At Downside School in Somerset our sporting culture exists in harmony with our academic values. It is an indispensable part of our unique character; something that goes far beyond fitness and competition.

Our pupils recognise and embrace the opportunity to develop their self-esteem, leadership skills and resilience, participating fully and striving to improve, regardless of aptitude. The value of competition is inherent to our approach and we know that it is as much about learning to lose – to ‘fail better’ – as it is about learning how to win with grace and empathy. 

The fantastic grounds at Downside are just a short hop from the World Heritage City of Bath and consist of 500 acres stretched out across a bucolic Mendip countryside seemingly designed for cross-country. It is a beautiful and transformative environment with an extensive range of rugby and cricket pitches, tennis, hockey and netball courts, and our modern sports pavilion. Pupils make frequent use of our first-rate indoor facilities including squash courts, cricket nets, a fitness suite, swimming pool and gymnasiums.

Downside School’s sporting programmes have enjoyed remarkable success in recent years. Outstanding leadership is provided by dedicated Heads of Development and strengthened by our close links with Bath Rugby and Somerset Cricket. We are delighted and intensely proud that more pupils than ever are competing at representative level – district, county, regional or academy – in rugby, cricket, hockey and netball. This includes representative honours this past year at international level for Wales Rugby. Such achievements are the pinnacle of our sporting endeavours and Benedictine values of discipline, humility and the stewardship of gifts.

Downside School’s unique atmosphere and our celebrated Benedictine traditions means that all pupils enjoy and value the sporting life at all levels, from the celebrated house run – the Downside Dash – to the impassioned rivalry of inter-school sport. Our pupils know that there is a sporting activity that they can enjoy and find challenging, and that helps them to grow in confidence as members of our community. They recognise implicitly the value of sporting endeavour at Downside in supporting every pupil to reach their potential, both on the playing field and in terms of character and aspiration. It is an unparalleled culture of genuine sporting enrichment. 

To find out more about Sport at Downside, including Sports scholarships, we invite you to our Sixth Form Subject Fair on 5th October and an Open Morning on 12th October. Alternatively, private visits are available on a date to suit you. Email our Admissions Team or call them on +44(0)1761 235103.