“Let’s celebrate the things we can do, not the things we can’t.”

Wise words from our Director of Sport, Mr Richard Jones, as he talked to pupils today about how we can return to our beloved school sports in a safe way. Mr Jones reminded pupils to have gratitude for what we are able to do in terms of getting active, rather than expressing regret for what we are missing at this time.

The Downside sports development philosophy is based on a positive mental attitude and exceptional work ethic. Our cultural ethos is centred on the values of Discipline, Humility and Stewardship. Our aim is to coach the whole child to ensure that they find a sport in which they can participate, excel and learn the values of being part of a team. The benefits of physical activity for young people are widely recognised and a safe and appropriate return to organised and recreational Sport and Games will be vital in maintaining physical and mental health among all pupils at Downside during the forthcoming Academic Year.

Sport and physical activity develop important life skills including teamwork, self-confidence and leadership. Sport and physical activity also create happier, healthier people and better-connected communities. Evidence from a wide range of international and national sources supports this perception, especially in the wake of coronavirus. Therefore, here at Downside, we have been monitoring and considering all scenarios which will provide the safest and most appropriate sports programme available for this Term and beyond. The resulting sports programme will not only help our young people to return to sport in a safe and appropriate environment but it will as ever be planned and delivered by our excellent team of sports coaches and staff who are fully committed to any and all necessary adaptations required during these unprecedented times.

The sports are we planning in – for the time being – are different from the usual Hockey and Rugby lessons we practice and play during the Michaelmas Term. Instead, Cricket, Tennis, Athletics, Swimming, Squash, Badminton, and Health & Well-being are on offer. These activities will take place outside, where appropriate and possible. We are fortunate to have a 500-acre rural campus with an extensive range of sports pitches and fields giving us the space to be able to do this without the need to leave the School site.

To find out why Downside could be the perfect place for you and your family, please come to one of our next Open Mornings: Saturday 3rd October (Sixth Form) and Saturday 10th October (11-18 years).
If, pending advice from the government, we cannot hold these events at Downside, Virtual Open Mornings will be held instead.

You are also welcome to book a Virtual Visit on a date to suit you.

Contact our Admissions Team: +44 (0)1761 235103 /