Sports

Abingdon Prep offers pupils a full and diverse range of sports and activities to suit all abilities and interests. Sport is carefully tailored to each age group and is very much focused on enjoyment and integrating activity as part of health and well-being. Talented staff provide coaching and encouragement at all levels and boys frequently reach very high standards, representing clubs, county and regional squads in a wide range of sports. External coaches with specialist skills complement the School’s staff, offering additional support and expertise.

The School is set in extensive grounds with acres of sports pitches for cricket, rugby, football and cross-country as well as a multi-activity sports hall, cricket nets and an indoor heated swimming pool. The new multi-use Astroturf enables all weather hockey and tennis.

Team as well as individual sport is encouraged with every child given the opportunity to represent the school in matches on a regular basis. Teams compete in inter-school fixtures as well as tournaments and festivals throughout the year. Please see our Fixtures and Results page.

The School is proud of its sporting history and of our aim to provide more opportunity to more pupils. By browsing through the sections below, you can see the sporting opportunities available as part of the curriculum as well as our Other Half sports which provide a wide range of additional opportunities. 

As well as term time sporting activities we also offer holiday courses.

See the virtual tour: Sports Hall

Ashley David-Ward, Director of Sport​

Pupils are taught archery by a qualified archery coach. It aims to build coordination, strength and concentration. Suitable for all abilities, the sessions consist of target shooting, games and competitions with an emphasis on enjoyment.

The charge is £6 per lunch time session and £7.50 per after school session and will be applied to each pupil’s termly account in arrears. Please note that a charge for all sessions for the term will be applied regardless of sessions attended unless a pupil has been attending a school generated fixture or event and is unable to attend the activity for that reason.

  • Where: Sports Field and Tilsley Park (Sports Day)
  • When: Summer term; PE Lessons and as part of the Other Half
  • Who: Year 3 - 8

The aim of the Athletics Club is to provide an opportunity for all those with an interest to learn and to develop new skills. The club has a structured programme of coaching and regular competition that takes place in the Summer term against a large number of schools, at a local, regional and national level.

Coaching is provided in the full range of events; on the track: 60m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m; and in the field: shot, high jump, long jump and triple jump.

Training takes place during curriculum PE lessons and as part of the Other Half. Sports Day is held at the Senior School’s Tilsley Park with superb athletic facilities including an eight lane, floodlit track with steeplechase, pole vault, high jump and long jump facilities, a new throws area for javelin, shot put and discus as well as a 300 seat covered grandstand.

Year 8 or Year 7 have half a term each of badminton. Warm-up games are played (which tend to take on a bit of a competitive challenge in themselves) before the games commence in earnest! The Club promotes enjoyment of the sport, whilst giving some tips and strategies for game improvement.

The club focuses on fundamental skills, helping the boys develop dribbling, passing and scoring using both their dominant and non-dominant hand. We also take time to learn the attacking and defending strategies required for match play.

  • Where: Sports Field and Swimming Pool
  • When: Michaelmas and Lent terms
  • Who: Years 5 - 8, all abilities

Training is carried out as part of the cross country and swimming clubs and involves short interval training, time trials and longer tempo runs and swims.

Competition takes place in both Michaelmas and Lent terms in many prestigious events and against a large number of schools, at local, regional and national level. In 2015 the Under 10 team finished 2nd in the British Schools’ Biathlon Championships at the Olympic Stadium and the Under 11 team finished 4th in 2017.

Other competitions include: The Abingdon Vale Biathlon Championships, The British Biathlon Championships and The British Schools’ Biathlon Championships (Crystal Palace National Arena).

Pupils hone their core fitness in a series of activities undertaken as a circuit. The pupils notice a real benefit to their stamina and fitness in other areas of the sporting curriculum.

  • Where: Sports Field
  • When: Summer term
  • Who: 1st XI, 2nd XI, 3rd XI, 4th XI, U11A-C, U10A-C, U9A-C, U8 A-C

We currently play block fixtures against Pinewood, St Hugh’s, Oratory Prep and Cothill as well as entering local county tournaments.

Our U11 side tour Devon every June. Many of our pupils represent either Oxfordshire or their district.

A variety of cricket Other Half activities run throughout the school and are coached by staff within the sports department. Some sessions are aimed at players within specific cricket teams and allow them to hone their skills as well as spend more time working as a team. Attendance at these sessions is by invitation only. Other sessions are aimed at any pupil who would like to practise further the skills learnt during sports lessons.

Cricket Nets run in a variety of guises through the school all year round. The boys will hone their batting, bowling and fielding skills with drills, net sessions and fun games utilising the excellent facilities, including the bowling machine and video analysis.

The charge is £7.50 per pupil per session and will be applied to each pupil’s termly account in arrears. Please note that a charge for all sessions for the term will be applied regardless of sessions attended unless a pupil has been attending a school generated fixture or event and is unable to attend the activity for that reason.

  • Where: Sports Field
  • When: Michaelmas and Lent terms
  • Who: Years 3 - 8, all abilities

Training assumes a motivation for good health, commitment to the values and competition schedule of the club and strict adherence to teamwork. Training is a mixture of relays and fun running activities (Years 3 and 4) and interval, time trials and longer tempo runs (Years 5 - 8). Competition takes place in the Michaelmas and Lent terms against a large number of schools at local, regional and national level. These include: St Hugh’s Relays, Oratory School Greyhound Run, Chandlings, Oratory Prep and The IAPS National Schools’ Cross Country Championships (Malvern School).

In 2016 the Under 11 squad won the IAPS National Preparatory Schools’ Championships and the individual competition and retained the title in 2017. Our Under 13 squad finished in 4th place in 2017. We have a fierce reputation as an outstanding cross-country school locally and nationally.

With the successes our boys enjoy throughout the school, the Cross Country Club is one of the most popular clubs on offer!

Fencing is a form of martial art. It requires concentration, and discipline and involves training in fitness, speed and agility, as well as coordination. The transferable skills a fencer learns can help with organisation, independence of mind, a sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. It is a very inter-active sport and encourages young fencers to mix with a wide range of people.

Fencers at Abingdon Prep are initially coached in foil. They may be encouraged to try other weapons as they grow and develop as fencers. The Prep’s fencers regularly compete and win medals at county, regional and national competitions. A few of the more dedicated have attended England Youth Development Training Days.

Jenny Douglas is a BFA registered 3 weapon coach who fenced internationally and now coaches at national and international level. She is a qualified England Team Manager and is part of the England Youth Development Team.

The charge is £95 per pupil per term and includes all equipment. Jenny Douglas who coaches will invoice parents and payments are made directly to Jenny.

Further details and application form

  • Where: Sports Field
  • When: During core sport with matches on: Y3 and 4 - Tuesday and Thursday and Years 5 - 8 on Wednesdays and some Saturdays in the Lent term
  • Who: U13A-C, U12A-C U11A-D, U10A-D, U9A-D and U8A-D

The Football Club is well established at Abingdon Prep, with over 19 teams representing the School. The club plays regular fixtures during the Lent term against Oratory Prep, Oratory School, Dragon School, Abingdon School, St Hugh’s Prep, Pinewood Prep and Magdalen College School in addition to other local schools.

Players have also gone on to represent the ISFA Prep Schools’ district squads, as well as county and academy squads (Oxford United, Southampton and Reading).

The school runs a range of Football Other Half activities, from teaching the fundamental skills through games for our pre-prep boys to offering extra coaching to our 1st XI team. Some clubs are for the enthusiast wanting to enjoy some extra sessions and hone their skills and some are by invitation for specific teams to target particular techniques and team cohesion.

This is an exciting, action packed club in which the boys are put into teams and play indoor football simply for fun. Four teams are formed early in the term, and each week points are available in league matches, along with internal transfers at various intervals aimed to keep the competition fresh.

Pupils are taught by golf coaches from the JD Golf Academy. During sessions they learn the fundamentals needed to play golf as well as a range of shots to use on the golf course in a fun, active learning environment. No matter what age or golfing ability the aim is to help build confidence and help develop golfers for the future.

The charge is £7.50 per pupil per session and will be applied to each pupil’s termly account in arrears. Please note that a charge for all sessions for the term will be applied regardless of sessions attended unless a pupil has been attending a school generated fixture or event and is unable to attend the activity for that reason.

Hockey club has an emphasis on fun and aims to introduce boys to the game. They will work on stick skills, both reverse and open side, passing movement and will start to look at some 3D skills too. A range of drills will reinforce match play situations in both attack and defence. 

This club introduces boys to indoor hockey. Basic skill development and safety are the focus early on and then boys move onto applying what they have learnt to informal game situations. The club provides a supportive atmosphere promoting team work and sportsmanship so that boys of all abilities feel able to take risks and develop into confident players.

This club is run by a coach from the Oxford Sport and Traditional Martial Arts Club (OSTMA). The martial art skills are taught in a structured fun session teaching karate fundamentals to children who are complete beginners and guides them through developing their skills and technique to earn their grading for colour belts.

The charge is £5 per pupil per session and Patience Kakitie, our Sensei, will invoice parents at the start of each term, with payment made directly to Patience.

In addition, for those wishing to take a Grade, the first licence is £30 and thereafter renewed annually for £25. Each grading costs £25 and includes the cost of the new belt and certificate.

Boys have the opportunity to try out a range of different games, activities and sports. They experience sports which they may not have played before such as hockey and handball. The emphasis of multi sports is to have fun, be active and learn new skills.

There is a beginners' shooting club on a Monday afternoon, where they start with Air Rifle shooting in the first term of the school year. They then progress on to the .22 rifle with wooden rest for a term and then move on to use the jacket and sling for the remainder of the school year.

The Friday session is for more experienced pupils who will be using the .22 rifle throughout the year.

These sessions take place at Abingdon School’s rifle range. Pupils are taken by minibus from APS to Abingdon School and parents need to collect from Abingdon School.

The charge is £70 per pupil per term for the Air Rifle term and £75 per pupil per term for the .22 rifle terms and parents will receive an invoice for this directly from Abingdon School. There is also a charge of £3 per pupil per week to cover transport costs which will be applied to the pupil's termly account.

  • Where: Sports Field
  • When: Michaelmas term
  • Who: U13A-C, U12A-C, U11A-D, U10A-D, U9A-D and U8A-D

We pride ourselves on offering enough rugby teams in each age group for boys of all abilities to represent the School. We play competitively against other prep schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Years 3 and 4) and Wednesdays and some Saturdays (Years 5 - 8) throughout the Michaelmas term.

Some of the schools on our circuit include: Cheltenham College Prep, Winchester House, Cothill House, Magdalen College School, Pinewood Prep and Abingdon School.

Our Senior squads (U12 and U13) tour annually at October half term to Jersey.

The school also runs a range of Rugby Other Half activities, ranging from teaching the fundamental skills through games for our Pre-prep boys to offering extra coaching to our 1st XV team. Some clubs are for the enthusiast wanting to enjoy some extra sessions and hone their skills and some are by invitation for specific teams to target particular techniques and team cohesion.

  • Where: Sports Field
  • When: Michaelmas term and as part of the Other Half
  • Who: Year 7 and 8

Rugby Sevens is run during the Michaelmas term and as part of the Other Half activity for both Years 7 and 8.

Pupils are given the opportunity to further develop their rugby skills in local and regional competitions. It is a development pathway for pupils with the emphasis in training on core skill development combined with tactical decision-making.

Sevens also helps to assist pupils in their preparation and participation for representative sides at academy or county level.

Pupils use the sports hall and tennis nets to play short tennis in pairs.

  • Where: Swimming Pool
  • When: Michaelmas, Lent and Summer terms; curriculum time throughout the academic year
  • Who: All year groups

Our 4 lane 12m swimming pool provides the ideal environment to develop swimming technique throughout the year. The majority of the galas are held in the Lent term but we also enter swimmers for the IAPS Regional and National Preparatory Schools’ Championships in both the individual and relay events. It is recommended that the serious swimmers also join the local club which uses the Abingdon School pool.

Pre-Prep Swimming

The Pre-Prep club complements the skills taught during the timetabled lesson and aims to develop individual water confidence, stroke technique, diving activities and some free playtime.

Swimming Years 3-8

The clubs for older pupils welcome swimmers of all abilities and are taught by our qualified and experienced swimming coach. The clubs aim to extend skills and technique and provide a supportive environment in which to do so.

The charge is £7.50 per pupil per session and will be applied to each pupil’s termly account in arrears. Please note that a charge for all sessions for the term will be applied regardless of sessions attended unless a pupil has been attending a school generated fixture or event and is unable to attend the activity for that reason.

Swimming / Biathlon

By invitation only, this club complements the Cross Country Club and allows our athletes to maintain their cardiovascular endurance as well as supporting their swimming progress. The Club focuses on starts, turns and short interval training, all integral to the swimming element of biathlon.

See the School Swimming Records.

See the virtual tour: Swimming Pool

Table Tennis has become very popular with all ages at Abingdon Prep. The club has a relaxed atmosphere which enables the boys to play games and develop their skills regardless of their experience and capabilities. A great way to end the week at school!

Tag rugby is a non-contact team game in which each player wears a belt that has two velcro tags attached to it. The mode of play is based on rugby football. 

Attacking players attempt to dodge, evade and pass a rugby ball while defenders attempt to prevent them scoring by tagging – pulling a velcro attached tag from the ball carrier, rather than a full contact tackle. The emphasis of this club is on fun, skill development and teamwork but within the context of a conditioned game.

  • Where: Astroturf
  • When: Summer term
  • Who: The school runs 2 teams and these teams have regular matches. The teams are: U13 A VI and U11 A VI (Years 5 - 8)

Each age group is invited to train during the Other Half programme and all teams compete in inter school matches on Mondays.

Tennis coaching is provided by a company called ‘Growing the Game’. The aims of Growing the Game are to: Provide high quality coaching with great attention to detail, always maintain a sensible and professional coach to player ratio and educate the players that tennis is an all-round sport with fantastic skills to be learnt.

The charge is £7.50 per hour session (and adjusted accordingly for shorter sessions) per pupil and will be applied to each pupil’s termly account in arrears. Please note that a charge for all sessions for the term will be applied regardless of sessions attended unless a pupil has been attending a school generated fixture or event and is unable to attend the activity for that reason.

Volley Ball Club allows boys the chance to participate in this popular sport. They learn how to serve, bump, spike and set with drills and games designed to improve their skills and maximise their enjoyment of a sport they may not otherwise experience.

Water Polo Club gives boys the chance to participate in this popular sport. They learn how to tread water, swim with the ball and throw and catch to team mates during drills and games designed to improve their skills. The boys also learn how to do head up freestyle and head up backstroke in order to always keep their eye on the ball. Each session ends with a match where tactics can be discussed.

Senior winter cricket nets is a great opportunity for prospective 1st XI cricketers to work on the technical aspects of their game. The sessions involve batting and bowling, with more technical video analysis using our bowling machines.

Autumn Term Activties

Sports Fixtures and Results