It is no coincidence that a third of Britain’s medalists in the last two Olympic Games were educated in independent schools, says TV sports presenter and sportswoman Sally Jones.
As a tennis-mad 13-year-old, I travelled to Street in Somerset with the Warwickshire junior county team to take on the might of Millfield School. With half the country’s top juniors in their squad, they were a formidable prospect. I am proud to say our defeat was a narrow one. But I was in love. I was astounded by their jaw-dropping facilities and coaching.
With its stunning grounds, huge swimming pool, polo fields, indoor tennis courts and acres of pitches, it was my idea of heaven – you could even take a pony. When I got home I sat down and wrote to the headmaster, begging to go there on a sports scholarship. He was encouraging and invited me down – but boringly suggested I let my parents know first. They pooh-poohed the idea.
Decades later, Millfield is still a sporting powerhouse and although top tennis talent now tends to eschew formal education to train at specialist tennis camps overseas, the school turns out more sporting greats than ever, from England rugby captain Chris Robshaw (and several teammates) to former England netball captain Pamela Cookey.
Around 50 alumni achieve international selection every year in cricket, swimming, athletics, polo and modern pentathlon – you name it. Millfield’s nine competitors at the London’s Olympics included two gold medallists; rower Helen Glover in the women’s pair and Peter Wilson in the double trap shooting.
This season, Millfield sides have won the European Schools Golf Championships plus national titles in Twenty20 cricket, girls’ tennis and cross country. They are through to national finals in football, rugby, girls’ hockey and all three age groups of the national schools netball championships, and 19 swimmers have qualified for Olympic trials.
Thebest sport schools in the world?
Although Millfield is Britain’s best-known specialist sports school, many other independent schools also produce stellar sporting talent. It is no coincidence that more than a third of Britain’s medal winners at the last two Olympic Games were from fee-paying schools, which educate only seven per cent of all pupils.
Twenty members of the current England rugby squad attended private schools, as did more than 60 per cent of English players in the Rugby Union Premiership, and over half the current England cricket and hockey teams, both male and female. Old Reptonians alone make up five of the GB women’s hockey squad, including Olympian Georgie Twigg, and there are five Whitgiftians in the national Under 21 team.
Other independent sport schools in England
Brighton College is a pioneer of women’s cricket: record-breaking England wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor, who with fellow-alumnae Holly Colvin and current ECB women’s supremo Clare Connor, spearheaded the World Cup victory in 2009, has just achieved her 100th One-Day cap and became the first woman to play men’s grade cricket in Australia.
Rowing has always been dominated by a handful of schools, including Hampton, Eton, Shrewsbury, andLady Eleanor Holles,Loretto School and Wellington slug it out with Millfield for top honours in golf, producing numerous outstanding amateur and professional players.
Best rugby schools in England
Wellington excels at rugby, along with Harrow, Warwick School, Whitgift, Tonbridge, Brighton, Bromsgrove and Sedbergh, which despite its size – just 320 boys in its co-ed senior school – fields 15 rugby teams during the season and has produced numerous rugby greats including England captains Wavell Wakefield, John Spencer and Will Carling, plus World Cup winner Will Greenwood. It is strong at rifle shooting, cross country, fell running and netball too: former England netball star, Lucia Sdao, is director of girls’ sport.
Shrewsbury, alma mater of England batsman, James Taylor, also has an outstanding tradition in athletics and football. Two of its alumni helped establish the rules of association football in 1856 and its cross-country team, The Hunt, is the oldest running club in the world. The squad, mentored by Kenyan great John Ngugi, win numerous national titles and even train at altitude in Ethiopia and Kenya during the winter.
Best independent schools for tennis
Reed’s School, Cobham, alma mater of Tim Henman, St George’s College, Weybridge, and Queenswood School, Hertfordshire, each boast superb tennis facilities and scholarships that attract some of the best young players in Europe.
For schools competing hard to recruit top talent – sporting and academic – success on the games field is a potent shop window and attracts clusters of gifted youngsters, often on generous scholarships. For those who make it big in football, cricket, athletics and rugby, the financial rewards are huge. The world of sports management, media and marketing is also a lucrative, fast-growing business, so the incentives to succeed as a competitor, promoter, pundit or media executive are stronger than ever.
Sports boarding schoolsin the UK
Major boarding schools like Millfield, Tonbridge and Wellington dominate the sporting production line, thanks to the time devoted to team and individual practice, high quality coaching, organisation and facilities, plus a large quota of able, ambitious students egging each other on to achieve in a culture of friendly rivalry and professionalism.
For David Faulkner, Millfield’s director of sport, the school’s investment in coaching and development is key. ‘It’s down to what we put around the individual,’ he explained, ‘the total focus on technical, tactical, physical and mental provision, from sports psychology and nutrition to video feedback and fitness.
‘The academic side is equally important as many of our youngsters achieve sports scholarships to top US and British universities that can offer life-changing opportunities. Last year, two of our hockey players involved in the England age group programme, Olivia Allen and Torzie Boyland – both 19, won scholarships to Harvard where they’re doing brilliantly, maintaining a superb balance of work and sport and reflecting Millfield’s ethos of students striving to be the best they can be.’
Whitgift’s director of sport, Alistair Osborne, agrees that the school’s role is far wider than simply producing successful teams and individuals. ‘We do a range of sports to a high level and get a huge number of our 1,450 boys involved,’ he said. ‘Over 90 per cent of our Year 7s represent the school at different sports. We specialise in rugby, hockey, cricket and football and unusually for an independent school, have several boys in the Chelsea and Crystal Palace academies each year aiming to become professional footballers.’
King Edward’s School, Birmingham
John Claughton, chief master of the high-flying King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and himself an Old Edwardian, has first-hand experience of sport’s benefits. A former Warwickshire cricketer, he achieved four cricket Blues and a double first in Classics at Oxford, and his sons are following in his footsteps.
James is playing hockey for Exeter University in the prestigious National League and Tom is winning Oxford Blues in both cricket and hockey. The school, which boasts Leicester and England rugby star Miles Benjamin and cricketer Mark Wagh among its alumni, is renowned for its water polo and hockey but titles and trophies are only part of the story.
‘With the growing stresses of academic work, we are seeing the value of sport as not only a release but a chance to enjoy yourself outside lessons,’ explains Mr Claughton. ‘It helps develop teamwork and leadership. I look at the older lads playing in the university sides with my sons. They have very busy lives and their CVs prove they can manage their time well, communicate and multi-task, which really boosts their employability.’See Also14 Scholarship Essay Examples That Won Thousands25 Interesting Facts about Football - Swedish NomadVegetable garden container ideas – 20 ways to grow crops in potsBest Home Security Cameras (2022)(Video) 20 Weird things ONLY British people do! (+ Free PDF & Quiz)
For Dan Clark, director of sport at picturesque Bradfield College, learning to cope with setbacks is an important part of the school’s success. ‘We have outstanding facilities: glorious grounds, great pitches and a nine-hole golf course. We’ve even built an indoor “swing room” for golfers to perfect their swing.
‘To me, though, the transferable skills our students gain from high-level sport are just as important: dealing with failure through developing resilience and learning to bounce back, as well as discipline from regular training and respect for other people. All these are applicable to business and the world of work and produce fully rounded human beings.’
There is an ethos of individuality, unique to Britain, which winds its way through many of the traditional public schools with pride. Shrewsbury plays the ancient game of Eton Fives, which is also called Rugby or Winchester Fives depending upon which school’s sports field you happen to be standing on. And then there are the distinctive ‘one-offs’. These are the games played only at the school that invented them, usually in eye-wateringly muddy conditions, such as Prince Harry’s choice, the Wall Game, the Field Game (both Eton), Harrow football, favoured by Churchill and King Hussein of Jordan, plus Winchester College Football (known as Winkies), in which ‘raising a plant’ (blocking a punted ball with your chest) was once considered ideal for building moral fibre.
(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
With such a close-knit community of enthusiasts, these quirky pursuits often forge lifelong friendships. Who can forget those who have spent happy afternoons ‘knuckling’ or grinding your face with roughened gloves in the Wall Game, or accompanied you to matron with concussion from heading the huge, sodden Harrow ball? Rackets, the explosive forerunner of squash, started as a gambling game in the 18th-century debtors’ prisons and spread to the public schools. Fourteen schools still play it, including Cheltenham, St Paul’s, Tonbridge and Eton, where Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne was a talented exponent. Despite its gamey flavour and archaic setting, rackets is thriving with record entries for this season’s schools championships. Although once considered far too fast and dangerous for women, Malvern College, Clifton, Wellington and Haileybury have dominated the recently introduced girls’ events after Malvern staged the first national women’s doubles championship in 2010. Last season, Clifton’s French squash star Lea Van der Zwalmen, 19, won both the British Schoolgirls’ championship and the first-ever women’s world rackets crown, and competes with her male rivals on equal terms.
Canford, Radley, Clifton and The Oratory School, Berkshire have their own real tennis courts and others, including Warwick School, Dulwich, Sherborne and Eton, offer it as an option. Like rackets, its quirkiness and perceived exclusivity can bring career benefits.
‘It definitely helps your CV,’ admits former Oratory sports director Jonathan Howell, a real tennis professional who mentored the Earl of Wessex. ‘Many well-connected people in the city and the professions play it. It’s a complex sport and the kids who play are often slightly eccentric with plenty of oomph. We play matches against senior sides from Lord’s and Queen’s Club; the kids meet their adult opponents in a relaxed atmosphere. Sometimes seniors say, “What are you doing when you leave school? Why not give us a ring”.’
Finding the top independent schools for sport
So whether a youngster is aiming for a career in professional cricket or football, aspires to play county netball or simply enjoys milling about in their school’s third rowing eight or toning up with aerobics or badminton sessions, sport in the independent schools has something for everyone. The best provide generous scholarships, international-standard training and elite performance pathways to help their stars achieve on the world stage.
For the journeymen too, the benefits are invaluable. Even the least sporty types get the chance to try a range of different sports, any one of which could prove a joy for life. One friend’s highly intelligent but frankly clumsy and uncoordinated daughter won an academic scholarship to Millfield, discovered an unlikely passion for netball and trained doggedly with the school squad in a specialist shooting position. Her dedication paid off: her team won the national schools championship – and she achieved a coveted place at Cambridge, a huge boost to her confidence and her job prospects. Mens sana in corpore sano and all that.
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- Coleraine Academical Institution.
- Repton School.
- King's School Canterbury.
- St Paul's School.
- Eton College.
- King's School, Chester.
- Kingston Grammar School.
- Gresham's School.
- The Hardest University To Get Into In The UK.
- University Of Oxford: 21.8%
- University Of Cambridge: 28.5%
- London School Of Economics And Political Science: 35.2%
- St George's University Of London: 39%
- University Of The Arts London: 41.9%
JIRS is the best International boarding school for sports in India, that has an incredible international sports infrastructure.What is the most elite girls school in England? ›
|1||Wycombe Abbey School - High Wycombe||97.61|
|2||Benenden School - Cranbrook||95.36|
|3||St Swithun's School - Winchester||94.23|
|4||St Mary's School - Calne||94.01|
- Football. Football is the most popular game played in the U.K. and follows a traditional league system which consists of more than one hundred teams. ...
- Cricket. Cricket is the national sport of the U.K. and became popular in the U.K. in the 17th century. ...
- Rugby. ...
- Badminton. ...
Pace. In the case of the British curriculum, it can be found that in primary/secondary school, the level of learning in the U.K. school system was considerably higher. The students have in-depth knowledge of each topic taught in each stage.What is the easiest school sport? ›
- Running – I guess running is probably up there with the most easiest sports to play. ...
- Basketball – It is rewarding for anyone to grab the basketball and pass it through the basket. ...
- Volleyball – On the rise in popularity amongst many countries worldwide, it is of course volleyball.
- Argentina. People all over the globe consider Lionel Messi the best soccer player in the world. ...
- Australia. Rugby, surfing, and tennis are some of the biggest sports in Australia. ...
- England. ...
- France. ...
- Japan. ...
- New Zealand. ...
For boys the top 5 most popular sports in America are: Football with 1,006,013 participants, Track and Field with 605,354 participants, Basketball with 540,769 participants, Baseball with 482,740 participants and Soccer with 459,077 participants.What is the sportiest school in England? ›
When it comes to sport, Millfield is almost untouchable; it was the most represented school at the London 2012 Olympics and 2014 Commonwealth Games. This is the school where students train for Olympic Gold, are coached by former Olympians, and have the use of world-class indoor and outdoor facilities on campus.What is the poshest school in England? ›
- Brighton College: $66,500. ...
- Cheltenham Ladies College: $59,000. ...
- Gordonstoun: $58,250. ...
- Winchester $57,750. ...
- Eton $56,000. ...
- Millfield $55,000. ...
- Harrow $54,750. ...
- Sevenoaks $54,500.
- University of Oxford.
- University of Cambridge.
- University College London.
- Imperial College London.
- King's College London.
- University of Edinburgh.
- University of Manchester.
- University of Glasgow.
A favourite of the royal family, Eton College is the UK's best-known private school.What are the top 5 secondary schools in the UK? ›
- The Godolphin and Latymer School. ...
- Brighton College. ...
- King's College School, Wimbledon. ...
- Wycombe Abbey School. ...
- Magdalen College School. ...
- Guildford High School. ...
- St Mary's School Ascot. St Mary's is a leading Roman Catholic independent secondary school for girls. ...
- St Paul's School.
Football (Soccer) – Over 3.5 Billion Fans
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, with over 3.5 billion fans around the globe. Known as football in many parts of the world, this exciting sport has gained a huge following due to its thrilling gameplay and fast-paced action.
- Football 1863. The origin of football (referred to as soccer by some) can be found in every corner of geography and history. ...
- Cricket 1787. ...
- Rugby 1871. ...
- Golf 1502. ...
- Basketball & Volleyball. ...
- Hockey 1860. ...
- Rounders 1884. ...
- Badminton 1887.
Described as a hybrid game of squash and tennis and endorsed by our very own tennis icon Andy Murray, Padel is set to be the UK's fastest-growing sport.Which city in England has the best schools? ›
London. Given that 13% of the UK's population live in London, it is not surprising that the capital is home to 84 schools ranked outstanding by Oftsed. Kensington and Chelsea have one of the highest concentrations of outstanding primary and secondary schools, with around 50% of those being faith schools.
This is because the UK system is different to that in the USA. In the UK the curriculum is deeper whereas in the USA it is broader. The UK also has the A* grade which is awarded to a much smaller percentage of candidates than even the A grade.Is UK study better than USA? ›
Length and Types.
|Ph.D.: 5-7 Years||PhD: 3 Years|
If you're a little unsure on your major or want to experiment for a year or two, then the USA is probably the better option. If you are 100% set on a subject, and just want to get going, the UK may be the place for you.What is the girl version of Eton? ›
Wycombe Abbey compares better as an all-girl equivalent to a male-counterpart Winchester, rather than Eton; many parents view the more liberal Cheltenham Ladies College as a better choice for gifted children unsuited to a traditional and archetypal selective hothouse, academics-focused education.Are elite schools harder? ›
In some cases, much harder. Highly selective schools enrol (mostly) high-achieving students. As a result, the most elementary courses can be too advanced for a student with less preparation. It's unlikely that there would be any math course more elementary than Calculus.What is the most famous secondary school in England? ›
|1||Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet||Barnet|
|2||The Henrietta Barnett School||London|
|3||Wilson's School, Wallington||Wallington|
|4||The Tiffin Girls' School||Kingston upon Thames|
|Degree of Difficulty: Sport Rankings|
- Martial Arts.
- Ice Hockey. ...
- Gymnastics. ...
- Basketball. ...
- Soccer. ...
- Wrestling. ...
- Rugby. ...
- Water Polo. A group of young men playing water polo in an indoor pool. ...
Top Ranked Skill Sports.
|2||Swimming (200m Free)||86.9|
- Badminton. Hands down, one of the easiest and most rewarding sport to learn is Badminton. ...
- Swimming. Swimming is a sport that can be learned at any age. ...
- Cycling. ...
- Table Tennis. ...
USA the highest performing country in sporting events
Of course, the world's sportiest country isn't just one that possesses the right physical abilities, but a genuine interest as well.
- Ice Hockey. If you enjoy the majesty of gliding over the ice and the thrill of smashing into other adults, you might want to pursue a career in hockey. ...
- Baseball. ...
- Soccer. ...
Basketball. Basketball is indeed the most loved sport among the girls. Schools and universities today encourage girls to participate in basketball competitions.Which sport is most popular answer? ›
Football is the most followed sport in the world. The estimated global following for football is 4 billion.What sport do most kids play? ›
- Basketball – Basketball is hugely popular among both boys and girls. ...
- Baseball, Softball, and Tee Ball – Many young kids start off in this sport by playing tee ball, then taking up softball or baseball as they get older.
1: Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet.What's the best high school in England? ›
|1||King's College London Maths School 80 Kennington Road, London, SE11 6NJ Last year ranked 2|
|2||Magdalen College School Cowley Place, Oxford, OX4 1DZ Last year ranked 4|
University of Suffolk
It was established in 2007. It is one of the cheapest universities in UK for Indian students and for other international students. This cheap university in the UK has a student enrollment of over 5000 students who have access to over 70 different courses and degrees of study.
- Harvard University 17,660.
- Stanford University 7,972.
- University of Pennsylvania 7,517.
- Columbia University 5,528.
- New York University 5,214.
- Northwestern University 4,354.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology 4,089.
- Yale University 3,654.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
|Rank||School||Top Grades (%)|
|1||City of London School For Girls||98.7|
|3||Guildford High School||97.2|
|4||King's College School (KCS)||97.1|
|1||St Antony's RC Primary School, Forest Gate||London|
|2||St Stephen's School, East Ham||London|
|3||Mayflower Primary School||London|
|4||Fox Primary School||London|
Mater Dei High School
#1 Best High Schools for Athletes in America.
Association football is the most popular sport, followed by Cricket, Tennis and Rugby.Which sports certificate is best? ›
- Graduate Certificate in Sports Analytics and Management. ...
- Online Certificate in Esports Management. ...
- Executive Program in e-Sports Management. ...
- Graduate Certificate in Sport and Event Marketing. ...
- Graduate Certificate in Sports Journalism. ...
- Graduate Certificate in Sports Business Management.
Located in the Berkshire countryside – and within an hour of London – Bradfield College is one of the leading UK schools for football education. The school has an acclaimed football programme for boys, and a fast-growing football programme for girls.What's the most popular girl sport? ›
Basketball. Basketball is indeed the most loved sport among the girls. Schools and universities today encourage girls to participate in basketball competitions.What is England's oldest sport? ›
Polo is perhaps the oldest team sport; the first recorded tournament was in 600 B.C. between the Turkomans and the Persians (the Turkomans were victorious). The first game in Britain of “hockey on horseback” was organised on Hounslow Heath in 1869 …What is London's favorite sport? ›
London's most popular sport is football (soccer) and it has 12 Football League clubs including five in the Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham United.Which country is best for sports Studies? ›
- Sports Science in USA.
- Sports Science in UK.
- Sports Science in New Zealand.
- Sports Science in Canada.
- Sports Science in Ireland.
- Sports Science in Cyprus.
- Sports Science in Spain.
- Sports Science in Australia.
- UPF Barcelona School of Management, Spain.
- Sheffield Business School, United Kingdom.
- Coventry University, United Kingdom.
- Universidad of Europe, Spain.
- Victoria University, Australia.
- Deakin University, Australia.
Over the past few years the Southampton academy has become a beacon of homegrown talent in England. Some of England's brightest young talents have been produces by the academy. The level of player produced has kept Southampton a firmly secure fixture in the Premier League.
1. Liverpool. Liverpool has the best football fans in England and what makes Liverpool the best fans in the world is the Anfield atmosphere on matchday.Which school has the best soccer team? ›
|3||University of Washington||18-2-2|
|4||University of Notre Dame||14-5-5|