16th September 21
I know I was not alone in the Prince’s Mead community last Saturday in witnessing Emma Raducanu turning the sporting world on its head with her historic win in the US Open tennis championship and, at the same time, exhibiting spontaneous, blissful laughter.
There are many ways of trying to measure her accomplishment, but the most attractive characteristic might have been something beyond measure: it was seeing this historic achievement look like so much fun. With the return of competitive matches at Prince’s Mead this week, it has been so encouraging to witness similar triumphs and good character from our children, and with an equal sense of fun. At home, we have been celebrating much of Raducanu’s heritage too – with a parent from Romania and also someone who is proudly British!
Elite sport can be ferocious and cruel, unrestrained and heated, but there are also times when it can have a purity that refreshes the soul. We take much from last Saturday, seeing two charming, dazzling young tennis players who made all that strain and skirmish we can witness in other events seem such an unnecessary effort. Quite simply, we witnessed how we all want our children to play the game at Prince’s Mead – with plucky, ball-thumping abandon and raw pleasure. This is sport at its happiest and most uplifting and it is how prep school sport has been played for generations. We will continue to emulate this culture at Prince’s Mead.
Our playing fields take on a different feel this weekend and I very much look forward to seeing many of you for our PMA camp out, and toasting a few marshmallows around the fire.