Repton School, a co-educational boarding and day school in the village of Repton in South Derbyshire, has just announced the launch of an exciting and ambitious new swimming programme.
This will see Repton positioning itself as a nationally-ranked performance centre, as well as offering opportunities across the community.
The Repton Swimming programme has already attracted considerable interest, is set to grow rapidly with the appointment of a full-time Director of Swimming, who will have an extraordinary opportunity to build Repton Swimming into a nationally and internationally recognised club.
Utilising facilities at the two sites of Repton School and its preparatory school Foremarke Hall. The Director of Swimming will oversee the development of an extensive competition and multi-squad training schedule, affiliated with East Midlands and Derbyshire Swimming and providing ‘Performance’ swimmers with access to the quality of coaching that will enable them to compete at the highest level.
But there is an equally strong emphasis on community membership, through ‘Learn to Swim’ and ‘Community’ programmes, with ‘Swim Camps’ throughout holiday periods maximising opportunities for members and prospective members to engage with the sport, creating a wholly immersive swimming experience across the age ranges.
“This is a really exciting initiative, which has the potential to place Repton at the very heart of U.K. swimming,” says Headmaster Mark Semmence. “With the first-class coaching and specialist facilities that we are able to provide, our performance swimmers will have every opportunity to achieve success at the highest level, and we are equally delighted that it will bring the School and local community closer together.”
Swimmers will not only be able to take advantage not only of the two 25-metre pools – one at Repton School and another at Foremarke Hall – but will also benefit from access to all the other facilities in the newly-redeveloped Repton School Sports Centre. These include a new sports hall, strength and conditioning gym, squash ball courts, changing rooms, and conference and café facilities, and they add to existing facilities: two large sports halls, a fitness suite, the 25-metre pool, water- and sand-based AstroTurf fields, and indoor tennis courts, as well as a generous number of outdoor fields and courts.
“Across our two pools, new conditioning suite, and coaching expertise, we are in a position to deliver the very best swimming and athletic development, and this will provide young swimmers with all the conditions they need to maximise their potential,” says Ian Pollock, Director of Sport at Repton School.
Attending the opening of the redeveloped Repton School Sports Centre was Adam Peaty -Olympic, World, European, and Commonwealth Champion and world-record holder.
This was a return to home territory for Peaty who trained in the Repton pool for five years running up to his historic gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and at the opening he paid tribute to the support he had received from Repton School staff.
Adam’s coach, Mel Marshall, also worked as the School’s swimming coach during this time and has recently received High Performance Coach of the Year from UK Coaching and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BT Sport Action Woman Awards 2019.
Repton School enjoys a national reputation for its sport and Repton Swimming is another opportunity for pupils to be part of the Athletic Development programme, offered as a way of “delivering the fundamental skills required in all sports that are beyond those coached during the game.”
According to Repton School, “specialists deliver on-site at Repton to ensure a fully integrated approach that allow young performers to develop athletically directly alongside their main sports, regardless of what their discipline may be.
Following the well-documented Long-Term Athlete Development model, younger players get the chance to develop mobility, power, strength, and speed.
As they reach the more senior teams and a higher level of performance, a greater volume of strength and conditioning is integrated in line with their natural physical development.
In addition, the School is able to offer rehabilitation to injured athletes, ranging from support for growth-related issues through to those who have major surgery, and it also runs a physiotherapy clinic on-site where pupils can access further expertise and guidance.”
Crucially for aspirational young people, pupils are able to maintain their academic performance alongside their sporting commitments, receiving individual tutoring and monitoring, and, where appropriate, following a tailored academic schedule.
In recent years Repton School teams have won national titles in boys’ and girls’ hockey and boys’ football across the age groups, as well as a host of individual honours, and pupils have gone to take up sports scholarships at universities in the UK and US and across a range of disciplines, including hockey, tennis, football and cricket.
They are following in the footsteps of a long line of successful Old Reptonian athletes, including Olympic gold medallist Harold Abrahams, made famous by the film “Chariots of Fire;” C. B. Fry, known as “the King of Sport;” Wimbledon finalist Bunny Austin; Test and County cricketers Richard Hutton, Donald Carr, and Chris Adams; and Harry Cursham, who still holds the record for goals scored in the FA Cup.
More recently, these have been joined by Premiership football player Will Hughes and a significant number of hockey internationals, including five ORs selected for the Rio Olympics in 2016 and four members of the gold-winning medal women’s GB squad.
But Repton School is committed to supporting sporting activity in all young people and dedicated to developing every pupil’s interest in sport, whether they are aspiring professional football players or seeking sports as a leisure activity and part of a healthy lifestyle.
By offering outstanding facilities, an exceptional team of coaches and an inclusive culture, Repton School gives its pupils the opportunity to participate in over 25 sports, with a full fixture list against other schools and plenty of interhouse sport too.
The benefits of these sporting opportunities to pupils are seen off the pitch too, in their social and academic development.
Research consistently show that students engaged in sport improve their concentration and classroom behaviour, and are more likely to continue their education.
Competitive sports enable pupils to develop greater confidence, leadership, and self-respect, they are also better at managing their time and setting goals, and regularly have a more distinctive and developed sense of morality.
There are also significant benefits to young people in terms of their personal lives: those who participate in sports tend to have stronger peer relationships, a stronger attachment to and respect for adults, and a stronger sense of community.
Sport is also proven to help with the pupils’ mental health – something that is high on the Repton School agenda. Staff have a strong awareness of pupils’ mental health concerns and make a continual effort to be proactive in monitoring and promoting the well-being of individual pupils.
Repton School aims to produce pupils who are “globally aware, intellectually curious, socially conscious, politically informed, technologically fluent, and committed to excellence in all that they do”. The new Sports Centre and the Repton Swimming programme will strengthen its ability to do so and help pupils to realise their sporting, academic and personal goals.
The School is experiencing an exciting period of change and development under Mark Semmence’s leadership and further initiatives already undertaken in the year 2019–2020 include:
- a course to complement A Level study by equipping Sixth Formers with “Future Learning, Future Skills,”; this includes public speaking, economics, personal finance, world politics, and environmental concerns
- a new reporting cycle and more extensive and effective use of data for tracking and monitoring, both academic and pastoral
- fresh appointments at senior management and executive levels, including new expertise from the commercial sector
- a more efficient timetable, which provides more teaching time and helps pupils develop learning stamina
Ove the last decade more than 60% of classroom space has been renovated, refurbished or replaced. This has included the creation of the flagship Science Priory and a new teaching building for Mathematics, and refurbishment of the school theatre – the 400 Hall – and Precinct, alongside ongoing improvement in the boarding houses.
While Repton School continues to implement its core values and to provide opportunities across its academic and extracurricular programmes, its pupils will go from strength to strength and join a strong generation of young graduates. You can follow along with Repton School’s sports program on Twitter.