The Annual Wellington Prep School Conker Championships smashed into action last Friday when a horde of excited school children rose to the challenge and pitted their strength and skill against each other.
Eighty children in Years 3, 4 5 and 6 competed for the coveted “Conker Bear Trophy” which was carried off by a triumphant James Weymouth from Year 4. All children brought their own conkers and the competition was fierce!
“Sadly, the game of Conkers has declined in school playgrounds over the last 20 years, mainly due to rumoured ‘Health and Safety’ issues”, commented Adam Gibson, Headmaster of Wellington Prep School. “Such information is nonsense and we are determined to redress the balance and encourage our children to engage in competitive playground activity and traditional outdoor entertainment”.
The rules of the challenge are clearly laid out, and adapted from the International Rules and Regulations (www.worldconkerchampionships.com). They include such details as the maximum allowed length of string, and time allowed in each round and the dreaded ‘sudden death’. In the name of fair pay, competitors are discouraged from soaking the conkers in vinegar or the old “slow-bake” trick!
“The children rose to the challenge and enjoyed the competition immensely. We encourage them to take risks and the game of conkers is a great opportunity for this. We look forward to seeing James defending his title next year,” commented Adam Gibson.
After the pupils, it was the turn of the Headmasters. In a “Clash of the Titans” style encounter, new Headmaster of Wellington School, Henry Price battled against Prep School Headmaster Adam Gibson. After a tense and nerve-racking few thwacks, Adam Gibson triumphed and obliterated Henry Price’s prize conker. “I will learn the lessons, train hard and come back stronger” remarked Mr Price.