On your marks – School Profile

“Being involved in sports in a positive and engaging way is hugely significant to us,” says Deputy Head Stuart Turner. “We recognise the value of participation and enjoyment whatever the skill of the student.”
The school has invested heavily in its sports facilities which comprise large green playing fields on the school grounds, enough for three football pitches; a swimming pool; gym and sports hall in addition to the recently refurbished boathouse at Barnes and the sports fields in Raynes Park. There are also two aerobic suites and a new strength and conditioning space on site. “As the students grow older, in addition to traditional team sports, they are motivated by personal fitness activities like yoga, Pilates, dance, gym, rock climbing and aerobic work with a real focus on health, fitness and wellbeing,” says Mr Turner. Girls and boys can even take part in a regular morning running club to set them up for the day.

Team sports are a large part of life at Emanuel School, running approaching 1,000 fixtures a year with around half the school population (500 pupils) playing in a match on any given Saturday. The rowing team has gone from strength to strength with the girls’ team competing at the Henley Regatta for the first time this year, and Tim Liversage, former coach of the England boys rowing team, has recently joined the faculty to drive the sport forward. In Year 8, all students take rowing as part of their games’ lessons and Easter and summer holiday camps are also available for the younger pupils.

Other team sports include water polo, tennis, cricket and rugby. New football and hockey sides have been added so that more girls and boys can compete, and last year, every Year 6 and 7 pupil took part in an inter-school fixture. Recent joiners, Director of Girls’ and Boys’ Cricket, Wayne White, newly retired from professional cricket with Derbyshire and Lancashire, and rugby coach George Ross, who also coaches the U16 Harlequins, are testament to the school’s commitment to sport for all.

As part of its community outreach programme the school lends its swimming pool and sports facilities to local state primary schools as well as to the Fulham Foundation disability football club and London Wayfarers Flyerz, disability-inclusive hockey. In addition, as part of ‘Primary Ambitions’ (the school’s award-winning partnership with 20 local primary schools), the Lower Sixth pupils regularly coach pupils from the local state primary schools in swimming, gymnastics and multi-sports each week.
Inclusivity is key and as well as academic, music, drama and art scholarships, keen sports girls and boys can apply for a sports scholarship for a significant reduction in fees. Indeed, talented young girls and boys may be able to achieve fully free places if academic and sporting ability or financial needs are evident.
Over 80% of Emanuel pupils go on to study at Russell Group universities, but for Mr Turner, “Like sport, it’s all about taking part, enjoying and excelling. We help our students mature, thrive and find their passion.’

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