzeria in town where we had lots of different pizzas to enjoy and some birthday celebrations for a few children with birthdays on the trip. The children are now settling down into bed ready for another day of skiing tomorrow.

For more photos please go to the Photo Gallery.


Ski Trip Blog – Day 2

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What a day we have all had! We all woke up very excited to hit the slopes so we got through breakfast quickly so we could get started! When we arrived on the mountain the weather was stunning; clear blue skies and lovely sunshine! We quickly booted up, collected our skis and met our fantastic instructors, then headed further up the mountain.

The different ability groups split off at this stage with the beginners heading up to the ‘baby bowl’ where they learnt how to go up a slope in a chair lift, put skis on, ‘scoot’ on one ski, get into a snow plough position and then start skiing down a small slope as well as adding in some turns and jumps! Everyone made brilliant progress and we’re looking forward to seeing this continue tomorrow.

The Level 2 children refreshed their skills and started doing some gentle skiing. Level 3 again refreshed their skills and then started on the slopes, and Levels 4 and 5 headed straight onto the slopes whilst receiving advice on how to improve their technique. All the children did fantastically and the Interski instructors were very impressed with their attitudes and abilities.

Once skiing had finished for the day (we of course stopped for lunch in the sunshine in between the skiing!) we headed down the mountain to our first of two activities – ‘bum boarding’! The children all enjoyed sliding down a few slopes on their rubber boards and then we all walked into Courmayeur town for a trip to the local gelato shop! As you can imagine, this went down very well with the children and after they had had their ice cream they were given some free time to wander around the shops and were gently encouraged to look for potential gifts for families at home (we did our best for you all!).

We have just had another delicious 3 course supper, the Middle School children are tucked up in bed (8:45pm) and the Upper School children are taking part in a quiz organised by Interski. Needless-to-say, everyone is very excited for their second day of skiing tomorrow so fingers crossed for more stunning weather!

For more photos from the trip, please go to the Photo Gallery. 

Ski Trip Blog – Day 1


After a long day travelling we finally arrived in Courmayeur at 2pm. We were dropped off at the hotel where we met Lauren and Izzy, our InterSki coordinators, and had a delicious lunch of lasagne. We then split into Middle and Upper School groups, with the Middle School group heading up the mountain in a gondola, which was the first gondola journey for some and was very exciting, whilst the Upper School settled into their rooms. The Middle School children got kitted up and then headed back down the mountain to settle into their rooms whilst the other group headed up the mountain to get suited and booted! Yesterday evening we had a delicious 3 course supper followed by singing a big Happy Birthday to Miss Parris and getting an early night (all in bed with lights out by 9:00!). Lots of very excited faces ready to hit the slopes on Monday!

Due to a slight technical issue, I’m afraid there are no photos from Sunday, but we will make sure there are lots of photos from Monday’s skiing!

Good Luck Fencers!

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Good luck to our international fencers, Lottie and Ben, who are travelling to Wroclaw, Poland later this week to compete at Challenge Wratislavia, an international fencing competition held over 6 days.  Children come from all over the world, including India, Australia, Israel, South Africa, USA and all across Europe, to compete in U11, U13 and U15 age groups in the disciplines of foil, epée and sabre. With over 200 fencers in each age category it truly is an international event. Ben – last year’s U11 No1 GB fencer will be competing at foil, whilst Lottie will be competing in foil and epée in the U11 age group.  Good luck and I look forward to seeing you out there!

Neil Bromley


Pinewood Pupils Qualify for National Fencing Finals

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Pinewood made history at the Southern Regional Championships and British Youth Finals qualifiers over the weekend. Ben is the first of our pupils to qualify in two weapons, having won bronze in Sabre at U12 today and previously winning the Foil event held earlier in the year.

He will be joined in Sheffield by Epée bronze medalist Zac and Lottie, who finished fifth in Epée, even though it is her second weapon and first proper competition with it. She becomes the first Pinewood girl to qualify for the British National Championship Finals.

Well done to you all!

England Fencing Youth Development Team Selection

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Last weekend saw Zac (Year 7) take part in a trial session to assess his fencing capability at national level, having been spotted at the Southern Region Championships by an England Coach.  As a result he is now a member of the England Youth Development Team, ‘Tomorrow’s Achievers’. To gain this opportunity he was put through a series of testing fitness and blade skill exercises, as well as having to demonstrate his fencing ability through competitive bouts against several older existing members.

Tomorrow’s Achievers will provide Zac with the opportunity to train with some of the country’s best young fencers.  They will work on all aspects of his fencing, including warm-up, stretching, competition strategy, footwork and blade work.  He will be training on a monthly basis with a network of coaches, who have between them developed many British Champions and who themselves have competed on the British, European and International stage.

The coaching he receives at Tomorrow’s Achievers is designed to complement the development he receives at Pinewood and Swindon Fencing Club.

Coach Neil Bromley said “Zac has reached the stage where he needs to increase his training to challenge his fencing further.  Tomorrow’s Achievers is the next step offering him this opportunity whilst supporting his continued development in the sport.  I’m thrilled he has been selected”.

Headmaster, Philip Hoyland said “At Pinewood we nurture talent and seek to understand each child as an individual, in and out of the classroom as well as in team and individual sports. Zac is excelling in fencing and his promotion into the England Development environment is testament to the hard work both he and Neil have put into fencing.  Very well done Zac!”

Zac said “I was really pleased to be asked by an existing England Coach to go along and have my fencing assessed.  Finding out I am now part of the England Development Squad is incredible and is pushing me to become the best fencer I can be”.