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Girls tackle charity match head on��..

Published on isbi School News dated Wednesday 5th of March 2014

For six years now, girls from Oundle School's Sixth Form have joined together to play a game of Rugby in memory of former pupil, Thommy Purbrook and to raise money for The Thommy Purbrook General Scholarship Endowment Fund. This year's match took place on Sunday 2 March and so far has already raised around £1200.

Thommy's career at Oundle was tragically cut short when she died from meningitis whilst on a School trip to St Petersburg in December 2008. A scholarship fund was established by Thommy's parents, Clive and Belinda, with the intention of it being awarded to a child who, like Thommy, would take full advantage of the academic and extra-curricular opportunities that Oundle can offer. The first recipient is now at the School, in Thommy's old House, Sanderson.

Thommy's time at Oundle was marked by her enthusiasm, energy and determination and one of her many talents was Rugby she was Captain of the Girls' Rugby team.

For this year's match, the 1st XV Captain, Kirsty Ross-Stewart (17) and Emma Morse (18), a member of the Girls 1st XV rugby squad organised a team each. The teams consisted of girls from Kirkeby, Sanderson and Laxton Houses -v- Wyatt, Dryden and New Houses.

Kirsty and Emma commented, 'We had coaches from both the 1st and 2nd XV boys' squads, who taught all the girls who hadn't played before. Their input in training and during the match helped create a game in which girls demonstrated a lot of talent given some had only had a few weeks training."

The kit is always inventive and exciting, having been designed by the teams.

The funds raised (currently estimated at £1200) both on the day of the match and previously on an online donation page will as always go towards The Thommy Purbrook General Scholarship Endowment Fund.

The end result of the match was 10-5 to the Kirkeby, Sanderson and Laxton girls who proudly received The Thommy Purbrook Plate from Mr and Mrs Purbrook.

Kirsty and Emma concluded, 'Both teams put in a great performance - with skilled passing and tactics vs. strength and will-power. The atmosphere was fantastic and no doubt contributed to the stamina shown by the players. The help of the coaches and teachers helped us put the whole event together and it wouldn't have been a success without them. So far we have raised over £1,200 and hope to continue to raise more. Thank you to everyone who came to watch in the cold and donated and helped us out.'

Rugby coach, Ian Clark commented, 'The match was a tribute to the commitment of the girls, with some huge tackles and dogged defence. Both sides performed admirably, and thanks to the organisers and competitors for carrying on this important tradition.'

Thommy's father, Clive Purbrook, commented, 'As ever, a wonderful day both on and off the pitch, and the amount of money raised for Thommy's fund is fantastic. Belinda, Barney and myself are all very touched that the match played by the girls in Thommy's memory has become so firmly entrenched in the Schools' calendar, and is approached by the girls and everybody else who plays a part with such a fantastic spirit. The quality of the rugby on display was also a testament to the girls' talents.'

Headmaster, Charles Bush added, 'This occasion is always a wonderful festival of girls' rugby at Oundle, played in a carnival atmosphere, raising a huge amount for a very important charity. It also celebrates the excellent state of girls' rugby at Oundle which is so strong partly as a result of Thommy's massive contribution to the growth of the game. '

If you would like to make a donation you can do this online at:
Girls tackle charity match head on��..  - Photo 1Girls tackle charity match head on��..  - Photo 2
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