Sport teaches us about being a part of a team and the importance of working together to accomplish a common goal. It helps us to learn to shoulder personal responsibility, how to cope with defeat and failure, and how to remain focused on a task for the period of time required to achieve it. We learn about consistency and concentration, and how to overcome weaknesses and go beyond our limits.
All boys in the first two years at Tonbridge take part in compulsory PE lessons, which aim to introduce them to a number of sports including volleyball, badminton, basketball, swimming and water polo. Extensive use is made of the Tonbridge School Centre, which provides one of the best bases for indoor sport in any school in Britain. By improving boys’ overall games playing ability across such a range of sports, the PE programme also compliments the broader school games programme, as well as exposing the boys to some of the other sports that are on offer within the varied games programme that Tonbridge School offers.
First and second year PE lessons also promote health and well-being among the boys. Each of them will have the chance during PE lessons to build and work on individual fitness programmes, with the help of the personal fitness advisers in the Tonbridge School Centre. These programmes also incorporate advice on how to reach their potential in sport and how to minimise the chances of injury when playing sport. Boys will be taught fundamental movement skills, mental techniques to reduce the impact of anxiety on performance, and will also learn how to conduct an effective warm-up and cool-down.
Sport's universal framework for learning values, such as teambuilding, perseverance and self- discipline, contributes immeasurably to the soft skills needed for responsible citizenship. Winning without arrogance and losing with good grace are touchstones of our philosophy as we strive to make sport at Tonbridge inclusive, competitive and transformative.
Tonbridge’s reputation for sporting excellence is indisputable. Tonbridge has provided a pathway for a host of international, county and professional sportsmen over the years, yet we pride ourselves as much on engendering a lifelong enjoyment and participation in our boys.
All sports operate on a ‘club’ system and provide boys with the opportunity to participate competitively whatever their ability. We run multiple teams in all age groups (for example we field as many as 30 rugby and football teams in the Autumn Term, and a similar numbers of hockey and football teams during the Lent Term and cricket, tennis and athletics team teams in the Summer Term) and there are competitive House competitions in most sports. Our unique, weekly 'House Leagues' system, where A team players are ineligible, in addition to our traditional House Match system, allows all boys the chance to represent their House and this contributes massively to a boy’s sense of belonging and identity in Tonbridge.
In total there are over 20 different sports played at Tonbridge, including Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Climbing, Cross-country, Fencing, Fives, Football, Golf, Hockey, Judo, Rackets, Rugby, Sailing, Shooting, Squash, Swimming, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball and Water Polo.
These are supported by unsurpassed sporting facilities. Our Sports Centre, completed in 2008, provides national standard indoor facilities to supplement our outstanding outdoor facilities, which include over 100 acres of superbly-maintained playing fields, three astro-turf pitches and an all-weather athletics track. Tonbridge was recognised as an Olympic training venue for London 2012, hosting the Australian Track and Field team for their Training Camp prior to both the London Olympics and the World Championships in 2016.
The Tonbridge School Centre allows our boys to benefit from some of the very best sport and leisure facilities in the south-east.
A major strength of Tonbridge sport is the commitment of the academic teaching staff to our programme, which helps to deepen the mutual respect and rapport between staff and boys. In addition, a number of full time specialist coaches are employed by the school and we run a network of Academies in rugby, hockey, and cricket which provide support to boys throughout the year.
Our professional coaches have coached and played at the highest level and hence help to keep Tonbridge sport at the vanguard of coaching developments and maintain close working relationships with a number of professional clubs and national governing bodies, such as Saracens RFC, Harlequins RFC, Kent CC, Surrey CC and England Hockey.
BSc, University of Wales, Cardiff