Kent College Director of Sport Linden Lockhart outlines the ways in which the school develops sport enrichment for all and brings on young talent

Kent College is a school steeped in sporting history. We have a reputation for delivering a strong sports programme as part of our diverse and varied school curriculum. We see sport as an integral part of a student’s life here and understand the important role it plays – at both the elite and participation ends of the performance pyramid.

Our department seek to instil a positive attitude towards exercise with a firm understanding of its importance towards building both physical and psychological health. We prepare and deliver regular, high level progressive coaching and skills development to all students across all ability levels.

We also offer a diverse range of activities and opportunities across all year groups – including termly masterclasses – and work to develop key life skills such as leadership, communication, decision making and teamwork. The Sports department also provides the talented athletes here at the school with a performance pathway to play at the highest level through our Elite Programme. Kent College sports facilities include a sports hall, gym, squash courts, an AstroTurf for hockey and tennis, and extensive sports pitches for football, rugby and cricket. We also have a Riding Centre and offer horse riding lessons, and the opportunity to take part in competitions as part of our sports programme.

“We also offer a diverse range of activities and sporting opportunities and work to develop key life skills such as leadership and teamwork”

The major sports for girls in autumn and spring are hockey and netball, while boys play football and hockey. Major sports for boys and girls in the summer term are cricket, athletics and tennis. For exceptional hockey players (boys and girls) training is available for indoor and outdoor hockey, with one-to-one coaching and support.  Our expert coaches include hockey player Ali Brogden, who represented team GB in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and Kent cricketer Darren Stephens.

KC takes its commitment to offering a varied set of sporting opportunities seriously and many students take part in cross country running over the winter, and athletics events in the summer term. There are facilities for trampolining, badminton, volleyball, basketball, yoga and body strengthening and conditioning in both our gym and at Kent University. A full calendar of fixtures against schools in the southeast of England and further afield, plus sports tours, give all of our pupils the opportunity to expand their sporting horizons. Recent hockey tours have included Berlin (indoor hockey), and Holland (Euro Hockey tournament).

Supporting our high performing athletes to reach their potential is extremely important. We have a number of athletes who represent the college at both national and international level. Sports scholarships are awarded at three entry points on the basis of individual assessment by the Director of Sport and recommendation to the Executive Head.

The elite programme at Kent College supplements the academic timetable and is available for our main focus sports. This is designed to develop individuals’ talent by delivering a more comprehensive training schedule. As part of the programme, we include the high-level support and training that professional athletes would receive in order to maximise performance and reach their goals.

Kent College

Further reading: Gordon’s School on how sports develop ‘soft’ skills