OVA Sports and Music Reunions – Saturday 22nd June
Saturday saw the annual Sports Reunion running alongside a new evening event, the inaugural Music Reunion.
| || Tom Greenwood , John-Paul Shanahan , Bobby Arif , Sam Wallis , Ben Woodford , Seb Heley , Amit Chudasama , Adam Titchen , Chris Whitehouse , Navraj Degun , Laura Groves, Benedict Newman , Reiss Chahal , Jem Richardson-Jones |
| || Rowing, Red House, Purple House, Netball, White House, Music, Hockey, OVA, Gold House, Rugby, Blue House, Cricket |
The day started at 10.00am at Wynldey Leisure Centre with the very first inclusion of Squash. Mr Tom Greenwood, OV2009 and Geography Teacher at BVGS was instrumental in getting thirteen staff, students and alumni together to play two fixtures each against comparatively ranked players. The school team led by number-1 seed Karim Samir were victorious winning 7.5 to 5.5.
Activities then moved over to the school site with Hockey, Tennis and Cross-Country all starting at 12.00pm. The introduction of an inflatable pub, run by new Corporate Partner The Rootless Pub and a professional BBQ were both popular with all of the attendees.
It was also the first year where cross-country has been included as part of the day, with OV(1992) Elliot Lane challenging Year-9 students Jack Wakefield. Completing two laps of the school field, Jack finished first in a time of just over 12-minutes, with George coming in second and Elliot third.
Tennis saw six students take on six alumni in doubles and singles matches across four courts. Many of the games went to tiebreakers, with the alumni team of Steve Kelsall, Graham Fleet, Nguyen Deng, Tom Parkes, Chris Wheat and Freddie Goodrham winning 7-2. Star players were the doubles ‘trio’ of Steve Kelsall, Nguyen Dang and Graham Fleet who won all of their games. Tom Parkes OV2018 also won a tight match against younger brother George Parkes from Year-11.
The annual hockey fixture also went the way of the alumni team with a 6-3 victory. OV2004 Ralph Brocklebank scored several goals with Nikesh Patel and Mark Page also to the fore of an impressive team performance. Vesey were made to pay by not having a recognised goalkeeper, with French Teacher and OV2008 Jack Grant filling in between the sticks, the first time he has played hockey since circa 2005!
1.00pm saw the start of the annual Old Boys vs. 1st XI fixture, as well as a second fixture involving a 2nd XI play against the Elephant Wanderers (an local invitational side made up of Old Veseyans and members of Veseyans Rugby Club). In a break from tradition, the school 1st XI were asked to bat first, with Year-10 Sachin Dubb dispatching the early bowling all over the ground. A spate of wickets then saw Vesey reduced to 55/4 before the middle order of Mithun Padmanabhan (52), Daniel Black and Ben Pagett (34) went about rebuilding things to give Vesey a total of 184ao from their 35-overs.
The opening Old Boys pairing of Sam Irvine (OV2004) and Amit Chudasama (OV2001) got off to a flying start leading the chase to 80-0. A couple of quick wickets followed, before Monty Foley-Williamson (OV2014) joined Chudasama at the crease and took the Old Boys to within 60-runs of victory with 8-wickets remaining. Some fantastic bowling from Vesey’s youngsters managed to turn the momentum of the game, with Shailan Srikanthan (3-wickets), Louis Cole (2-wickets) and Arjun Bala (1-wicket) ripping through the Old Boys middle-order and tailenders, coming up 12-runs short at the end of 35-overs for the loss of 9-wickets.
The 2nd XV game with Elephant Wanderers was also competitive with the 2nd XV batting first. Rajveer Chauhan starred with 70NO batting through the innings and the school side came up victors by 20-runs.
2.00pm saw the star of both netball and touch-rugby. It was fantastic to see netball being part of the day once again having not taken place for a couple of years. After a blistering start from the Old Girls, a comfortable half-time lead was wiped out with the school 1st VII sneaking victory 29-28!
The second instalment of Touch-Rugby was played by eight teams, with three Veseyans Rugby sides, three school sides and two Old Boys teams. Two groups of four led to teams being ranked 1-4 following their three group fixtures. The Class of 2009, captained by Tom Greenwood won Group 2 fairly convincingly however Group 1 was decided by the last moment of the last group game between the Class of 2017 and the school 1st XV. A contentious try decided the tie in sudden death extra-time with the Class of 2017 qualifying for the final. In an end to end game, the Class of 2017 featuring Laurie Harries, Reiss Chahal, Zach Davison, Rosharn Robinson and Kyle Ambris won the final 3-2.
All in all, a hugely successful sports reunion with hundreds of people attending the various elements throughout the day. Thank you to everyone that supported the event, as well as all of the staff and young leaders who facilitated all of the activities throughout the day.
If that wasn’t enough for a day, the inaugural Music Reunion was then held in Big School on the evening, with doors opening for over one hundred guests at 6.15pm for a 7.00pm start. Seven Old Veseyans returned to school to take part in the concert alongside 22 BVGS students and nine contacts of Director of Music Ashley Buxton dubbed as All Star guests.
BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year OV2015 Xhosa Cole was the headline act and the saxophonist opened proceedings with a rendition of T-Bone Shuffle, with a number of vocal performances making up the first half of the concert. Next up was OV2018 Freddie Goodrham who sang hits from Whitney Houston, the Fray and Elvis Presley. Oxford University Choral Scholar and OV2017 Jemima Richardson-Jones then performed three pieces from Schubert before Ben Woodford OV2015 sang Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Miserables. Ben was followed on to stage by current student Jeevan Braich, who despite only being in Year-8 gave two fantastic renditions of Yesterday be The Beatles and I’m not the only one by Sam Smith. OV2012 Georgina Jones was the final solo artist, showcasing her fabulous musical theatre voice with performances from Evita and Puccini’s La Boheme. The first half of the concert was then wrapped up with an alumni and students choir performing Slaves Chorus from Verdi’s Nabucco.
The second half saw the school jazz band, The Funky Bishops perform five pieces, with Xhosa Cole guesting at various points throughout. The All Star Funky Bishops, made up of a mixture of BVGS Staff, students, alumni and local musicians then performed several songs to complete the evening.
With both dates being such a resounding success, the school have set the date for the 2020 editions already. They will both be on the same day again, Saturday 20th June at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School.