Does anyone have a child on a sports scholarship?

(22 Posts)
changer22 Fri 19-Aug-11 19:46:44

I'm interested in learning more. We're always being told that DS has a talent for sport but I wondered just how good a child needs to be before being entered in for a sports scholarship at an independent school. He's 9 (and at a state school) so quite young but I realise a number of prep schools offer scholarships around Y3/Y4/Y5.

bigTillyMint Fri 19-Aug-11 19:57:06

DD is a sports scholar at a local comp. They get extra sports sessions and are encouraged to participate in stuff on offer. It has given her an extra boost of confidence that she is actually good at sport. DS is hoping to follow in her footsteps!

I think the amount of sport on offer in many independent schools would be the main reason for me to consider private education as both my DC are sporty (they take after DH, not me!) and both would have loved more sport at primary / prep level.

Does he do any sport at a high level outside of school? I think you have to be potential county/national standard to get a sports scholarship as lots of children are "quite sporty"

changer22 Fri 19-Aug-11 20:04:46

Thanks bigTillyMint. The trouble is I don't know when county level sports start though. He is good at tennis, hockey, 'throwing' (rubber javelin, tennis balls!) but they seem to do very little (3x a week if it's not raining/the hall isn't in use, etc.), and get exposed to even less, at school.

We're doing what we can to boost it but I would love it to be part of his education as I think he could be good.

bigTillyMint Sat 20-Aug-11 06:58:09

Does he do any sports competitively outside of school? He could be doing competitive tennis now, or football, tag rugby, cricket, cycling etc. I think you might have to prove that he has the ability, the motivation and the commitment and above all, a massive drive to win.

I agree, primary school sports is pretty pants if your child is good at sports as it is very rarely taught by a specialist, and they don't usually have the facilities. That is why you have to look for outside clubs, sometimes at vast expense!

Why don't you contact the potential schools and ask for some pointers on how they choose thier sports scholars?

Wantingsun Sat 20-Aug-11 08:40:39

At 7 my dd got a sports scholarship to go into year 3.

Her main sport was swimming, and she was racing against 11/12 year olds and winning.

Unfortunately you cannot compete in swimming competively until you are 9, but you can do some inter clubs etc.

She had to do a days trial of different sports, and if it was sports that she hadn't done before they wanted to see how she picked it up.

Whichever sport she does she excels at. She had to do the beep test and had to perform at a standard of a 12 year old.

I would take that then that for a 9 year old to be scholarship material should be matching 13/14 year olds.

If you are a sports scholar expect to have not many hours in the day left for anything else:

Swimming 25 hours a week training
Gymnastics 18 hours a week training
Team sports 2 hours a day training - matches on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons

Independent school was the only way to fit it all in - up at 5am to start the day.

Main thing is child has to be passionate about it and have the drive to put in all the time.

My other children are equally as taleneted sport wise, but have absolutely no desire to put in the hours, therefore they won't be going for sports scholarships.

Ladymuck Sat 20-Aug-11 09:29:31

Well the local indies would all be looking for references from your child's sports clubs for a start: usually looking for involvement with more than one sport, and preferably a sport in which that school competes. So first off I would be looking at the local sports clubs where Juniors get to compete against other clubs (as typically these will be the clubs where children get picked for county level).

mollymole Sat 20-Aug-11 11:07:48

when my son was offered sports scholarship (when 14) he was a county champion/multiple winner at Inter Counties level and top 10 at National level
(athletics)

at 9 they will expect him to be a member of one or more sports clubs and be punching above his weight age wise

are you ready for the intensive training (as well as your son) as the committment required is enormous

chill1243 Sat 20-Aug-11 11:17:32

After Wanting Suns schedule info.....it would be better to avoid it for the sake of your child. Competitive sport has its critics. Try will self and DOMINIC hOBSON, ENTREMENEUR.

generalhaig Sat 20-Aug-11 23:10:05

Check which sports the schools you're interested in specialise in - ds is on a sports scholarship but some of the local independent schools only offer scholarships for rugby/football/cricket so he didn't try for those as although he's good at pretty much any sport he tries, he wouldn't be at the required standard as he doesn't do them outside school.

The standard also varies depending on how many kids they need for each sport, and how many kids take part in the sport e.g. rugby's a good one to try for as the squads are large and not so many children play rugby as football. For a more individual sport like swimming, children would need to be exceptionally good (making finals at regional level at the very least, if not national level) as far fewer kids are needed to make up a team. If a child is very good at two or more sports, then they'd accept a slightly lower standard in one of them.

Certainly by 9, to be in with a chance of gaining a sports scholarship at most prestigious schools your ds would need to be taking part in sport outside school at a high level - and that would be the case even if he were already at a prep school as no school will be able to match the standard of coaching etc offered by out of school clubs (unless it's a specialist sports school like Millfield)

By the way, I don't know ANY swimming clubs which would have a 9 year old swimming for 25 hours a week - certainly none of the clubs round here, one of which has produced more than one Olympian. It sounds like a perfect recipe for burnout before puberty to me ...

Merrylegs Sat 20-Aug-11 23:49:17

I think it depends on the school also as to how they award their scholarships.

For eg our local independent school has a day in which all those interested in the sports scholarship attend and 'perform' (bleep tests, fitness tests, throwing etc etc). They didn't seem to ask any questions about the child's extra curricular activites.

The boarding school also had a similar test day and to some extent it depended on how the child achieves on the day, but there they also asked for additional evidence of sporting achievement.

While there is certainly more opportunity for sport at independent schools (they just seem to timetable it better into the curriculum), if a child is to excel at any one sport they absolutely have to be doing it outside of school as well.

For example, DS is a county tennis player (they start county at 8 btw!) but that has absolutely nothing to do with his school. It is all extra curricular. He does get chosen to play in all the school tennis teams though!

Similarly, his school has national swimmers, rowers and skiers in it. If you looked at the list of achievements of these kids in the 'sports news' section of the school newsletter you would perhaps think, wow this school really excels at sport.

Actually every one of those kids is training out of school. So although the schools are reaping the rewards for their teams it is not the schools alone that got the kids to that point.

mumteacher Wed 24-Aug-11 00:06:42

Does anyone know of any good football clubs for younger children? Excel football seems to be the one that keeps coming up- any others?

bigTillyMint Wed 24-Aug-11 10:22:35

MT, is there anything local? Round our way there is Little Kickers for tots, then there's a low-key skills practice/kick around for 5 - 8's and when they are 7+ they are probably ready for joining an FA registered team.

Sadday Wed 24-Aug-11 15:00:39

My sons school offers a sports scholarship for entry into year 7. To be eligible you have to play at district level in 2 sports, and that isn't achieved through school alone, you have to be doing something outside.

In year 6 my son will have the opportunity to play district rugby and cricket, some of his class mates applied and were successful in year 5 a year early, as well as applying for football places, but we felt it too much, on top of the sport he is already doing. He swims, plays rugby, cricket, and football, not to mention gymnastics and athletics! We honestly felt the two nights off mid week should be nights off and not try and squeeze district sports in. Likewise our Saturday's are very precious!!

to us the fact that our son is sporty but under no pressure is enough for now, We will just go with the flow, however the move to private school, was based on his enthusiasm towards sport in general.

chill1243 Sat 27-Aug-11 12:21:00

Very interesting thread. I learned a lot from it. Thanks.

Sadday Sun 04-Sep-11 22:45:23

Mum teacher - maybe approach your local leisurecentre, Or check for notices on your swimming pool noticeboard? A lot of local clubs to us are run by parents themselves and join local leagues. I personally wouldn't go down any other route. Sometimes then through that club or through the school they offer trials to your local club minis program, how old is your son? Do you know who your local club are?

maryjoe Thu 13-Oct-11 10:50:47

Hi my dd is 7 and is very talented at swimming, she swims with older children at club 10,11 12 yr olds and is putting out really good times, she can`t do Gala`s yet as she is too young, she also does great in distance swimming and open water. Does anyone know where to get a sports scholarship at this age or alittle older?

soolewis Sat 03-Mar-12 15:26:42

In case anyone else considering this. My ds has just been offered a sports scholarship to a v. sporty school. He plays cricket for a local club and used to play football for one. As he goes to a small prep school he has also had the chance to represent his school in other sports but although he is v. good at all sports he is not outstanding at any of them, i.e area or county level. My experience may be atypical (the school does not specify any sporting requirements and many do) but this is encouraging for anyone considering this option. I should add, the scholarship is neither here nor there when it comes to fees and there were twelve applicants - don't know how many scholarships were awarded.

soolewis Sun 18-Mar-12 12:57:45

My ds has just been awarded a sports scholarship at a v. sporty independent school in Sussex. Although is very good at all sports, not outstanding at any one i.e area or county level. Awarded for cricketing ability. Plays for local cricket team and has represented small prep school at football, cricket. New school did not specify had to be at representative level and therefore may be atypical. There were 12 applicants, tested on core school sports plus tests for strength, speed, general ability etc.The award was tiny so little help with fees but great for ds's self esteem! Hope this may help.

soolewis Sun 18-Mar-12 13:01:03

Sorry have posted twice on this as could not find the original link and thought it had not been posted!

AmbessaHaylom Sat 20-Apr-13 07:33:55

Yes, My child has taken sports scholarship. Actually he has taken Football Scholarship from "United Sports USA" which offers almost all types of Sports Scholarships so you don't need to worry about the sports scholarship which you want to take for your child. I think this info maybe helpful to you.

TackedOff Wed 24-Apr-13 11:54:04

my daughter is a sports scholar at an independent secondary.

She was county level in athletics and swimming (won county in two events)

Plus has an excellent work ethic.

TackedOff Wed 24-Apr-13 11:55:09

her award was quite substantial. But she is known for being an excellent athlete so they wanted her :-)

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