Do you have an aspiring athlete who aims to win a gold medal in years to come?
The commitment and training for aspiring elite athletes is not for the faint hearted, especially when there are also academic studies to take care of too. Choosing a day or boarding school with a strong athletics programme and a track record of successes in national competition will certainly help. Usually the programme is delivered in conjunction with a local club, to give access to the best coaches, depending on their particular discipline.
Here are some suggestions of schools for consideration:
This all boys boarding school has a world class athletics track and strong links with local clubs. The schools also nurtures the talented pupils through sports academies for hockey, cricket and rugby.
Made a very strong showing in the recent Northern HMC Athletics competition with wins for Intermediate Girls, Intermediate Boys, Senior Girls and Senior boys. With the annual Wilson run a grueling highlight of the school year, it’s not surprising that Sedbergh pupils have the fitness and determination to do well in athletics.
Athletics is a major sport in the summer term with access to the Rugby town tartan track and coaching in each of the specialised events.
There’s a full fixture list with other public schools (U15, U17 and U19), as well as taking part in the English Schools Combined Events Championships, Track and Field Cup, National Track and Field Championships and the Achilles Relays.
Recent successes include reaching the national final of the Track and Field Cup with the ‘inter’ girls ‘inter’ boys teams.
Its hard to leave Repton off any list of schools that encourage excellence in sport. To quote their website, ‘It’s Repton School’s aim to discover and develop the sporting and athletic potential within every pupil, as part of a balanced and challenging co-curriculum.’ Though mainly focused on team sports, they pride themselves in accommodating the sporting ambitions of any individual. Elite performers receive close personal tutoring and training, and in some cases a tailored academic programme can be developed for their individual needs. The aim is to support their sporting ambitions while maintaining their academic development.
Athletics specialist train year-round with specialist coaching in technique, mechanics, strength and conditioning. All those who attain English Schools’ entry or national standards are given one to one coaching.
The Dragon School (prep)
The summer term athletics programme is extensive, with regular fixtures leading up to the National Prep School Athletic Championships. The Dragon regularly attains top prep school spot in the country with its individual medal tally. With access to the running track at Iffley road stadium in Oxford, where Roger Bannister first ran the sub 4 minute mile, who wouldn’t be inspired?
With the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in 2020, in tandem with its strong all-round sporting reputation, this had to have a mention. Impressive investment has been made in sporting facilities in recent years, with access to a 400 metre running track (at the adjacent Ryland Centre). The fixture list is extensive, as well as regular participation in regional and national competitions.
Guildford High School, Bedford Girls School, Oxford High School
The top performing girls’ schools across the age-groups in the 2019 ESAA National Track & Field Cup
Frequently participate in competitions at a National level with success in all age groups. The academic excellence of this co-ed boarding and day school offers an ideal combination for those ambitious in both sport and academic achievements.
A major sport for both boys and girls in the summer term, achievements in athletics are notable. As well as an extensive school fixture list, teams compete in national events including the Achilles Relays, and the national schools’ competition held at Iffley Road in Oxford. Many pupils qualify for the Leicestershire and Rutland County Championships annually, with some representing the county at district and national schools’ competitions.