Berkhamsted Group | 29.01.2020

Berkhamsted ranked amongst the nation’s best by School Sport Magazine  

Berkhamsted ranked amongst the nation’s best by School Sport Magazine  

Berkhamsted have been named as the third best independent school in the latest edition of School Sport Magazine. The national publication ranked each school based on 20 different sports and 120 national competitions throughout 2019.  

Berkhamsted had a memorable year qualifying for the national finals in all three age groups for Netball, something the school has never achieved before, as well as being crowned National 1st XII Lacrosse Champions for 2019. Six other age groups also competed at the National Lacrosse finals with four reaching the semi-finals and beyond.  

School Sport Magazine national competitions

There was further success on the Rugby and Football pitches with the 1st XV reaching the later stages of the National Champions Trophy and the U11 Football side being crowned IAPS National champions for the first time in the school’s history.  

Berkhamsted celebrated success on the cricket field with the 1st XI reaching the regional final of the U17 Schools’ Cup and the girls U13 & U15 sides both performing well in the School Sport Magazine National Cup. There was also national success in Swimming, Equestrian and Athletics throughout the year.  

Hertfordshire’s finest

Of all the school’s named by School Sport Magazine, from Sedbergh in Cumbria to Millfield in the South West, Berkhamsted are the only Hertfordshire based school in the top 30 

Shared success

School Sports Magazine explain their rankings are based on “20 different sports and more than 120 different national competitions, more weighting is given to success in a range of sports rather than single sports as well as competitions with more teams competing.” 

Berkhamsted fielded in excess of 220 teams in 2019 across 19 different sports ranging from Cricket to Cross Country, Gymnastics to Golf. Every pupil has the opportunity to represent the school at sport and participation rates across all age groups are extremely pleasing.  

Every pupil benefiting

While studying A Level maths, economics and psychology Maddie Beckworth captains the title winning Lacrosse team and plays Netball for the first XII.  

She said “2019 was a fantastic year of sport for Berkhamsted, I believe the main reason for this was the incredible sportsmanship which all pupils showed at all levels of sport throughout the year making school sport incredibly enjoyable as well as rewarding. This allowed all pupils, regardless of their ability, the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of sport.  

“Netball and Lacrosse has had a great year and I think the reason for this is the staff, who dedicate their passion and expertise throughout the year, providing all pupils with the determination and drive to reach their team and personal goals. Being a part of this motivated culture has meant success is truly apricated and provides everlasting memories.” 

Maddie is also one of 124 Sixth Form students to complete Gold Duke of Edinburgh and participated in a programme to learn business consultancy skills.  These experiences, together with her academic achievements give her a great chance of success in her university applications to Exeter and Bath.  

Drive and motivation

Ayrton Shepherd, Year 13, has enjoyed two outstanding seasons with the 1st XV Rugby team.  The squad have developed their skills with support of the specialised coaches. From the established senior players, to the younger pupils joining the team, they all have a genuine drive to improve their game.  

While Ayrton is an exceptionally talented first team Rugby player, he recognises the benefit of all the sports opportunities at Berkhamsted.  

Focus on enjoyment

“There is an outstanding range of opportunities and sports for all pupils to enjoy. For example, my main focus is on Rugby but in the lent term I place a lot of my focus on playing for the 3rd XI Football team and last season we won the league title which was the first league title the school have ever won. I play in these games not because I’m good at Football (which trust me I’m not) but because I enjoy playing with my mates and find its always a good fun. 

Community support

It always feels great to be a part of a successful team. A huge sense of honour is felt by the players especially when teachers come up to us to congratulate our team on our win on Saturday. It feels even better to see the crowd watching our home fixtures getting bigger every week with a lot of our teachers, present and past pupils and the wider community coming to watch us. Even after all our successes it’s amazing to see how grounded all the players are and how respectful they are to the younger teams.” 

Ayrton hopes to study Economics and Politics at Exeter after completing his A Levels.  He plans to continue playing Rugby throughout his education then at club level, while his career ambition is to work in the financial district of London.  

Director of Sport David Gibson said “We are absolutely delighted to feature in the top three of the rankings following such an amazing year of sport at Berkhamsted. This has been a real team effort and great credit should go to all the dedicated pupils, staff, coaches and ground staff. ”  

We are very proud of our teams, and individuals, who have gained national recognition, but we are equally proud of everyone who represents the school. We aim to provide every pupil with a positive experience of sport and physical activity during their time at Berkhamsted and hope that they enjoy in participating in the sports that they love.” 

“I would also like to thank the parents, supporters and staff who give up their time to encourage and coach Berkhamsted pupils and school teams every week. They are a vital part of the schools’ sport community. 

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