Director of Sport, Rory McCann, has praised the hard work of staff and pupils - and a determination to adhere to the ‘Solid Castle’ sporting values at Merchiston Castle - after the school was shortlisted for a prestigious award.
Merchiston is in the running for the TES Sports Award and the shortlisting is testament to the continued strength of the long and successful tradition of sporting excellence within the school.
The School prides itself on fostering the pursuit of excellence in a ‘sport-for-all environment’ and offers up to 20 sports for boys of all abilities.
The three major sports are rugby, cricket and athletics, however, the School also runs specialist tennis and golf programmes through the Tennis and Golf Academies and these are first and second respectively in the UK in the rankings.
“As we were in dialogue with the TES Awards organisers it allowed us to take a step back and look at the school’s recent sporting successes and also to review and reflect what we do and how we can improve going forward,” Director of Sport Rory McCann said.
“On a daily basis there is a lot of sport going on at Merchiston at all different levels which we are rightly proud of and it is nice to be recognised for this on a UK-wide scale.
“All of the boys at the school take part in timetabled physical education up until the age of 16 while in the afternoons there are Games sessions and within those a number of different sports are offered.
“Due to the talented coaching staff we have available across the board we are able to offer other choices out with our core sports and things like football, basketball, hockey, squash, fives, badminton and swimming are very popular.
“We know that striking the balance between academic work and sport can be tricky and is key for a lot of the pupils and we work with them on that to make sure that they have the best environment around them to succeed in both spheres.
“We also do a lot of work with sporting governing bodies to ensure that if pupils are representing their country out with school everything goes smoothly so that they can focus on the job in hand.
“Around a year ago now we worked closely with the boys to put together our ‘Solid Castle’ shared values.
“Staff and pupils alike adhere to these when representing the school in a sporting capacity and words such as selfless, organised, leadership, integrity dedicated, coachable, attitude, sportsmanship, trust, legacy and enjoyment are always at the forefront of everything that the school’s sporting individuals and teams do.
“This helps people make good decisions and also learn to work well in a team environment.
“All of the leading sports staff here work very hard, we put a lot of effort in, but we are very lucky with the boys that we have to work with and their efforts day in and day out make any sporting successes all the more rewarding when they come about.
“There are some technically very good coaches here while some of the staff have themselves excelled at a high level within sport. We also have passionate teaching staff who show a huge amount of commitment to their Co-Curricular commitments which falls outside their regular teaching timetables. This must never be taken for granted and drives participation for boys of all levels. We are very proud of the participation rates across the school.”
Click here to watch a short clip of the sports on offer at Merchiston.
The winners of the TES Independent School Awards 2019 will be announced at a glittering ceremony and dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London this evening.
More details can be found at https://www.isawards.co.uk/2019/en/page/shortlist