Hurst College was delighted to win the Sporting Achievement award in the 2020 Independent Schools of the Year. The judges’ decision to present the college with this award was due to its focus on recognising the physical and mental value of sport and sharing the benefits with the wider community, including the children of key workers during lockdown. The physical and mental wellbeing of pupils is central to Hurst’s sports offering and equal attention is given to those who simply want to participate as well as the elite performers. Its ambition is to create an activity diet that engage all pupils in an enjoyable, challenging and meaningful way, through traditional team sports, individual sports and outdoor pursuits-and to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle. The College also offers a unique player welfare programme, with qualified physiotherapists who triage, monitor injuries and support rehabilitation in conjunction with strength and conditioning coaches.
Hurst’s philosophy has always been the importance if sport for all, which not only includes its own students and staff, but other schools and organisations in the local community. The extensive facilities and a sustained programme of development play a significant roles in enabling the college to provide a broad range of activities, create community initiatives and host events. The college has forged strong links with maintained schools by hosting development days, as well as being a hub for Surrey Storm Netball South and Sussex County Cricket academies, a feeder for the Harlequins Rug by Development Programme and the base for Sussex Hockey.
Under normal circumstances, 100 teams across all ages and levels of sporting ability compete throughout the year- the result of a carefully crafted development programme which has delivered sustained success at regional and national competitions, and which has also taught pupils important life skills along the way. The college’s Sports Department responded well to the unique challenges of remote learning by creating alternative ways of engagement and successfully implemented a comprehensive programme, including on-site options for children of key workers.
The college has established a reputation for the quality, breadth and inclusivity of its sporting provision. Successful collaboration with pupils and parents and a constant desire to improve is the driving force behind its overarching aim to ensure that each pupil develops a lifelong love of sport and physical activity.