School Sport: Coopers pupils serve up treat at finals

10:30 21 March 2014

Coopers Coborn finished fifth at the national tennis finals

Coopers Coborn finished fifth at the national tennis finals


Senior tennis squad impress on national stage

Coopers pupils interviewed Paralympians Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell via SkypeCoopers pupils interviewed Paralympians Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell via Skype

Coopers Coborn’s senior boys tennis team proved themselves among the best in the country at the National Finals at Bolton.

Having topped their local league and won through four regional ties, Coopers took on eventual champions Rugby School in their first match.

And wins from Leon Philbert and Harry Cannons in singles and doubles ensured honours finished even at 3-3, before Cannons and Alec Roeper lost a tense tiebreak 11-9.

It was a similar story in their second match against Yarm School, as Cannons and Roeper won singles rubbers, with Cannons and Philbert successful in the doubles in another 3-3 draw.

Cannons and Roeper were pipped again in the tiebreak and Coopers faced top seeds Dr Challoners Grammar in their next match on day two.

Singles wins for Cannons and Philbert, plus doubles success for the duo, ensured a third successive 3-3 draw before Coopers came out on top in the tiebreak.

Cannons and Roeper combined to good effect, dominating play with some excellent attacks at the net and a superb lob from the latter helping to clinch a 10-3 win.

Coopers finished fifth overall and assistant head Mark Duncan said: “The tournament was certainly the closest national final event I’ve been involved with so far.

“The national title could have gone to any one of five teams there. The boys mustered every amount of energy they could, showing true determination and commitment to the school.

“They ended the competition as the top state school in the country on a fantastic weekend of high-class sport.

“For Gopal Saggo and Alec Roeper, it was their last ever tennis match for the school and a great way to finish.

“Their commitment to the sport over the past seven years has been exceptional and I would like to thank them for their outstanding contributions.”

n A group of year eight pupils got to interview former Coopers student Caroline Powell and visually impaired skier Jade Etherington via Skype last week.

The duo won four medals at the Winter Paralympics and were questioned on their achievements.

Mark Duncan said: “Caroline left Coopers in 2012 and was a highly committed student. She studied A-Level PE at the school and managed to combine her intense training on the slopes, competing in competitions across Europe and her academic studies.

“Caroline was an absolute pleasure to teach and it is so inspiring seeing her now as a guide to Jade. We’ve been highlighting the incredible trust between the two of them. It very much reflects our own motto; ‘Love as Brethren.’

“The year eight students, who are part of the BBC School Report project, devised some excellent open-ended questions to gain an insight into their successful partnership and performance.

“The whole school community has been inspired by their success and the year eights were very excited to speak to Caroline and Jade - even more so when they saw their report published on the BBC website.”

n Coopers pupil Ben Eastman has been nominated for the prestigious David Welch student sportswriter of the year award, sponsored by the Daily Telegraph and Sports Journalists’ Association.

“To be nominated is fantastic, especially as Ben is the only student at secondary school level. The other nominees are all from Universities including Oxford, Durham, Exeter and York. We wish him every success.”

To read Ben’s entry, and the other undergraduate pieces, go to


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