Prep Sport

Sport is an integral part of life at school, whether boys are representing the school or their house, or simply learning to be part of a team.

The boys will play sport every day as we strongly believe that it is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

Every boy will be part of a team and we believe that is important for their confidence and personal growth. We require all the boys to play with passion and commitment, whatever their level.

The boys are encouraged to play games in the right spirit, with sporting behaviour promoted and celebrated. There is a chance for outstanding sportsmen to receive ‘colours’ in a sport, but all the boys have a chance to enter competitions and challenges throughout the year.

Many will become so interested in playing a sport that they go on to join specialist after-school clubs to help them progress faster. This is an important part of a boy’s day, a time for relaxation and bonding where lifelong friendships are formed.

Alongside many other sports, football, rugby and cricket are at the heart of our sporting programme and competitive matches against other schools and clubs are a highlight of each week.

Every boy can be successful in at least one sport. Our job is to take the time to find the sport that is right for each boy.

Click on the dropdown options below to find out more about our sports.

Athletics

Athletics is very important at Eaton House Belgravia Prep and we enjoy many varieties of the sport.

At our sports day we were delighted to participate in a variety of sports which included traditional running races and relay. House challenges are always exciting for the boys as it is a great honour to win for your team and your house, and merits are an additional bonus!

We all enjoy running cross-country and we are lucky to have nearby Battersea Park and Clapham Common for green and unhindered runs. The fitness and conditioning that athletics and cross country build up are essential to our successful pursuit of many other sports.

Sports day took place on a fine summer’s day. All the children participated in a running heat, a whole-school obstacle race, and the tug of war heats and finals. Year 3 children completed a hurdle race and a senior house relay.

There were some stand-out performances by Year 3 in the senior house relay. One exceptionally gifted sportsman took away the Eaton House Belgravia Prep Victor Ludorum trophy, which is awarded for overall sporting prowess at sports day. Well done!

Cricket

The summer term brings the start of our cricket season and cricket, a very popular sport in the school.

Improved running skills, batting skills, hand-eye coordination, catching skills and pace – these are just some of the benefits that this very enjoyable game brings.

Although there is some standing around, to play cricket you need to be fit and strong. The game involves sprinting between wickets and running to stop balls, as well as bowling and throwing. Health benefits include endurance, and stamina and cricket is an important sport at all the public schools that our boys aspire to attend.

Our Year 4s are very excited to begin the cricket season and will be applying all they have learned to date in matches with other schools and against Eaton House The Manor.

Last year, Year 3 started the season promisingly, but the A team received a bit of a wake-up call, as, despite bowling exceptionally well, the batsmen conceded too many wickets and not enough boundaries were found. This was soon corrected with plenty of practice.

There has been great enthusiasm and improvement in PE and games sessions and the after school Cricket Club has been well attended. Not surprisingly, hand-eye coordination skills improved, and all teams played tactically well, remembering to call and creep.

During the summer term, the boys’ focus turned to participating in numerous styles such as pairs cricket. Much more thought and care was applied in ensuring bowlers applied themselves to length and line and the number of wides and no balls fell significantly in Year 3 after half term.

Football

Football is very popular at Eaton House Belgravia Prep.

It is wonderful for the boys’ coordination, running skills, ball control and hand-eye movement. It is also teaches them the importance of team spirit and selflessness in service of the whole game.

Outside COVID times, we have many fixtures and tournaments with other schools, and every boy is required to play with passion and commitment. Please note that in the roster of fixtures we always have one competitive match between the parents and the boys, so prospective parents might like to get an early march on the competition by getting their practice drills in early! (That’s a little joke – it’s all for fun!)

To help improve our game, we have created a really useful set of football levels for home practice. These include drills for controlled stopping, kicking on a roll, controlling the bouncing ball, speed dribbling and controlled dribbling. We also suggest marking policy for drills, so that boys practice their skills and points marking at the same time.

The boys have started this academic year with energy and determination. Mr Sam writes:

“During our games lessons, the boys have all continued to develop their football skills and progressed onto more technical turns such as the ‘Cruyff’, the ‘drag back’ and the ‘back heel’. Our target will be to use these turns in pressurised situations where there may be defenders or traffic in their way. Keep up the good work boys!”

There is a popular after-school football club for those boys that enjoy the sport so much that they would like to take their game to a higher level.

Rugby

Tag rugby is played by the Prep boys and it helps to develop running pace, coordination, spacial awareness and ball skills.

They enjoy the sense of freedom that the game brings and it is a good preparation for rugby at senior school.

It is a minimal contact team game in which each player wears shorts with Velcro patches with two tags attached to them. The method of play is similar to rugby league, touch rugby or rugby sevens, with attacking players attempting 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. The attacking team has six plays or tags to try to score a try or take the ball down field as close to the line as possible. Tries are worth one point and there are no conversions. The team scoring the most points will win the game.

There are a number of differences in the rules of tag and touch rugby. The main difference is a tag needing to be removed to constitute a tackle, as opposed to making a touch. The other main features of tag that are different to touch include kicking being allowed, the ball being allowed to touch the ground, and a marker being allowed to stand in the ruck. This means the dummy half can score tries or be tagged.

A standard match is 40 minutes long, consisting of two 20-minute halves. All the boys participate in fixtures and tournaments and there are inter-house games.

Hockey

Field hockey has roots that go all the way back to ancient Greece.

We have evidence in the form of carvings that depicted young Greeks battling over a ball in 514 BCE. However, there is evidence of an even more ancient hockey on an Egyptian tomb.

This sport has been popular the world across history. Its simple principles translate well to an exciting, competitive sport that anyone can pick up and play and it is perfect for Eaton House Prep boys.

Field hockey is fun, exciting, and perfect for team building. The ten players besides the goalie position must work together to coordinate offensive and defensive strategies. At the same time, they must position themselves in the right formations to work in concert and prevent the opponent from scoring.

Field hockey is simple to learn, but it can be a wonderfully challenging sport for boys. Of additional note is the largely contact-free nature of the sport. Especially in youth leagues, rough physical contact is kept to a minimum.

Passing plays an important part in the game, and fouls exist to prevent unsportsmanlike play. Nonetheless, it presents an excellent opportunity for all kinds of individuals.

The Year 4 boys have had a tremendous year ahead of them and are planning to build on all they learned in Year 3. Last year, despite the spring term being a short one, the Year 3 boys showed a tremendous improvement with their dribbling, stopping and push-shot skills on the AstroTurf pitches in Battersea Park. As one boy wrote excitedly:

“We went behind by two goals at The Manor, but a comeback was made, and with only two minutes on the clock remaining we scored the decisive winning goal!”

Other Sports

Sport can take many forms other than our core sports offering of football, cricket, rugby, hockey and athletics, including cross country. There are also opportunities for boys to experience other sports including fencing, rock climbing, judo and futsal.

Each term there is a full programme of inter-school and inter-house fixtures, which allow every boy in the school the opportunity to develop his sporting skills across a range of sports. In the course of this programme, he will have the chance to belong to a team and also to find a sport that he genuinely enjoys. This is very important to us, as we want to inculcate a love of fitness and health in our boys for life.

One of the best examples of inter-school challenge is the David Lawrence Series Annual Challenge Cup. This cup encompasses nine events between Eaton House Belgravia and Eaton House The Manor, including football, cricket, golf, cross-country, hockey, tennis, swimming, chess and dodgeball.  (Yes, chess is considered a ‘sport’ for the purposes of the David Lawrence Challenge and it certainly gives the boys a mental workout!)

Some other sports such as tennis, swimming, hockey and golf require the boys to have athletic capability and they benefit from the athletics and cross-country practice that the boys regularly complete. Our aim is to build up the boys’ overall fitness and athletics stamina so that they enjoy many sports and being fit generally.

Last year, in hockey, the boys showed a tremendous improvement with their dribbling, stopping and push-shot skills. In swimming, which takes place at a local swimming pool, the boys enjoyed meetings with other schools. They also celebrated a traditional gala with Eaton House The Manor.

Tennis was also strong, thanks to Eaton House Belgravia’s two instructors and three assistants. There is huge enthusiasm amongst the Belgravia boys, many of whom spend happy summer holidays practising their strokes and enjoying friendly games.

Considerable progress was made with groundstrokes and serves last year, and tennis colours for excellence and for sporting service to Eaton House Belgravia were awarded to a number of Belgravia boys.

One Pre-Prep boy even broke the school record at the tennis club with 79 rallies into the service box with Mr Cooke, Head of Sports and ICT – a genuinely incredible feat. Prep boys should note that this record is there to be broken!

Those boys that enjoy sports can improve and extend their skills at Sports Club, Football Club, PE and swimming, which is an external club, or they can try new sports such as dodgeball or karate. There is also an externally organised karate course for boys who really become fascinated by the sport.

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