At Haileybury the importance of sport is recognised - as a vehicle for healthy living, as an opportunity to engage in and learn from competition, as well as a means in itself for fun and fulfilment. We aim to provide expertise for highly talented and enthusiastic games players, as well as for those who are less naturally at home on the games field but who, nonetheless, will benefit from taking exercise and developing skills.
Every pupil is expected to take part in the formal sports programme on at least two occasions each week. In the Main School, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are set aside, in part at least, for games. Enthusiastic games players, and not least those who represent the School in sports teams, will generally train more frequently than this. Fixtures against other similar schools take place on Saturdays and, with the exception of the Lower School, only infrequently during the middle of the week. Each year group usually fields at least two, and often three, teams. In this way, important opportunities are assured for enthusiastic games players to represent Haileybury regularly in competition.
The most significant girls' team sports that are played are hockey, lacrosse, netball, tennis, rounders and swimming, while the equivalent within boys' team sports are rugby, soccer, hockey, cricket, tennis and swimming. The School's most capable games players are channelled towards these team sports so that we produce competitive teams to engage in fixtures against other schools. There is, however, a range of additional sports which are offered, including rowing, sailing, golf, squash, rackets, basketball, athletics, badminton and fencing. The range of choices available to pupils increases as a pupil progresses through the School.
Coaching is generally provided by Haileybury's own teaching staff, many of whom have themselves been or remain accomplished and enthusiastic games players. The input from teachers, however, is complemented by the appointment of specialist coaches. Haileybury employs a professional rackets coach, a lacrosse coach, a hockey coach and a cricket coach (former New Zealand test captain and national coach, Geoff Howarth OBE).
Beyond the formal games programme, there are boundless opportunities for recreational sporting activity in free time during afternoons, evenings and at the weekend. These might include a casual game of squash, a swim in the indoor pool, participation in a five-a-side soccer competition or in girls' basketball training. All of these add a further dimension to the recreational and social life of a busy boarding school and provide boys and girls with opportunities to sample different sports and to develop skills.
Haileybury's facilities for sport are excellent. In addition to the acres of magnificently groomed playing fields, the School boasts a double-court Sports Hall and a gymnasium, a 25-metre indoor swimming pool whose design has won national awards, two glass-backed squash courts, an astroturf hockey pitch, a dozen tennis courts and one of only 13 rackets courts existing throughout the country. In 2008, Legends Tennis opened a new indoor tennis centre, situated next to the Sports Hall.