2019: A year in review

As the sun finally sets on 2019, we take a look back at the year’s highlights, and despite further Brexit uncertainty throughout the year, local clubs were focused on their end games, and boy did they give us all something to shout about!

January
Sevenoaks Suns Basketball Club heralded the New Year with a place in the final of the WBBL Cup in Birmingham and we got up close and personal with the players and coaching staff as we went on the road with the team.
Sevenoaks Town FC manager Micky Collins signed a new two-year contract meaning he will be in charge of the senior squad until the end of the 2021 season.

Sevenoaks Rugby Club 1st XV went on a surging unbeaten run at the start of the year, having last lost to Medway at the start of November, they then beat league leaders Brighton Blues on the south-coast to set up an astonishing end to the season.

Meanwhile, Sevenoaks Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI made the Indoor Hockey Finals Day for the fifth time in six seasons. However, they were once again knocked out at the semi-final stage versus Surbiton, making it four yearsin a row when they have failed to make it to the final.

February
Sevenoaks Swimming Club stormed through the opening weekend of the Kent County Championships at the London Aquatic Centre, home of the 2012 Olympics.

Walthamstow Hall became the best girls’ school for swimming in Kent for the first time, after winning the KSSA Secondary Schools’ Individual Championships.

We saw Sevenoaks Hockey Club celebrate their Under 16 girls success as they won the Super 6s U16 Girls Clubs Finals and Sevenoaks Suns pulled away for a 83-69 victory over Nottingham Wildcats to claim the Under-16 Girls National Cup title.

March
Two members of Sevenoaks Water Polo Team, Charlie Exall and Mark Freed, broke the world record for the most number of consecutive water polo passes by a pair. Charlie and Mark smashed the record managing a total of 95 passes.

The President of the RFU, Chris Kelly, found time in his extremely busy schedule to attend his first ever match at the Paddock and he couldn’t have picked a better fixture – the match between 1st and 2nd in the London 1 South, Sevenoaks versus Medway which Sevenoaks won 22-16.

Sevenoaks Suns continued their 100% winning run in the WBBL Championship? Could they go all the way and be the ‘invincibles’? We also had a bizarre ski feature from Frank Baldwin and Andorra’s loo with a view!

April
Sevenoaks residents turned out in force on Good Friday to watch two scintillating Charity Cup Finals played at the Bourne Stadium, the home of Sevenoaks Town FC. Chipstead and Tatsfield Rovers made it a day-to-forget for Ide Hill, as they lifted the Senior and Junior Charity Cups respectively.

Sevenoaks Suns became WBBL Champions, finishing with a 71-63 win over Nottingham Wildcats to secure them an unprecedented 100% win record for the year. They triumphed in each of their 22 matches during the season to set a new standard in women’s basketball.

Sevenoaks Rugby Club sealed promotion as Champions as they beat Thurrock RFC 26-10 away from home. The win meant that Sevenoaks won the league by three points to enter the top 100 Clubs in the country.

Sevenoaks 2nd, 3rd and 4th XV’s also won their respective leagues, giving the Knole Paddock outfit a clean sweep of titles.

Ide Hill Football Club held their nerve seeing off bogey side South East Athletic to win the KCFL Division One West title and an historic first promotion to the Kent County Premier Division.

It wasn’t all smiles though as Sevenoaks Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI bowed out of England Hockey Premier division, however they vowed to return very soon.

May
Sevenoaks Triathlon celebrated its 46th year as the sold out race started with a 400m pool swim at the Sevenoaks Leisure Centre; followed by 25km on the bike through Sevenoaks High Street and then through the beautiful Kent countryside arriving back at the Leisure centre and finishing with a challenging 8km run through Knole Park.

The cricket season started and we took a closer look at the The Kent County Village League, as 18 local teams went head-to-head across seven divisions.
Walthamstow Hall’s Year 10 badminton squad won the English Schools Badminton National Championships for a second year in a row and Russell House was represented at the British Schools Gymnastics Association’s National Tumbling finals held in Stoke-on-Trent.

Meanwhile, Sevenoaks Hockey Club’s Louis Tipper made his England hockey debut in a hard-fought, three Test series against Holland.

June
In June we reported on how 13-year old Sevenoaks swimmer, Eva Okaro, swept up at the South East Regional Championships winning five medals.
Sevenoaks Vine Cricket Club’s 1st XI produced a complete and clinical performance in the Kent Premier League, at home versus table-toppers Bexley The Vine took a lot of confidence from that game into their remaining fixtures.

Elsewhere, Holmesdale’s 1st XI started to earn much needed victories, as they became the team to beat in Division One.

Sevenoaks Suns’ Head Coach Len Busch was appointed by GB Basketball to lead Team GB’s under-18 women’s Basketball squad.

Sevenoaks District Council’s ever popular professionally-led cycle rides returned with a focus on building up confidence on two wheels. Whilst Sevenoaks Hockey Club were delighted to announce South African Ian Haley, as their new Men’s 1st XI Player-Coach and Lead Junior Coach, replacing Duncan Parnis.

After another successful season of Rugby, with a second consecutive promotion in two years, Swanley RFC also announced the launch of Women’s Rugby training in Swanley Park.

July
Sevenoaks swimmers returned from a fantastic week at the British Summer Nationals where Eva Okaro smashed her own personal best to take the gold medal and the British title in the 50m butterfly.

And then the Sevenoaks Synchronised Swimming team shone at the Kent Championships. Every swimmer left the event having won a medal.
We teamed up with West Kent Mind, starting our journey into wellbeing and mental health. West Kent Mind have become a regular contributor to the magazine throughout 2019 and into the future.

We reported on the intrepid journey Sevenoaks Rugby Club members, Simon and Miles made up Mount Everest, to break not one, but two world records for the children’s charity Wooden Spoon.

We then attended the Kent Press & Broadcast Awards at the home of Kent Cricket in Canterbury, as we were finalists for the Kent Magazine of the Year award.

August
Local gymnast Milly became our ‘Cover Star’ in August after successfully winning our front page competition.

We quietly celebrated our second birthday as we looked forward to the forthcoming season with an overview of our Basketball, Hockey, Football and Rugby teams, including our seasons predictions.

The magazine was once again nominated in two categories at the Sevenoaks Business Awards.

After a year of intense regional Performance Centre training/selection, seven Sevenoaks Hockey Club players were selected to represent the Saxon Tigers in the prestigious Futures Cup in St Albans.

Sevenoaks Town start their season in good form and showed their composure and fitness to progress into the Emirates FA Cup First Round Qualifying.

September
The cricket season comes to a close with a respectable final position for Sevenoaks Vine whilst Holmesdale return to Premier cricket in 2020 after finishing runners-up in Division One.

New club HC Knole Park make history when they played their first ever Ladies 1st team game against Tunbridge Wells 4th in the Kent Womens Outdoor League.

Fresh from its historic feats on the world’s highest mountain, Wooden Spoon set another world record by staging the longest ever game of rugby union, which Sevenoaks Rugby Club player Dave Baldwin successfully took part in.

Meanwhile both Cat Carr and Ta’Yani Clark committed to Sevenoaks Suns for another season after winning back-to-back Championships.

October
In October we were honoured to take home the ‘Community Award’ at the fabulous Independent Business Awards Kent event in Maidstone.

We brought you news of a new parkrun in the Sevenoaks District. Squerryes Winery opened its doors for the first time in September after event directors Steve Aish and David Offen got it off the ground.

Sevenoaks Suns launched their 2019/20 campaign with two straight wins in the opening weekend which would see them straight through to the WBBL Trophy Semi-Final to be held in February 2020.

Ide Hill FC hit new heights in the Kent County Premier Division after a spell of fantastic results. Sevenoaks Town are also keeping themselves in playoff contention in the Isthmian South East Division.

And, multi Grammy Award winner Ed Sheeran turned up at Holly Bush Lane to watch Sevenoaks Hockey Club Ladies win 1-0 over Harleston Magpies.

November
We reported from Lockskinners Equestrian in the beautiful village of Chiddingstone, as they hosted a Hunter Trials event, a single-phase competitive event.

The National Arena League got underway again and Sevenoaks Swimming Club were excited for the opening weekend in Tunbridge Wells.

Meanwhile, Sevenoaks Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI got themselves back into the mix with four consecutive victories to go top of the league.

In challenging conditions, Tunbridge Wells RFC and Sevenoaks RFC served up an enthralling derby match in front of a healthy number of supporters, final score 15-15.

Sevenoaks Town FC and Ide Hill FC continued their great run of form with some important results.

December
We announce our new columnist and Olympic athlete, Tom Bosworth, as he tells us all about his road to Tokyo 2020.

‘Run, walk or push against dementia’ announce their return to Knole Park in May, 2020.

Christmas was fast approaching, so what better way to celebrate than with a whole host of seasonal messages from many of our local clubs.

And, on New Year’s eve, Ide Hill FC went to Town by sharing their exciting ground-share news at the Bourne Stadium, home of Sevenoaks Town FC.