SA School Sports


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Monday, 30 July 2018 14:55

School Feature: Epworth School

Epworth School, which caters for girls and boys from Grades RRR to 7 and girls only from Grades 8 to 12, boasts a strong sporting ethos that promotes inclusive participation and champions excellence.

At Epworth, we recognise the wider benefits of sport in building school culture and identity, fostering team spirit, and developing responsibility. We believe the skills and values honed on the sports field, such as resilience, commitment and discipline, carry through to academics and contribute to the holistic development of every pupil.

Epworth is renowned for its prowess on the sports field. Teams and individuals achieve at the regional, national and international level. Every year, Epworth celebrates approximately 15 pupils who either represent South Africa or are top 10 SA-ranked sportswomen in their respective sports. In addition, over 70 pupils are selected for regional or provincial teams.

The school has become a household name within the canoeing and squash fraternity: Epworth boasts 21 South African Schools’ national squash championship titles, and is recognised as the top canoeing school in the country.Regionally, it excels in cross country and has won eight consecutive Senior Midlands Cross-Country Leagues. This year, Epworth’s first hockey team was a finalist in the Spar KZN School Girls’ Grand Finals, achieving a bronze medal.

In most team sports, the school focuses on fielding multiple teams so that pupils of differing abilities have the opportunity to play and benefit from competitive sport.

In line with its culture of sports participation, Epworth encourages all pupils, regardless of ability, to engage in at least two afternoons of sport per week. Choices range from highly competitive and physically demanding sports to more social and less technical activities.

Inter-house sports competitions, which take place throughout the year, act as vehicles to build school spirit and cohesiveness, while promoting interaction between older and younger pupils.

The school’s wide range of sports include: tennis, squash, indoor and outdoor hockey, netball, basketball, swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, diving, water polo, canoeing, athletics, cross country, soccer, cricket, social running, stretch and fitness classes and adventure sports.

State-of-the-art sports facilities and specialist coaches are key to Epworth’s sporting success. Every sport, with the exception of canoeing, is accommodated on campus.

The recent addition of a gym to the sports complex is ideal for promoting lifestyle fitness and for strengthening and conditioning programmes. It is also the perfect workspace for the school’s in-house biokineticist. Sports facilities include:

  • Two multi-purpose indoor centres with basketball, netball, hockey and tennis courts
  • Artificial hockey surface
  • Four glass-backed squash courts
  • Eight all-weather tennis courts
  • Five netball courts
  • Ten lane, 25-metre swimming pool
  • Springboard diving facility
  • Two hockey/cricket/soccer fields
  • Cross-country course
  • Gym with strength and conditioning equipment

High Performance Programme

A high performance or “Top Fit” programme caters for Epworth’s elite sportswomen who are interested in improving their performance, maximising their athletic potential and avoiding injury. The programme is specifically designed to challenge and extend pupils to ensure they are operating at the edge of their comfort zones. Training sessions focus on developing well-rounded athletes who have the mental, physical, tactical and technical skills to perform at the competitive level. They also address common trends and myths around training, with particular emphasis on preventing injury and guarding against overtraining.

Adventure Sport

Epworth is well-known for its adventure sport activities, which incorporate many of the school’s values such as personal courage, perseverance, inclusivity, teamwork and appreciation for the natural environment. Some of the activities include: kayaking, hiking, camping, trail running, and mountain biking. The location for these activities may vary from year-to-year, but the Wild Coast, Mauritius and national and private parks, camps and dams within KZN are popular settings. There is also a community aspect to many of the adventures as they incorporate interaction with the local people and their environment.

Adventure sport activities are not reserved for the sporting elite; they cater for mixed-ability groups and pupils with varying interests. Some of the activities may require pupils to extend their comfort zones, but safety and security is always of prime concern. An experienced adventure sport coach is responsible for devising and leading all the activities.

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