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The Sports Department recognises the importance of extra-curricular sport and the benefits this has to all students at K.E.S. Each student is encouraged to join the vast array of extra-curricular opportunities on offer. Additionally, students who are interested in representing the School at their chosen sport are allocated extra training sessions throughout the school week. The Sports Department’s Philosophy of ‘Participation, Progression, Performance’ is delivered in the wide and varied program on offer.
Our performance sports are as follows:
Rugby has a particularly strong tradition at K.E.S. The boys are proud to represent the School and encouraged to set high personal and team standards. The fixture list consists of many of the Midlands’ top rugby schools, including Bishop Vesey’s, RGS Worcester, Nottingham High School, Warwick School, Pates Grammar, Magdalen College School and King Edwards Birmingham. Boys represent the School almost every Saturday throughout both the Michaelmas and Lent terms, challenging themselves on one of the country’s premier fixture lists.
The coaching delivered by the Rugby Department at K.E.S. is of a remarkably high standard whereby the boys are coached to understand the game, enabling players to make appropriate decisions in high pressure environments. The School runs high quality strength and conditioning programs throughout each year group, closely following the RFU guidelines.
The netball performance programme continues to grow in stature and numbers here at K.E.S. The squad train twice a week and play mid-week fixtures against strong opposition in Warwickshire, Worcester, West Midlands and Oxfordshire including King’s Warwick, Bablake in Coventry, St Helen and St Katharine, Abingdon, Bloxham and Bishop Vesey’s.
We have three strong teams including Club and Pathway players with all teams playing regular, competitive netball. The girls are set personal goals and targets by the experienced coaching team which are regularly reviewed. We run pre-hab training with an experienced netball physio and offer strength and conditioning sessions.
The squad tours every 2 years with recent tours including Malta, Barcelona and Spain and Gibraltar (2018) and are planning the next tour in UAE for the Dubai Netball Festival.
Hockey runs alongside rugby as the performance sport through the Michaelmas and Lent terms. It is led by the schools Head of Hockey, Mr James Gilchriest and assisted by specialist hockey coaches. Students play on a growing fixture list against strong opposition including Bablake, Solihull, Warwick School and K.E.S. Aston. After school training and games lessons take place on an Astro pitch a short distance from School at Henley-in-Arden. In 2014 the 1st XI were crowned Warwickshire Schools League champions.
Cricket is the performance summer game at K.E.S. Boys play on a very competitive fixture list against regional and local opposition, also entering competitions to challenge themselves in different environments. The School has an outstanding cricket square, consisting of four wickets and an all-weather wicket, as well as both indoor and outdoor cricket nets and a brand new cricket batting cage. Cricket training runs throughout the School year, allowing boys to continually develop the key skills needed to be successful during the cricket season. In 2014 the U16s were winners of the Warwickshire County Cricket Cup, in 2016 the U12s also won the county cup and in 2019 the 1st XI played and drew with the MCC.
Athletics is a performance summer sport, giving students the opportunity to develop technically proficient performance in the key aspects of running, jumping and throwing. The School has a specific jumping lane, grass athletics track and specific throwing areas. Students compete in regional and national competitions including fixtures against other schools. They also get the chance to represent their house in the Performance Track and Field inter-house track and field championships held on a professional track at the University of Warwick. Cross country runs through the winter months with students attending a range of competitions.
Fencing at K.E.S. goes back to 1964. Now it is a strong performance sport within the School, calling themselves Shakespeare’s Swords. The School is a local centre of excellence for British Fencing. Students can start fencing at K.E.S. when they arrive in Year 7. There is a special introductory course run for them be the coaches and senior boys, which is traditionally extremely well attended. Our purpose-built Levi Fox Hall is designed to cater for this sort of training and is one of the best fencing training venues in the country. Boys can also start fencing in their senior games option in Years 11-13.
K.E.S fencers have achieved some notable results over the years. The School has provided many members of the British and England youth fencing teams, a tradition maintained by our current athletes. Indeed one year K.E.S. was proud to man the entire England U16 and U18 sabre team. In 2019 the School were British Team Fencing Champions and runners-up at U13, U15 and U18, a fantastic achievement.
The School’s Boat Club was founded in 1926 and has long and rich history of success. It is probably best known as the founding school of the Ball Cup Regatta. K.E.S has won the Ball Cup on eight different occasions, most recently in 2016. Although one of the smallest school boat clubs in the country it has produced some outstanding individual oarsmen over the years, including James Roe who is a two times World Champion and who won Olympic Gold for Great Britain at the 2012 Paralympics.
The School races at local, regional and national level events. The School has links with Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club and uses its clubhouse, and equipment. The clubhouse is a short 5 minute walk from School. The School Boat Club has a highly qualified Head Coach and two level 2 coaches on the academic staff. In 2014 the senior pair finished 6th in the National Championships. In 2016 both the girls’ and boys’ crews won the Ball Cup, creating history as the only School to do so in both categories. The 2017 squad won 5 out of 8 events at the Northampton Head and finished 2nd in the other three! The girls’ crew have now won the last 4 consecutive Ball Cup races.
The commitment to King Edward VI School Rowing requires significant dedication to train at the appropriate level and the Ball Cup Victory was a culmination of three years of relentlessly pursuing a specific goal from a talented set of students and coaches. A truly tremendous achievement.
Annual sports tours regularly head to both national and international destinations. The Year 9 rugby and hockey squads tour annually to Northern Ireland or Scotland and the Year 9 cricket squad have just returned from Sri Lanka. We aim to take more ambitious overseas tours away every two years. Recently the 1st XI Cricket squad had a successful tour to Trinidad and Tobago, the Senior Rugby squad have toured Argentina, Canada & USA and are due to visit South Africa in 2020. Our netball players tour every two years, having recently returned from Spain and Gibraltar and now looking at a potential tour to Dubai in 2020.
King Edward VI tours are designed to develop the performer and the person. Finding challenges in a new environment helps build character, enhance personal identity, grow the sports department core values and ultimately improve performance.