Sport for all starts early at Croydon High

Sport for all starts early at Croydon High

Sport for all starts early at Croydon High

There is an on-going debate amongst educationalists and in the media generally about young people’s participation in sport and whether or not schools do enough particularly to encourage girls to get active.

Fears of increasing obesity levels and over-indulgence in sedentary pursuits amongst both sexes abound and it has been suggested that unless girls are encouraged to become involved in sport whilst still in their junior schools, fitness and a competitive spirit will be much harder for them to achieve.

Whether or not this is true, Croydon High School certainly won’t be taking any chances. Sport is firmly embedded in to the curriculum here from the Nursery up and the wide range of options available to the girls means it’s not hard for every girl to find something they enjoy.

Croydon High Juniors Head, Sophie Bradshaw, recognises that when it comes to encouraging participation, variety is the key. “We introduced Quidditch last year on World Book day, which allowed all girls, no matter their sporting ability, to have a chance to succeed and enjoy a new sport.”

wimming lessons start in Nursery; the school has the enormous advantage of having a fully equipped sports club on site and weekly trips to the pool are highlight for the youngest girls in the school. From Year 1 upwards every girl participates in a lesson of games, swimming and gym & dance – and that is just the timetabled activities.

Fiercely fought inter-house competitions in cross-country, hockey, netball, swimming and rounders take place six times a year and really bring out the competitive spirit in the girls. The annual sports day in the summer sees the entire school out in the extensive grounds, with the most popular event being the whole school relay. Starting with Reception class, the baton is passed from one year group to the next, with the sixth-form girls handing over to members of staff for the crucial last leg, to loud cheering from the assembled crowd.

Positive role modelling plays a very important part in encouraging young girls in particular to embrace sport. Croydon High’s specialist staff includes the England Netball U21 indoor ‘nets’ coach whilst the Head of Junior Sport swims competitively in the European Masters.

Being part of the GDST network is a great asset when it comes to encouraging a competitive mindset, with Trust Rallies in all sports taking place all over the country between its network of 25 schools.

With basic skills established in the Junior school, the girls move on to join a vibrant sports department in the Senior school, where being active is just part of daily life. Younger year groups play all the main sports and there is a biennial international Hockey and Netball tour; this year they are going to Barbados.

Sport doesn’t stop in the Sixth Form; the fitness suite is very popular and girls enjoy yoga and pilates in timetabled sessions. A good number also continue to compete at high levels. Experiencing the many benefits an active lifestyle can bring throughout their school days, means that incorporating sport in to their adult life becomes, for most girls, a natural choice.

Croydon High School
020 8260 7543

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