News story from Sandroyd School

Genuine Co-Educational Sport must be a priority in Co-Educational Schools

Sandroyd is delighted to announce a transition to fully co-educational cricket teams across all year groups.

Photo: Sandroyd School
Girls Cricket
Girls Cricket

27th June 2021 — Sandroyd is delighted to announce a transition to fully co-educational cricket teams across all year groups. Girls at Sandroyd have been playing cricket as their primary summer sport for three years now, but from this term, they will all be training and competing in the same teams as the boys.

Girls have been an integral part of a Sandroyd education for nearly 20 years, and there is an even 50:50 split between girls and boys. The school caters for pupils aged between 2 and 13. Over 70% of the children in the Prep School board, with all of the children in Years 7 and 8 boarding for their final two years in the school.

Faith Golding, Head of Girls' Games and a former Commonwealth Games gymnast, comments, "Our attitude is simple: gender in sport doesn't matter, what counts is the player's interest, skill level and enthusiasm. We aim to foster a love of sport regardless of the participant's gender. Every child at Sandroyd is given the opportunity to play sport with their friends in a competitive environment. Mixed teams demonstrate to our children that they are all equal, they all need to be treated with the same respect, and they all have the same opportunities. It helps everyone understand their self-worth; it also allows us to field the strongest possible competitive teams."

Alongside the Performing Arts and their award-winning daily Strive Programme, Sandroyd has always used competitive sport as a means for the children to step out of their comfort zone and to develop their character alongside their peers. With both genders playing on the same team, the school provides a further opportunity for the children to understand their self worth as they would in being part of a mixed drama production or music ensemble. Many of the character skills that a Sandroyd education helps nurture are achieved by encouraging children to take controlled risks in a safe and happy environment.

"Playing co-ed sports is a great way to learn more about teamwork and learn from, and about, each other. The skills required for cricket are well suited to co-educational participation, and it is wonderful to see the boys and girls playing side by side not only in matches and games sessions but also within our cricket academy coaching sessions." Says Tom Blomfield, Sandroyd's Head of Boys games and himself a former pupil at the school. Tom set up Sandroyd's Cricket Academy five years ago, running evening sessions throughout the year. The academy is run by highly experienced male and female external coaches and is popular across all year groups.

There are sadly still too many areas in the sporting world where women are treated differently to men. This attitude is outdated and something that Sandroyd is proactively keen to address by changing historical perceptions. Modelling and promoting the correct values for children and respect for each other are at the very core of this approach.

Headmaster, Alastair Speers, is delighted with the move, which is just one part of the schools thorough review around how both genders live alongside and work together in a wholly respectful environment. "At a time when all schools are examining in great detail how we can ensure the respect boys show girls and vice versa, the sporting environment is just one area where these values can be and must be modelled. This is an exciting time for Sandroyd Sport."

Sandroyd School is a co-educational boarding and day school for children aged 2-13. For more information please contact Suzanne Knight, sknight@sandroyd.com, 01725530124

Sandroyd School (Coed 2-11) is a day and boarding school in Wiltshire.

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