Rydal Penrhos recently hosted the Eton Fives Welsh Invitational Open, which took place on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May 2023.
The tournament was a fantastic occasion that served to celebrate a sport that is unique to Rydal Penrhos in the region. Pupils, parents, staff, and alumni visited the historic Rydal Penrhos Fives Courts – the only Fives Courts in Wales – to participate in this important event.
The approach to the tournament was to create excitement around both the weekend’s events and future competitions. With the help of older pupils, alumni, and members of the Eton Fives Association, the tournament was a resounding success. The level of play was excellent, and the attitude towards the competition was even more so.
It is heartening to see that, after a slow-down during the Covid pandemic, participation in Fives is growing once again. It is also particularly heartening to see Rydal Penrhos’ young women and girls participating to a greater degree than ever before.
Fflur and Chloe proved the victorious team on Saturday, before facing off against one another in the playoff for third-place among Sunday’s competitors. Meanwhile, Charlotte and Pippa took part in Sunday’s closely contested final.
Fives is one of the most beloved sports that Rydal Penrhos offers, as demonstrated by the number of former pupils who have returned to school to take part in tournaments and competitions over the years. We were delighted to see this tradition continue at this year’s Welsh Invitational Open.
Former Head Boy Shaswath Ganapathi (RPS 2009-16), a University of Birmingham graduate and older brother of 2021-22 Head Girl Shruthi, took time out of his busy schedule as an FY1 Doctor to play at the courts where he first learned the game over ten years ago.
Joining him were Abhishek and Aroop Bhattacharya, former Rydal Penrhos Fives Coaches who have similarly continued to show their support for Rydal Penrhos and its community of Fives players, despite busy medical careers of their own.
Last but by no means least, players and supporters were grateful for the visit of former teacher and pupil Mr Mike Leach, who was a key figure in the re-emergence of Fives at Rydal Penrhos over the past decade or so. Thank you for your time, Mr Leach!