|The main sports for boys are rugby in the Michaelmas Term, hockey in the Lent Term and cricket in the summer. These games are at the heart of our fixtures calendar, and provide the opportunity for strong competition and good performance against a wide range of schools.
The philosophy behind the coaching of rugby here at Denstone is ultimately to produce an all-round rugby player. Boys leaving us at the end of the Upper Sixth Form will be committed and enthusiastic individuals who have been guided through the years of coaching and match play to reach the highest standard of which they are capable. Above all, the College believes that all players should uphold the spirit of the game and embody the key qualities of team work, pride, enjoyment and commitment. Denstone’s rugby is steeped in history and every boy representing the school at 1st XV level since 1899 is recorded on the honours boards in the north wing of the main building. There are some noteworthy names, and the College has produced many former international players dating back to 1909. Through a carefully developed programme of practice, training and clinics delivered by staff and professional coaches, we continue to produce players of calibre who play representative and national rugby, carefully nurtured by the Director of Rugby.
In the Lent Term the focus for boys switches to hockey. Hockey goes from strength to strength, with us fielding a 1st and 2nd XI and A and B teams in all years. All school teams have regular training and can expect to be involved in fixtures against other schools on Wednesdays and Saturdays. As with the girls, all boys receive regular hockey training, irrespective of their experience, thus ensuring they have the chance to participate in school matches during their sports career at the College. The two astroturf pitches, one floodlit, enable training and matches to continue all year round until 6.00pm. Some pupils also elect to train as umpires outside the Lent Term. Denstone is developing an impressive record of success against worthy opposition. We regularly win county titles at different age groups in the outdoor and indoor game, and the sport is gaining momentum under the guidance of the Director of Hockey. The College has for many years provided players for county teams and the numbers continue to increase year on year.
Cricket is the main sport for boys in the Summer Term but coaching takes place throughout the year. Denstone fields 12 sides at all levels and age groups. The College has an excellent 1st XI pitch and pavilion that is the envy of many. Both indoor and outdoor net facilities are of a high standard. High quality coaching is delivered by a mix of full time teachers and part time professional coaches. Various clinics and coaching sessions continue throughout the winter. Every encouragement is given to talented games players to realise their full sporting potential whilst at school and to achieve representative honours. Numerous students represent either their county at age group level or are attached to a county. The College teams are regularly crowned county champions at various age groups.
Football is a sport option in the Lent term for boys in the third form and above. The College 1st XI, 2nd XI, and U15 A sides all play in the Mercian League and have had some success at 1st team and 2nd team level. There are also fixtures for the 3rd XI, the U15 A and B and the U14 A and B sides as well as internal house matches. As with the main sports, fixtures are on Wednesdays and Saturdays with training on weekday afternoons.
Swimming, golf, cross country, tennis and athletics are all available options for boys during the year. Swimming is led by qualified coaches and includes endurance, life-saving and social swimming. Golf is played on our own challenging 9 hole English Golf Union (EGU) affiliated course which allows pupils to gain an official handicap. The school team plays in the HMC Foursomes and the Independent Schools’ Golf Association (ISGA) singles competitions. The Golf Club, which all pupils and parents are eligible to join, has a very full fixture list. The extensive College grounds permit those opting for cross country running to explore the many routes which take them around and out of the grounds and into the rolling Staffordshire countryside.
Tennis is offered during the Summer Term to boys from the 3rd Form onwards as an alternative to cricket. We have 12 astroturf courts which are floodlit and six hard courts. The senior boys play in the Summer Derby League. This allows pupils to play against established senior clubs in the Derby area. The junior and middle pupils play in the Year 10 Aegon Championship which allows them not only to further develop their doubles partnerships, but in addition to play singles which can hugely develop their match playing skills. Denstone competes in the ISTA Championships, and also offers the chance to enter the Road to Wimbledon singles competition.
The key focus of the athletics programme is to improve the athletes running technique using the Speed, Agility & Quickness Continuum (SAQ) and sprint conditioning drills. Individuals are also given the opportunity to work on their specific events with specialist coaches. In addition a performance group has the opportunity to train at Northwood Stadium and the annual district championships are held at Denstone. Our athletes are regularly selected for the county championships, divisional championships and the National Schools Finals. The final occasion of the school year is an athletics competition when all six houses compete in keenly contested athletics events.
The wide range of physical activity on offer at the College ensures that every boy has the opportunity to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle, and learn the many physical and social benefits inherent in a busy sporting programme.