Instead of requiring HCH pupils to strive on a traditional, relatively narrow games diet – for example, rugby for the Autumn Term, hockey for the Spring Term and cricket for the Summer Term – we would prefer them to gain basic proficiency in a much wider range of supervised activities. These naturally include core national sports like soccer, rugby, hockey and cricket, but we are developing a programme which will enhance this range by including activities as diverse as cycling, archery, judo, kayaking, skulling and rowing, golf, swimming, athletics and X-country, lawn bowls, badminton, tennis, basketball and softball.
In many schools, sport is organised on a large scale along relatively limited avenues. The advantage of this approach is the team ethos which develops from having a fixture list and a selection regime for different age groups. At HCH, while we want to be able to offer team experiences, we are particularly keen to ensure that pupils with obvious talent have the opportunity to play in appropriate team contexts. However, the right context for talented youngsters is often a particular sports club where expert coaching is available on a regular basis. With such clubs we are currently consulting and developing relationships.
With national standard competitors in ice skating and gymnastics among our pupils (who clearly benefit from the freedom and flexibility of our approach to sport), we are keen to create a sport and activities programme which helps to identify and foster the aptitude for excellence in some sports, but which is geared to offering variety of experience (rather than quantity or intensity) to most students.
At present, a wide range of sporting options is already available and Hampton Court House participates in rugby, football, judo, cricket and tennis matches with other local schools. Children receive coaching in netball, basketball, football, hockey, cricket, tennis, softball, badminton, table tennis and swimming. In addition to our own grounds, we use facilities in Bushy Park. Swimming currently takes place in Imber Court Sports Club.