It’s been a fantastic month for Sport at Simon Balle with so many students representing the school across a variety of sports. Our Year 9 & 10 students have yet again been involved in Sports leadership events across County and District Athletics and Cross Country events, officiating and leading at their usual high standards. Thank you to all who have volunteered their time. March has also been a very busy month for Saturday football with successful block fixtures against Roundwood Park, John Warner and Sir John Lawes schools.

In the Larch, congratulations to our Cross Country teams, Football and Netball teams who have had a great term. In Cross Country, at the recent district competition, four teams came 1st, four teams came 2nd with the school finishing first overall. In Netball and Football, both Y5/6 teams have reached finals which take place after the Easter break.

Finally, please find next terms extra-curricular programme by clicking on the following link – Summer Term – Sport extracurricular programme 2023_24

Please see below for a comprehensive round up of the months Sporting successes.

Year 10 Boys – District Football Champions

Last week the Year 10 Boys played in the District Cup Final v Robert Barclay Academy. It was a very tough game but the boys worked extremely hard and battled superbly. Playing some great football they managed to take the lead but were pegged back and the full time score was 1-1. After a stalemate in extra time the game went to penalties. The students showed real courage and determination to step up and take penalties (10 out of 11 players had to take one) And we were successful winners 8-7 on pens.

The Year 9 Boys team again made the final of the District cup final looking to retain their title. Unfortunately, this year, despite the boys best efforts Richard Hale won the game and became the new district champions. A great achievement for this team to make the final 2 years in a row. Hopefully they will be able to repeat this again next year.

Both Year 7 & 8 teams also made semi finals, however the Year 8’s were beaten by a strong Chauncy team and the Year 7’s lost a close battle against Richard Hale.

The Senior boys Football team has had a very good year. Making 2 semi finals in the District and County cup. Unfortunately, in the county cup we were beaten by a very strong Sir John Lawes team who will most certainly be favorites to win the competition. In the District cup the team were unlucky to lose on penalties but should have won the game in normal time. We will rebuild the team next year with a number of the boys leaving us to move onto university, jobs or apprenticeships. We wish them all the best of luck in their future careers

Year 7 Girls – District Football Champions

On Wednesday 16th March the Girls had their last Football fixture of the year, The District Cup Final. The girls faced a tough side in Chauncy, who had also won their group stages to make the final. With a few girls out with illness the girls had to step up and play an unfamiliar line up and formation. Despite this, one minute into the game the girls scored their goal after a fantastic through ball. Confidence was high and within 10 minutes the girls were then 2-0 up. Chauncy had some great chances through on goal and managed to slip one past our keeper making it 2-1 at half term. Going into the second half the girls were keen to put away some more goals after hitting the crossbar twice in the first half. Goal! A fantastic follow up from Annabel secured a 3-1 lead. Chauncy came back feistier and had a few great chances but nothing our defence and goalkeeper couldn’t handle. The girls battled hard right til the end and won 5-1, with Annabel scoring a Hatrick in the second half. A thoroughly deserved win for the girls who had narrowly missed out on the county cup final earlier in the season! The PE department are very proud of the girls and their achievements this season, we look forward to next season as U13s!

District Swimming

On Friday 22nd March, Year 7-11 students competed in the annual District Swimming Gala Championships which was held at John Warner Pool. We have a very talented group of swimmers and also some tough competition from Presdales, Leventhorpe and John Warner. We came 1st place in 13 out of 21 races. Many swimmers were also competing against swimmers a year older due to the age groups being mixed.  Both boys teams won their relays and the girls teams both came 2nd. Particular praise needs to be given to Lilia T (year 8) who swam up an age group against swimmers who were in year 9 and 10 and still won her individual breaststroke race and Harry B who had some strong competition but still kindly offered to swim 2 legs of the relay due to an injury and helped the team win both their relays! Winners of the races are listed below. Also a big well done to Harry, Frez, Willow, Ollie and Emily P who all came 2nd in their races. 

I was very proud watching you all and thank you for your commitment to attend and compete on a Friday evening! Well done to all swimmers! 

In addition to this, after the gala, Zara R went on to another gala to represent East Herts District at the County Gala and she got a bronze medal in the 50m Butterfly! 3rd fastest in the county!  Amazing Achievement.

Harry B also attended the county gala and got a personal best time!

1st place medal winners: 

  • Owen L, year 7 – boys 50m Freestyle
  • Lilia T, year 8 – girls 50m Breaststroke
  • Toby G, year 10 – boys 50m Breaststroke / boys 50m Butterfly
  • Rex T-W, year 7 – boys 50m Butterfly
  • Alfie H, year 8 – boys 50m Breaststroke
  • Amelie J, year 7 – girls 50m Backstroke
  • Ethan G, year 8 – boys 50m Backstroke
  • Zara R, year 10 – girls 50m Butterfly
  • Year 7/ 8 boys won both their freestyle and medley relay – Rex, Alfie, Owen and  Ethan
  • Year 9/ 10 boys won both their freestyle and medley relay – Ollie, Harry and Toby.

Netball News

Y10 Netball Final

The girls traveled to Herts and Essex School for the final of the county plate competition. It was an amazing achievement to reach the final and the team didn’t disappoint with the performance they put in. After taking an early lead Herts and Essex proved to be too strong and despite fighting until the final whistle Simon Balle finished as runners up. 

Y8 Netball District Tournament

On Tuesday 19th March the year 8’s competed in a district tournament entering both an A and B team squad. The A team played some difficult matches but progressed well throughout the event working better together as a team as the matches went on. The team showed excellent resilience, especially those playing out of position. Overall the A team came 4th in the district, playing a round robin competition.

The B team played excellent in the group stages only losing one match which qualified them for the semi final. The team showed great movement and speed, winning the Semi-final. They played Chauncy in the final which was a really well contested game. The team showed excellent patience and fearlessness in defense meaning they won the final by one goal. Therefore the B team are district champions in the B team competition!

Players of the tournament were Erin H, Chloe P and Bella L.

Year 7 had their District Netball Tournament on Monday 25th March. After it being rescheduled once due to rain, the girls were excited and ready to compete! Both teams had some strong competition throughout their tournament. 

After an initial defeat in our first game against Leventhorpe we pulled together and made some positional changes which enabled us to come back and we beat Broxbourne. We narrowly lost our last game by just 2 goals against Presdales. All girls played really well and showed great resilience, teamwork and effort. Well done. 

Player of the Tournament for the A-Team: Lola W and Hope A 

The B team also had a great district tournament and in their round robin had some tough games but also won some games too. They put 100% into every game and Charlotte B (a sixth former who kindly offered to manage and umpire for the team) reported how much effort the girls put into the games and how well they played. 

Players of the Tournament: Jessica and Emily  

Y9 Emerging Schools Netball

On Wednesday 13th March, the year 9 girls netball team entered the emerging schools’ netball tournament at Wodson park. There were 8 teams in the round robin competition. The girls had a good start, winning their first game convincingly. Out of the remaining 6 games, we won 4 and lost 2 (gaining a single point for getting over half the opposing teams’ score). The girls secured 3rd place overall.

This Girl Can

Last week, a group of Year 7 students attended the ‘This Girl Can’ festival at Wodson Park Sports Centre, accompanied by their Year 9 mentors.

The day consisted of three sessions focused on developing confidence, teamwork, and trying new activities. The girls learned how to play two new emerging sports, pickleball and spikeball. 

The students were also fortunate enough to meet Paralympic Athlete Kylie Grimes, a triple Paralympian of the London, Rio and Tokyo games. Kylie became the first woman to ever win a Paralympic Gold medal in Wheelchair Rugby when GB beat USA 54-49 in the final at Tokyo 2020.

World Champion Inline Skater and ten time British Champion, Jenna Downing, where students heard how she overcame the challenges she faced in her sport growing up.

‘This Girl Can’ is a great cause, funded by the National Lottery, and believing there is no “right” way to get active. The girls’ attitude throughout the day was fantastic and they came away feeling excited to start a club of their own back at Simon Balle, to encourage other girls to engage in fitness and sport.

Rugby News

In March we changed to 7’s rugby and for Year 7’s it was 10-a-side. Our U16 and U12 teams both competed at the prestigious Herts U16 7’s tournament and U12 10’s tournament this month. 

The Year 7 Boys had a fantastic start to the tournament beating Longdean school, unfortunately we then faced our toughest opponents of the year- Berkhamsted, and Watford Boy’s in back to back games. We finished the morning in 4th place in our group which was an excellent result for the team.

The U16 boys got off to a great start against JFK scoring winning by 4 tries. The boys then had close contests against Queen Elizabeth Boys and St Clement Danes, just losing out by one try. A special mention to Charlie O for his fantastic leadership of the team as well as Simon Balle player of the tournament Stanley M.

Basketball News

It’s been an excellent term of basketball for the Year 7 boys squad. It has been really encouraging to see a committed group of players training after school weekly and making such good progress. The development each boy has made both individually but also as part of the team has been very pleasing to see. The team are unbeaten this season and with one game to go are currently top of the district league. Notable victories have been against Richard Hale and a very strong Broxbourne side who really tested us in the final few minutes of the game but we showed great composure to win by 8 points. The boys have learned so much from each game and a comprehensive 56-26 victory last week against Chauncy showed just how far this group of players have come in such  short time

The Year 8 Boys team put in a spirited performance away against Chauncy this week in their final game of the season. Well done to all of the players who have played this year.

The Year 10 Boys have had a good month playing against Goffs and Chauncy. The boys were coming off the back of a good win against Richard Hale, when they faced Goffs at the start of the month, just losing out 25-18, however we had 2-3 debutants which was a fantastic experience for the boys to represent the school. This week the boys played Chauncy, whom they have had many close contests and this time was no different. After a strong start from Simon Balle who were 26-14 ahead, Chanucy managed to come back to within 3 points, however through the strong tactical leadership of Lucas N, the boys won out in the end by 55-51 in an excellent game.

The Year 11 Boys faced Chauncy school in a very close battle, finishing 24-26. All in the team put in their all, closing down Chauncy within the last quarter scoring 12 of our points. It has been excellent to see the boys attending training session and enjoying playing basketball throughout their time at Simon Balle.

Inter House Sport

Our third inter house competition of the year took place this week with all students from years 7 to 11 participating in their form groups. Boys played hockey and girls played football with some excellent, competitive matches being showcased across the week. Results are below:

Year 8 Boys: Year 8 Girls:
Winners – New Winners – Lea
2nd – Beane 2nd – Ashbourne
3rd – Lea 3rd – Beane
4th – Rib 4th – Mimram
5th – Ashbourne 5th – Rib
6th – Mimram 6th – New


Year 9 Boys: Year 9 Girls:
Winners – Rib Winners – Lea
2nd – Mimram 2nd – New
3rd – Beane 3rd – Rib
4th – Ashbourne 4th – Beane
5th – Lea 5th – Ashbourne
6th – New 6th – Mimram


Year 10 Boys: Year 10 Girls:
Winners – New Winners – Lea
2nd – Ashbourne 2nd – Mimram
3rd – Lea 3rd – Ashbourne
4th – Beane 4th – Beane
5th – Mimram 5th – New
6th – Rib 6th – Rib

The second half of the year 7 competition has been postponed until after Easter due to the weather.

Orienteering update

Peter Palmer – Orienteering

Last September, I got invited to a national orienteering event by my orienteering club, South East Orienteering Association. The event is called Peter Palmer and is made unique by the fact that the race starts at 5am in the morning. Funnily enough, I had the first leg, which was around 6 km on a direct route, and I had to wear a head torch for most of my leg due to the lack of visibility.

The race was held at Stowe House which offered very special terrain and features. Despite its potential though, there were some issues with some of the symbols and notation used on the maps which only added to the difficulty of navigating in the dark.

The event is comprised of two relays that happen simultaneously and each race is made up of a team of around 6 from each region. In the end, we managed to achieve outstanding times and win the race my team was competing in.  (by Bors F in Year 10)

A great effort by Bors and his team. We are very fortunate to have such talented orienteers at Simon Balle and we wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season.