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OS News – June

Shay Waterworth wins 2019 Alan Lodge Writing Award

Shay Waterworth (H 07-12) has been named the Alan Lodge Young International Drinks Writer of the Year 2019 following a close competition praised for its high-calibre of entries.

The competition, now in its seventh year, received more entries than ever before. Shay works as website editor at trade title Drinks International, which is the only magazine devoted exclusively to the global spirits, wines and beers market. Shay walked away with the award after impressing the panel with his great sense of storytelling, colourful style and in-depth knowledge.

“It’s fantastic to win this award, not only for myself but the whole team at Drinks International,” he said. “I think it’s great that this award exists because it’s encouraging the next generation of young writers and hopefully it will continue to leave a lasting legacy for the Lodge family.”

The award was launched in memory of Alan Lodge, the late deputy editor of The Spirits Business. It invites international spirits, wine, beer and cocktail writers under the age of 35 to submit three pieces of writing for assessment.

This year the competition was judged by Becky Paskin, editor of scotchwhisky.com; Emily Harris, director of May Fox Communications; and Neil Ridley, drinks writer and presenter.

Paskin said: “Shay has a natural affinity for storytelling. His confident yet humble tone and journalistic nose for thoroughly exploring a subject add an authoritative weight to his writing, while his ability to create intrigue and suspense elicits a hungry curiosity. This is a writer that the judges have seen grow year after year. A worthy winner, with a very promising career in drinks writing ahead of him.”

Harris added: “I am delighted to see Shay’s writing talent recognised in this year’s award. He has shown his feature writing to be consistently strong, engaging and brilliantly put together. His talent to engage his reader in a variety of subjects across the drinks industry has really shone – a much deserved winner.”

Waterworth was presented with his award at a ceremony during the London Wine Fair. Click here to read the full article from The Spirits Business magazine. Well done Shay!


Fraser Precious Wins at International Film Festival

Congratulations to Fraser Precious (W 01-06) who recently took home the prize of Best Actor at the Nice International Film Festival. Having spent the past 5 years developing his life story into his award-winning short film, ‘A Precious Life‘, which he wrote, produced, directed and starred in, Fraser was in Los Angeles earlier this month for development talks to produce a big budget feature film version of the same title. The film carries very important life messages with the hope of raising much needed awareness for mental health and homeless communities as well as giving a real insight into the classical world and power of music. Click here to see his interview with ITV News earlier this year.


Becky Glen Earns Sixth International Cap for Scotland

A big congratulations to Becky Glen (R 07-12) who has been selected for the Scottish Women’s Cricket squad to travel to Murcia, Spain, for the ICC Women’s Qualifier Europe 2019 between Germany, Netherlands and Scotland. The qualifying tournament, from 26th-29th June, will be in Twenty20 International and double round-robin format. Regardless of their result, Scotland will automatically qualify for the next round as it has been confirmed as host nation for the final stage of the Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament in September, the prelude to the 2020 ICC Women’s World Cup. Good luck Becky!


George Hill Pens First Professional Contract


Congratulations to current first team captain George Hill (W) who has signed his first professional contract with Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

Hill has been playing for the Yorkshire Academy side for the last two years. He also made his second-team debut in 2017.

It has been a brilliant year for Hill. Having been announced as club captain before the start of the School year, Hill has gone on to represent the England Young Lions on tour in Bangladesh earlier this year. This came off the back of being part of a winter training camp that travelled out to India in December.

Back in March, Hill received the Cricket Society’s Wetherall Award for the best all-round School’s Cricketer. Travelling down to The Oval, he received his award from former England fast bowler Devon Malcolm before speaking brilliantly to those in attendance.

“I’m unbelievably pleased,” said Hill. “It’s kind of cliched but every cricketers dream is to be able to play cricket professionally, something that I’ve loved since being a kid. To be able to fulfil that and do it as a job is just incredible. Hill made a notable mention to Our Head of Cricket, Martin Speight who has coached Hill from the age of 12. “He has been hugely influential on me being where I am today.”

Hill is one of several promising young players that Yorkshire County Cricket Club have retained including fellow Winderian Harry Brook (W 13-17). Click here to read the full article from the Sedbergh School website.


Andy Symonds Wins Silver For Team GB at World Trail Championships

Well done to Andy Symonds (H 92-99) (second right) who was part of the 6-strong British team that picked up Silver at the 2019 IAU Trail World Championships on Saturday, 8 June in Portugal. The race this year, the 9th edition, was run over a varied 44.2km (27.5-mile) course, with 2200m of climb, on the trails near Miranda do Corvo in central Portugal. Andy finished 33rd overall and was the 4th Brit home. Click here for more information.


Hodge, Redpath and Hill shine in World U20 Championships

OS Josh Hodge (P 10-18) and Cameron Redpath (S 16-18) both featured heavily in the England squad for the World U20 Championships in Santa Fe, Argentina, this month. Full-back Josh Hodge was a particular standout, finishing with 63 points to his name and making him the leading point-scorer of the tournament, 11 points clear of second place. His tally included 24/24 successful conversions and two terrific tries, including this spectacular solo effort from end-to-end during England’s final win over Wales.

In their opening game, England went down 42-26 to Ireland after suffering two yellows and a red card, before a fantastic, long-range late penalty from Hodge gave England a crucial 24-23 win over Italy in their second game. Despite a resounding 56-33 win over Australia in their final group game, where Hodge converted 8 tries, Australia advanced to the Semifinals as group champions, with three bonus points to England’s one. In the 5th to 8th place knockout stage, England again took on Ireland in Rosario, this time avenging their earlier defeat with a 30-23 win, thanks to a 20-point contribution off the boot of Hodge and an early try of his own. England claimed a fifth-place finish with a 45-26 win over Wales, cementing a fourth consecutive victory and excellent 2019 campaign. Click here for a full recap of results.


Meanwhile, congratulations to last year’s Head of House Jack Hill (SH 16-18), who was called up to represent Scotland at the same U20 World Championships. Jack featured in a respectable 52-33 loss to a tough New Zealand side. As previously mentioned, Jack will also be attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro later this year for charity. He can be supported via his fundraising page here.


Edward Armitage Shines for UAE at Asia Rugby Championships


Congratulations to scrum half Edward Armitage (S 06-11) who recently returned from Thailand where he represented the UAE National Rugby Team in the Asia Rugby Championships. The side scored an emphatic 82-7 win over Guam and then another resounding 50-12 victory over Thailand in the Final to gain promotion to Division One next year.


Edward was one of seven international rugby players to represent the UAE from the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club, who also help coach and encourage younger age grade rugby players as well. “I couldn’t have done it without the rugby education I got from the likes of Michael Raw and Danny Harrison,” he said. Click here for more information from the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club.


Bob Birtwell and Nathan Morris Represent England Counties

Two OS are were called up to the England Counties side to face the Georgian 1st XV in a two match tour in Kutaisi and Tbilisi on June 7th and June 11th. Robert (Bob) Birtwell (left) (P 02-07) of Lancashire (Sedgley Park) and Nathan Morris (right) (W 06-11) of Kent (Old Elthamians) were two of 24 players named to represent the flagship team which offers players from National League One and below the opportunity to represent their country. England edged out the opening match 28-15 at the AIA Arena in Kutaisi, and in the second and final game led 23-14 before a late penalty and converted try saw the hosts triumph by a solitary point. Nathan was making his debut appearance for the Counties while Bob, who earlier this month was named Senior County Player of the Year at the Lancashire Rugby Awards, was making his third successive. Congratulations to both!


Young Gun- Sale Sharks lock Rouban Birch

Rouban Birch (H 16-18) admits he couldn’t believe his luck when it was announced that South Africa second row superstar Lood De Jager would be joining Sale Sharks next season.

Many players might see the arrival of a seasoned Springbok international as a threat. However, after spending last season on loan at Preston Grasshoppers while playing for Sale Jets and enjoying first team game-time in the Premiership Cup, 19-year-old lock Birch is ecstatic. He said: “Before he signed, we still had the likes of Bryn Evans, who’s an ex-All Black, and Josh Beaumont, who’s played for England, so to have a signing of the calibre of De Jager as well is amazing and it’s something I’ve got to make sure I take full advantage of.

“I don’t see it as a threat to me at all. In fact, as the youngest second row at Sale by a number of years I’ve just got to use it to better myself and keep learning. I’ll be like a sponge and will soak it all in while I get better physically so I can match-up against those guys.”

It’s that sort of head-screwed-on attitude that persuaded Stockport-born Birch to leave home at 16 and move to the renowned Sedbergh School, with whom the former Stockport, Wilmslow and Lymm RFC junior claimed Daily Mail Cup and Rosslyn Park 7s honours. He explained: “I’d been playing U16s rugby for Sale but managed to get offered a scholarship at Sedbergh. It’s tough to leave home but it’s one of those things where if I wanted to progress my career and make it professionally, I had to make sacrifices.

“It’s one of the best things I did and, after playing wing during my junior days, it helped me enhance my effectiveness at lock. After finishing at Sedbergh last year and returning to Sale, I’ve been playing for Preston Grasshoppers as well and that’s been amazing. Click here to read the full article from The Rugby Paper.


Alex Moon Starts in Premiership Semifinal

Well done to Alex Moon (W 12-15) who last month featured in the the Northampton Saints Semifinal game against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park Stadium. In front of a near capacity crowd of 12,000 spectators, the Saints went down 40-12 to the hosts, but it was nonetheless a terrific season for the Saints to make the final four of the Gallagher Premiership, which is the top division of English rugby. Alex was one of ten academy players to make their debuts for the senior team of Northampton Saints this 2018/2019 season.


Congratulations to fly-half Johnny McPhillips (W 10-15) who has recently been signed to Leicester Tigers.

The 22-year-old has made 24 appearances for Ulster in the last two seasons after playing a leading role in the Ireland Under-20s squad that reached the World Junior Championships Final in 2016. Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “Johnny was very well regarded as a young player in the Irish system and he has gained some good experience of senior rugby with Ulster.

“He has the ability to play at fly-half, centre and full-back, which adds to our options along the backline. He is a very bright young player, he is keen to make progress in the game and we’ll be delighted to welcome him on board this summer.” McPhillips, who was born in Newcastle, played his early rugby at Sedbergh School and was capped at Under-18 level by England before moving to Belfast.

He said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining such a prestigious club like Leicester Tigers. To be able to play at Welford Road and challenge myself in a new environment full of established and exciting young players is something I’m really looking forward to. “I can’t wait to get started and look forward to developing my game under Geordan Murphy and the coaching team next season.” Click here for the full article from Leicester Tigers.


It has been another incredible year for Sedbergh’s rugby players. See above for a list of players who have represented at an international level within the last 12 months. Well done to all!