THE competitive spirit was riding high at King’s Ely this afternoon (May 4) as the King’s and Queen’s Scholars went head-to-head in the historic Hoop Trundle.

Crowds gathered for the fiercely contested event, where King’s and Queen’s Scholars bowl traditional wooden hoops over a course on the East Lawn of Ely Cathedral.

Twelve Scholars are appointed each year on the basis of academic excellence. Distinguished by their red gowns, the King’s and Queen’s Scholars are all great friends but their competitive side was most certainly on display today.

Sophie Emms beat Laura Day and Clea Tanner in the Queen’s Scholars’ final. Sam Huguet emerged victorious in the King’s Scholars’ final, defeating Tony Lesmeister, Matvey Pogrebinskiy and Jamie Huffer. The winners were presented with the Hoop Trundle commemorative wooden tankards by Mayor-Elect, Elaine Griffin-Singh, which they will hold until next year’s event.

The Hoop Trundle commemorates the re-founding of the school by King Henry V111 in 1541. Having dissolved Ely monastery, which had educated children for centuries, he gave the school its first Royal Charter and inaugurated the 12 King’s Scholars. One of the privileges he allowed them was to play games, including the bowling of hoops, in the Cathedral precincts. In 1970, the school admitted girls for the first time in its 1,000 year history, and three years later the King’s Scholars were joined by Queen’s Scholars at the request of Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the school in 1973.

“The Hoop Trundle is King’s Ely’s most light-hearted tradition,” Head Sue Freestone remarked.

“It is always great to see everyone having so much fun.”

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