VIDEO: Game of fives at Berkhamsted School

Gazette reporter David O’Neill and videographer Natalee Hazelwood enjoyed their first game of fives this week – under the instruction of Berkhamsted School student Jacob Savill, 17.

The sport is little known outside of public school circles, but is hugely popular on the Berkhamsted campus.

Jacob Savill, 17, gives fives lesson to David O'Neill (about to hit ball).

Jacob Savill, 17, gives fives lesson to David O'Neill (about to hit ball).

Soon there will be three new fives courts at its prep school in Doctors Commons Road.

There are already six courts on the main Castle Street campus, where senior school boys and sixth-formers are taught.

Students are coached by Anthony Theodossi, who plays for the England team.

But the sport is great fun to play at an amateur level, too.

It’s very like squash, but players wear gloves and use their hands to strike the ball instead of a racket.

The ball can only bounce off the floor once, but you can make it bounce off any of the other walls as many times as you like to confuse your opponents.

There’s also a buttress that sticks out and if you can make the ball land near there – it’s very difficult for your opponent to get at it.

There are – in the proper sport – two people on each team.

Jacob, who spent at week with the Gazette team on a work experience placement, said: “For his first time, David coped with the physical stress of the game admirably.

“He has a good eye for the ball and the required stamina needed to endure the fast-paced gameplay.

“Natalee, although perhaps less of a natural, was very determined, and possessed the ability to hit the ball very hard with a lot of power.”