“Great oaks from little acorns grow.”
14th century proverb

  • Sporting academies at British boarding schools | Dickinson School Consulting
  • Sporting academies at British boarding schools | Dickinson School Consulting

Sporting academies at British boarding schools

Sport plays a central role at all the British boarding schools we recommend. Recognising its importance to the physical and mental health of their students, their main focus is on participation, and schools offer a huge range of activities to engage even the most reluctant sportspeople, but many schools also have academies to help nurture the true talents in their midst.

Recently announced is the launch of the Rishworth International Football Academy (RIFA), an elite football programme for boys and girls in Years 9-13. With convenient access to Manchester, a significant part of RIFA training will take place at the Manchester City Etihad training ground, giving students access to top-level facilities, coaches and professional pathways.

Ackworth School’s Football Academy, meanwhile, has been offering a two-year, elite football development programme for boys and girls in its 6th form since 2018, and Culford School added football to its list of academies in 2019.

Bede’s School in Sussex offers academies in cricket, hockey and tennis, as well as football. Led by eminent coaching teams, the academies give pupils access to carefully planned training programmes and plenty of competitive game time; inter-school, via links with County and Club partners, and nationally. While football has been just for boys up to now, a girls’ academy is launching this September.

Ellesmere College pioneered the use of an academy structure to provide elite pathways for individuals whilst still retaining a sport for all policy. Football, rugby, golf, tennis, swimming, cricket and shooting all have academy status within the school. The football and rugby academies are currently for boys only, but the others are for everyone and all provide additional focused coaching and management for each individual, dovetailed with their academic development.

These are just a few examples to give you a flavour of the support for sport available in British schools. Whether you want to encourage your child simply to keep moving for the health benefits or you have someone wishing to pursue their chosen sport professionally, start the search for the right school by clicking here.

Photos by kind permission of Bede's and Ellesmere.