“Great oaks from little acorns grow.”
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  • Which are our top British boarding schools for athletics? | Dickinson School Consulting
  • Which are our top British boarding schools for athletics? | Dickinson School Consulting
  • Which are our top British boarding schools for athletics? | Dickinson School Consulting

Which are our top British boarding schools for athletics?

When school resumes after the Easter holiday the summer sports season will begin, so which are our top British boarding schools for athletics?

Oakham School has over 200 pupils participating and at least 100 athletes competing weekly against other schools. In fact, it has been the powerhouse of athletics amongst East Midlands schools in recent years and earlier this year, Form 5 pupil Sofia won a silver medal in the U17 girls’ 300m at the England Athletics Indoor Championships. It was a close race, with Sofia finishing in a time of 39.6s, which is also her new personal best (PB) and her third PB of the day. She said, “In each round I gained a new PB and started to believe I could come in the top three. It is a fantastic feeling to win my first national indoor medal and I’m looking forward to the outdoor season.” Oakham’s Director of Athletics said, “I am very proud of Sofia, it is a huge achievement. Also running two personal bests in only a few hours in the run up to the final and then another in the final is an impressive effort indeed.”

At the Royal Hospital School pupils can take part in a variety of athletic activities during games afternoons, core PE lessons, after-school clubs, and as a co-curricular activity. Talented pupils who show potential in a specific discipline are supported to achieve their best and entered into local, regional and national, individual and team competitions. A number of pupils have become county champions across a range of events, with some going on to represent the school and Suffolk at the finals of the English Schools’ Track and Field Championships.

Athletics is the primary sport in the summer term at Sedbergh School. Expert coaches have excellent facilities with which to train athletes, ready to represent the school in their chosen events in a variety of fixtures. Regular inter-school competitions ensure they are given every opportunity to improve their performances, and the school enters individuals and teams into national competitions, regularly qualifying for the Track and Field Championships as well as having many County and North representatives in all disciplines. With a fully kitted out strength and conditioning gym on site, and access to rehab sessions and physiotherapists, the focus is on ensuring that the whole athlete is developed and prepared for competition.

Athletics has a strong tradition at Sevenoaks School. Open to all students regardless of age, ability or experience, athletes are encouraged to take part across a range of disciplines. There is an excellent training and performance facility, with specialist coaching offered in all the track and field disciplines. All students are given the opportunity to compete, girls at midweek meets and boys competing on Saturdays, and from these competitions numerous athletes proudly secure their Kent vest and progress to regional and national levels. The school has strong links with local Athletics Clubs, and encourages athletes to join one to widen their experience with further coaching and competitions.

Taunton School offers an athletics programme throughout the summer term, with a long-standing tradition of producing excellent athletes over a number of years. Participation is high, with a large number of students representing the school regularly over the season at weekend fixtures and ESAA competitions, both team and individual. The training sessions combine specific fitness, skill and technical sessions within all of the events, with specialist coaches running each of the disciplines. Students are encouraged to take part in a number of different events but can also specialise.

No feature on sport at British boarding schools is complete without Millfield School, which is one of the best in the world for all sports, athletics being no exception. It has a state-of-the-art track including a world-class eight lane sprint straight, a six lane 400m track, long jump pit and pole vault area with double entry mat. The coaching, too, is second to none – athletics specialists train between five and six days per week, coached in event technical requirements, running mechanics sessions, running conditioning relevant for the event area, and strength and conditioning.

At all these schools, and many others besides, the annual Sports Day is one of the highlights of the summer term, with athletes competing for individual and house success. The elite performers tend to inspire other members of their house to rise to the occasion, resulting in a very enjoyable day for pupils, staff and parents alike.

If you’d like more information about which are our top British boarding schools for athletics or any other summer sports, please get in touch.

Photos courtesy of Oakham School, Sedbergh School and Taunton School.