Outdoor adventure on the water, making new friends and chilling out in the warm Spring weather – it’s all part of a Downside School water sports weekend!

At Downside pupils have the chance to try a range of water-based sports – swimming, sailing, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Sailing takes place at Cheddar Reservoir, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding on the River Avon as well as in the School pool for swimming and for kayaking.

Water sports can improve your child’s long-term mental and physical health in many ways. Water sports are highly challenging and fun, they increase self-esteem and reduce anxiety and stress. The water resistance helps burn fat and build muscle tone, and these types of sports enhance eye/hand large muscle coordination.

Sixth Former Lara joined Downside last September and is passionate about water sports. Last weekend she chose sailing and canoeing as two of her weekend activities.

From Lara: ‘I had an amazing weekend. I had not been sailing in over a year before last Saturday. All the students and teachers were friendly, and I had such a lovely time chatting to everyone. I made loads of new friends in different years who I had never spoken to before. The instructors were so helpful and informative. I learnt so much and they explained the basics in a very clear way. I can’t wait for next Saturday! 

Sunday was also great fun. The girls and I said we would definitely be up for another fun day again. The weather was lovely, the picnic was delicious and the canoeing was very enjoyable. I don’t think that all of the girls had been canoeing before so it was a new experience for some. There were really good vibes all day. The teachers were so accommodating, it was a lovely experience, and so nice to take a break from school. Conchi and I were talking to Mr Pollard and we all said that it was so relaxing to have a day soaking up nature and the sun with our friends. 

I am quite passionate about water sports, I would say they are my favourite type of sport. I am keen to learn more about them and do them more often. I know the Summer Term is going to be amazing this year!’

Lara is also a music scholar and is studying English, Music and Biology at A level.

Click here to see a full list of the co-curricular activities available at Downside.