Full House: Charterhouse and Oxford University Promote Eton Fives

Alex Knight reports:

05/12/19: Even a late afternoon shower couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm at Charterhouse School last Wednesday (27th November), when a visiting trio from Oxford University Women’s Fives team joined pupils and staff in a wonderful event that saw all eight courts filled, mainly with female players.

The event was expertly marshalled by Master in Charge, John Troy, who, with the help of new Director of Girl’s Sport, Nicola Edwards, had arranged for OU captain Marjolaine Briscoe, Freya Butler, and Eton Fives newbie Alix Quersonnier, to coach/play with the girls and boys, and demonstrate what a fantastic game Eton Fives can be.

A crucial aim of the event was to show that boys and girls can compete on an equal footing, and Marjolaine took part in an exhibition game against the school’s first pair, Hector Platt and Jamie Marmion (an early replacement for the injured Fin Mclellan), where, in partnership with coach Oliver Callaghan-Brown, she did just that, winning in a fast-paced and high quality encounter. On witnessing Marjolaine in action, one female pupil was heard to comment “Wow – that’s quite a different (standard of) game to the one I’ve been playing!”

Additional expertise was ‘on hand’ from Holyport College’s Master in Charge, Faye Kerr, who had a cracking game against the Oxford pair of Freya and Alix, and although many of the girls taking part had not played a game of Fives before, by the end of the session most were able to sustain a rally and were clearly having a lot of fun. Special thanks to Nicola and the other Charterhouse staff, who were not only willing to put on gloves and have a go, but who also dried out courts that would otherwise have been unplayable, using an effective but unusual process involving sawdust!

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