Over Term 1 we have witnessed standout performances from many of our Walford sporting teams, including many personal bests from students and teams, the continued long term development of students, and the application of our Walford Sport Values – Character, Commitment, Community, and Energy. This term has seen the culmination of the summer season with Head of the River in Week 7 and Summer Intercols against St Peter’s Girls’ School in Week 9. Walford was triumphant winning the Summer Intercols 3 – 2.
This year our inaugural intake of twenty four students commenced in the Walford High Performance Sport Academy. Our Academy athletes are made up from various sporting backgrounds including Cricket, Australian Rules Football, Softball, Equestrian, Water Polo, Ice Skating, and Hockey to name a few. Our students have set the foundations of the program this term, accessing workshops and sessions in Physiotherapy, Strength and Conditioning, Performance Psychology and Sports Nutrition. We are excited to see what our Academy athletes achieve in not just this year but also the future.
In a term that is surrounded by multiple Swimming Carnivals across the school and at inter-school meets, Walford competed as part of the IGSSA and SSSSA Competitions. Once again, our students performed very well following their strong preparations for the Walford Carnival where many of our students achieved Top 3 placings and are commended once more on these performances. Following the recent successes at the Sapsasa levels within our Junior School students, it is exciting to see the emerging group of students with such talent transition into our middle school years supporting our senior students.
Despite not being a term that focuses on Athletics during Health and Physical Education lessons, our students undertook Friday morning sessions that focussed on developing their running performances. Our Middle/Senior students recently competed in the State B Grade Athletics Championships in Week 10 with a squad of forty students representing Walford in various track and field events. We look forward to our students continuing their development in Term 3 when undertaking Athletics in preparation for our Inter-School Carnival and IGSSA Carnivals.
Our Basketball Teams have demonstrated strong improvements through the term across our Senior A/B and Middle A teams. With consistent numbers in our senior teams, this has created depth and competition amongst our teams, resulting in many students being given the opportunity to play at Senior A level. Our Senior B’s had a particularly good season winning four out of eight matches including an Intercol victory 27 – 17. Our Middle A’s had a disrupted term with smaller team numbers and limited fixtures, and for many weeks having multiple students unavailable. Even with this, our Middle A’s recorded competitive results against schools of a similar level where our core group of students within this team should be commended for their commitment and energy they brought to this program.
Our Walford Volleyball program has shown its popularity and strength with five teams competing this year, including fifty students who have played across the Middle and Senior School. There were many students who nominated for Volleyball for the first time this term and have seen strong improvement in not just this cohort, but our Volleyball program overall. Our teams recently competed in their Volleyball Intercols which unfortunately resulted in St. Peter’s winning overall, however saw some close and competitive matches. We look forward to some of our teams competing in the State Schools Cup later through the year.
The Walford Premier League Tennis team had a fantastic season again like in 2022, recording wins against Westminster, Pembroke, St. Peter’s, Scotch and Wilderness. Our Walford teams across Premier League, Division 1, 2 and 3 all won their matches against St. Peter’s which meant that Walford once again retained the Intercol Trophy. Our Division 1, 2 and 3 teams have developed strongly over the past few weeks and has enabled us to add another team this year due to more students nominating. In addition to these strong performances our Walford Southern Districts Green Ball, Division 4, 5 and 6 teams performed considerably well again in their season. Our Division 5 team competed in a Semi Final which they unfortunately lost, however our Division 4 Team reached their respective Grand Final with a narrow loss also. The depth and commitment across our teams by students is a testament to the strength and sustained success of Walford Tennis.
Our Senior Water Polo team competed strongly in their competition where they recorded four wins and one draw this season. This team showed accelerated development and growth in those students that undertook this offering, and had greater numbers available to play each week. We look forward to further matches in Term 4 and greater opportunities for our students.
Touch Football was a program offered for the first time at Walford following a successful trial in a knockout competition in Term 4 last year. Our students competed in one team this term where up to fifteen students took up this opportunity to play. As a sport that holds many transferable movements and skills to other programs, there is positive interest and desire from students to continue this program. During Term 4 Walford will aim to nominate at least two teams in this competition and further progress our students’ skills and learnings in the sport.
Our Walford Senior Cricket team this year was promoted to Senior A’s which meant students faced tougher competition each week and applied some valuable learnings at trainings. With limited matches this term our students were able to develop and focus on their bowling and batting craft each training. In our final match of the season our students competed in their Intercol setting a total of 99 runs for St Peter’s to chase. The match came down to the final over of the match which resulted in Walford defending this total and winning the match by five runs.
Our Rowing Program has again enjoyed a successful season culminating in the Head of the River in Week 7. Walford crews came away with an impressive number of placings, which includes the Year 8Cs finishing 2nd, Year 9D’s finishing 2nd, Year 9C’s finishing 1st, Year 9B’s finishing 3rd and our Second VIII finished 3rd. Many of our crews and students achieved personal bests this year and with strong numbers and depth in our Junior Crews, the future once again looks bright for Walford Rowing.
Throughout Term 1, Walford Sailing has competed in Metro Championship Regattas as part of their preparations for Sailing State Championships which will be held in Goolwa during the school holidays. Our program has increased in the number of students undertaking this offering which has resulted at training a greater focus on developing starts and tactics, leading to large improvements across our crews. From performances at the upcoming State Championships our teams hope to qualify for Nationals representing Walford later this year.
Within the Junior School this term we have seen the continuation of Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 Cricket which has followed on from the successful introduction in previous years. Overall, twenty six students undertook Cricket with a Year 3/4 team and two Year 5/6 teams entered. These numbers are further supportive of the growth of this sport and hope for these trends to continue. All students who have played have shown development and expertise in their fielding, bowling and batting, where we look forward to this continued progression to further support the pathway into our Middle and Senior programs.
Our Walford Swimming team recently competed in the SAPSASA Adelaide South East District Swimming Carnival during March. Our students, who range from Year 3 – 6, performed exceptionally well achieving multiple Top 3 placings. Not only did this mean many of our students were selected for the SAPSASA District Swim team, but also for the second consecutive year Walford was the overall winner for the Small School Section for the Adelaide South East Carnival.
In 2023 we have implemented additional cocurricular programs through Sport Aerobics and Yoga for our students. These programs have been facilitated by external providers of which we hope to continue through the year. Sport Aerobics is a fun fitness routine that combines aerobics, dance and fitness. Students undertaking this can compete as a team in competitions through the year. Currently this is available to those students in Year 3 – 6. In Week 10, students in the Junior and Middle/Senior School have been offered come and try sessions for Yoga which we hope will gain strong interest. Our Junior School students have had sessions led by a Walford old scholar, Alicia Osborn, and our Senior students sessions led by another old scholar, Gen Braund. It is well documented that the regular practice of yoga may produce many health benefits, including increased cardiovascular fitness, improved muscular strength and normalisation of blood pressure. Yoga can also help lower stress and promote improved sleeping patterns. Over time, those who practice yoga report lower levels of stress, and increased feelings of happiness and wellbeing. This is largely due to the focus and concentration needed for postures, and the breath acts as a form of meditation.
We would like to thank all our Coaches, Staff and Captains who have worked across these programs this term, which has contributed to the many successes our teams have achieved both in results but also in the development of their strong and positive culture within sports. We look forward to seeing everyone back at Walford in Term 2 and hope to see some strong performances across our Winter Programs ahead.
Head of Sport and Coaching