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What is the sport like at Westminster School(15 Posts)
Hello all, I hear the sport at Westminster School isn't great, however during a school visit I was impressed by their sports hall and playing fields. I am not sure where this talk comes from so wanted to find out from parents who have sons at WS about their experience and exposure for their son to good fixtures across football, cricket etc. Thanks
Where did you hear that the sport was not good?
We (DS &DD) found it great. Obviously not as competitive as the really sporty schools, but lots of it, a big choice and well supported.
Needmoresleep just wanted to find out a bit more about what opportunities the boys have - so do they take the boys to play tours abroad for cricket / football ? what are the coaches like - specialists ? Also it seems like they play competitively but do not win against the sporty schools - is that what you mean ? I should have clearly asked when at the school but the questions just escaped me !
They are very strong on participation, but too small a year group, plus not enough facilities to really compete. If you want a very sporty school you should be looking at somewhere like Dulwich or Whitgift.
Also the choice of sports is huge, so fencing, climbing, squash, shooting. More or less everything except rugby. Which again means teams are dependent on who is in them. Rowing is strong, as is climbing. Normally specialist coaches are used.
No cricket or football tours as far as I know, though there are for rowing. However there are normally a number of outdoorsy options when it comes to school trips.
If you want lots of sport Westminster is good. If you want top ranking sport, you should be looking elsewhere.
They are one of the top schools for rowing, rather pretentiously called ‘water’. However this is for the boys only, there is no rowing for girls. You see them on the Thames wearing pink!
There was rowing for girls in DDs year. However nothing like the same standard as the boys, given most were beginners. I think they offered the spare seat to a girl from a local sixth form.
St. Pauls is huge on rowing too and cricket /rugby as well and quite competitive. Will try and find out about Highgate too ! Need to get a good balance of academics and sport and between these 3 schools need to figure out which one is the right fit 'irrespective of offers'. (grin)
Williteverend, yes. And a good trick if your child is talented in a more niche sport and is looking for a school that will support.
However "what is sport like" is a pretty open question. Westminster is very very good at participation. They give lots of time to sport (two full afternoons a week plus Saturday matches as well as a range of inter-house sports competitions), employ good coaches and give plenty of credit if a team does well. But aside from rowing, and some niche sports like indoor climbing or real tennis, they are rarely competitive against bigger and better resourced schools.
What they are very sucessful at is introducing pupils to sport, and perhaps generating a life long love for a sport. Often kids who would have never considered themselves sporty. DS continued in his (individual) sport through University as did his friends, whilst others carried on with fencing etc. Like many of the girls, DD picked up two new sports in sixth form, and has carried one through to University. One big advantage of the range of sports is that you are almost guaranteed a place in the team, which is not so for so-called sporty schools who may focus their efforts on the first and second teams (and not so for some co-ed schools for whom rugby remains the main sport). That said, rowing is good and they have been able to spot a surprising number of classmates in the Oxford and Cambridge boats, and a good handful seem to gain sports scholarships to the US each year . My regret though was that neither took up golf which seemed to involve trips to rather posh courses to play against Old Westminster members.
Thank you so much Needmoresleep and Williteverned, really useful responses
Rowing, cricket +/- soccer are traditionally competitive.
Less so for other sports!
See the Westminster School sports prospectus PDF (Google it).
I’m interested in good schools for girls rowing at 6th form. It sounds like Westminster would offer her a seat in a boat if she really wanted it, but it wouldn’t be competitive. Though, of course the academics would be superlative. I think she would want to keep rowing in the elite squad of her club at the same time, and the time commitment might be incompatible with Westminster academics. Though she is in an academically elite girls’ school in London at the moment and is balancing the two.
The boys boats in DDs year were very very good, several going on to win sports scholarships at major US Universities, with no obvious problems keeping up with academics. Westminster pupils seem to expect to be busy. A girl in DDs year competed in the World Championships is an individual sport that required a significant training commitment whilst a boy in DS’s year was motor racing at an elite level and has gone on to have a professional career. And some very accomplished actors and musicians. One of DS’ peers ended up sitting some of her A level papers whilst at the Cannes film festival.
So it can be done but I suspect it is easier to be at a school that takes girls rowing seriously.
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@EmpressoftheMundane I gather King's Canterbury is excellent for rowing - including girls rowing. There was a female alumna who became a British olympic medalist.
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