The Sports Pathway ensures that students are able to maximise their particpation and enjoyment, while discovering and developing their talents and interests across a diverse range of sporting opportunities, including recreational and accessible sports.
The following academies offer opportunties to develop and compete at the highest levels;
Sports scholarships are available in all of the above academies, including 100% day-fee discount for Sixth Form entry.
Whilst there are our developing Academy programmes above to support the more serious sportsmen and women in the school, the more general programme is designed to ensure that our students have exposure to both recreational and competitive major team sports and individual sports, plus a range of accessible sports and activities. These include;
Director of Sport: Mr Simon Ward. Simon had a successful career in Judo, earning national and international recognition before becoming a coach in 2002. He has achieved all five British Judo coaching qualifications and also earned the International Judo Federations Instructor award, sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee in 2022 and completed his MSc Degree in Advanced Sports Performance Coaching. Simon is currently serving as a Great Britain Support coach for the National Team.
Director of Rugby: Mr Tom Skelding. Former professional rugby player having played at Hartpury, Gloucester RFC, Exeter Chiefs and Plymouth Albion. More recently head coach at Tiverton RFC and now 1st XV coach at Bideford RFC.
Head of Football: Ms Beth Ellis. A passionate football enthusiast, coaching girls' football in Bideford between 2014-2020 and achieving the FA Level 1 coaching certificate. Beth then joined Romar Sports in 2020-2021, coaching a diverse group of boys and girls. As a player, she has been pivotal to the Bideford FC tream and has represented Devon County football. University years saw her excel in the University of Bath's 1st team from 2014-2017, and has played in the FA Cup with both Bideford and Barnstaple. Currently Beth is also still playing weekly at Appledore.
Head of Netball, Gymnastics and Hockey: Ms Gemma Braunton. Gemma is well-known throughout the region as a top gymnast herself and gymnastics coach, who also coaches at the local Falcons Gymnastics Club. Gemma has coached a number of young gymnasts who have made it to national development pathways and who have won a number of international competitions world wide.
Football Coach: Mr Craig Knowles. Craig played professional football at Bolton Wanderers after leaving school and has since played for a number of non-league sides and coached at various schools. He now supports Ms Ellis in delivering our football programme to both girls and boys at the school.
Sports scholars receive an individualised programme where they are monitored and guided through their development as an elite competitor. Drawing on the principles of "good-to-great", scholars' progress is checked and recorded to reflect improvement in their chosen sport.
Collaborations with the University of Bath and the University of Exeter ensure that students are well-placed to achieve their potential and to be the best they can be. The scholarship programme in each of the academies includes;
From Years 5 to 8, the emphasis is on fostering participation and enjoyment in sports. From an early age, player development and talent identification commence, with training centered around acquiring essential fundamental and core skills.
In Years 9&10, we focus on technical and tactical development with a greater understanding of the specific sports. Some video analysis and strength and conditioning is introduced, along with rudimentary sports psychology and an introduction to nutrition guidelines for different sports.
In Years 11-13, the focus is on extending technical and tactical understanding of a specific sport whilst developing fine-skills to give students the edge over opponents in key areas. Students will work on all areas of their physical and mental fitness to compete at the highest level.