17 Apr 2016
National Champions!

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We first entered the national badminton competition 5 years ago and there have been many highs. The main one being 3 straight years as girls national finalists.

We have been so lucky to have had such a talented group of players within this generation of Hymers. But furthermore and probably more importantly, a group of girls who have worked incredibly hard inside and outside of school to improve as a squad of players and not just individuals, which ultimately made the difference in this years final.

The national final hosts the best 9 teams from all the counties in England, with over 1600 schools entering the preliminary rounds. It is such a achievement just to reach the final and in previous years we have been placed 8th and 7th nationally.

This year was always going to be different...

This particular group of players have always promised so much and grown together as a squad. The format for each of the 4 matches we played in the final was as follows. 2 singles and 3 doubles. If we win 3 out of those 5 games, we win that match. So for the final we played 2 schools in the first round and had to beat them both to progress through to playing for 1st 2nd or 3rd. We did so convincingly losing only 1 game on the way.

We were all over the moon to be playing off for the top 3 but still had no real expectations. We were quietly confident but knew that the first match would be really tough and so so important. As a squad we have always had a massive focus on the doubles as we know that if we can win all 3 in each match we can't lose. We played (Wallington from Hampshire), lost our 2 singles games and so had no choice...if we wanted to stay in the competition we HAD to to win the doubles. Our 3rd and 4th players, Ananya and Satarra are just amazing...unbreakable under pressure, composed and very very clever tactically. They beat their opposite numbers 21-13 and their confidence shone. Next up were Emily and Satarra, the net ninja, who play front and back. Their tactics work perfectly to complement each other. Satarra takes inspiration from Emily's unbelievable ability and Emily benefits from Satarras undeniable composure on court. They won their game 21-8 to secure an emphatic victory. Finally at 2 games all, Jessica and Ananya stepped up. They were playing really well but things started to get a little nervy at 20-18 after letting Wallington get back in the game. Fortunately the girls kept their heads and won the next point to clinch victory. We were now in the play off for 1st and 2nd against Westgate, the reining champions and seeded 1st.

What happened next seemed to be already written somewhere....fate some may call it.

After losing her last singles match, there was no way captain Emily would let her opposition beat her. There was a look in her eyes of sheer determination and utter control. She won the first game against an outstanding opponent from Westgate, giving the rest of her team a huge boost and 1 game cushion. Ananya and Satarra were up next. At the end of their game Mrs Powell and Mrs Wylde just looked at each other and said 'awesome'. There were no other words for it. 2 games down, 3 left and only 1 to win. Jessica played her singles against a formidable player. She played a fantastic game but lost making it 2-1. The penultimate game was Emily and Satarra against their 1 and 3. They made hard work of this and all the spectators were on the edge of their seats. The game went to 20-20, next point the winner...unbearable but what sport is all about. Satarra forced Westgate to lift the shuttle with a very clever shot, which Emily gladly smashed and victory was Hymers.

The girls have played 13 matches, 65 games and over 1500 points to get to this stage. They made the big ones count. They have been undefeated in doubles throughout the whole competition and have played with style, grace, grit and desire. They were 100% focussed on what they had to do but always took one game at a time. The confidence and trust they have shown in each other has been utterly incredible. The girls have been so proud to have played for Hymers College and won it not just for themselves but for every single one of our staff and students. This was a day that will go down in Hymers history as a remarkable achievement from 4 incredible young ladies.