This Tuesday, 11 girls from Belmont competed in the U13 Girls Eton Fives Nationals – the largest team of girls that the school has ever taken to a National Fives Competition. Hannah Taylor-Yeates returned to the nationals for the 3rd consecutive year, being partnered at first pair by debutant Amelia Christou. All other 9 girls were making their first ever appearance at the National Championships, with some even playing their first ever competitive match for the school. Pairs consisted of Ella Fulberg with Mia Garrill, Nina Kocurova with Norah Tapia, Naomi Abehsera with Charlotte Collins and a trio of Priyasi Joshi, Sophia Grade and Mia Lloyd. This was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to partake in a full day’s worth of Fives against different schools from across the country, with the standard varying suitably to allow everyone to compete in a fairly matched contest. I was delighted to see such improvement from the team across the course of the day, with all girls being victorious in multiple matches; it was truly breathtaking to see the contrast in play from the beginning of the day to the end. Amelia and Hannah did phenomenally well to reach the Last 16 of the competition, and even ended up winning the 2nd place Final in Plate C – a truly remarkable achievement given that this was the first time the girls had been paired together competitively. Special mention must also go to Ella and Mia G who managed to reach the final of Plate A, narrowly missing out to an experienced Ipswich pair. The girls were an absolute credit to the school throughout the day not just regarding their excellent Fives play, but also the manner in which they conducted themselves in terms of resilience, sportsmanship and manners. It has been a pleasure for myself and Mr. Rennie to coach them thus far this year and I greatly look forward to further fixtures as the year progresses.