One of the components of a quality private school education is sports. A great many private schools offer athletic programs which rival many colleges and universities. Lest you get the wrong idea, academics are paramount in a private school experience. But private schools truly do adhere to the ancient motto mens sana in corpore sano - a healthy mind in a healthy body. Consequently even the most unathletic students in any private school community are required to do some kind of sports on a regular basis. Many boarding schools have a half day on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The afternoons are given over to athletics.
Athletics are one part of a comprehensive program most schools adopt to educate the whole child in mind, body and spirit. What do you do if your child is not athletically inclined? Don't worry. Schools are accustomed to students with just about every background you can think of. Your child will surprise you after a few weeks at school by exclaiming "Mommy! I love sprinting!" If you live within driving distance of her school, even better. You can attend games. We used to enjoy driving up to the old girls' campus of Kent School on Skiff Mountain to watch our daughter play field hockey. The toughest issue with boarding school athletics which she will encounter is which ones to select.
The intramural and varsity sports attract enthusiastic squads and are very competitive. They practice and compete in fine facilities. Check out the athletic programs at Hotchkiss, Kent, Miss Porter's and Lawrenceville to name but a few examples. Several schools such as Woodberry Forest and Northfield Mount Hermon have their own golf courses. Equestrian facilities are a feature of a dozen or so schools. Crew or shell rowing is also popular in many private schools. Northern schools such as Shattuck-St. Mary's and Avon Old Farms also offer solid hockey programs.
Here is a sample of the sports which private schools offer. Use the advanced search tool on Private School Review to find schools in your area which offer the specific sports programs which you require. This example shows schools within a 50 mile radius of Boston which offer crew as part of their sports programs.
69 schools offer crew. Most schools assume that their students have never rowed before. As a result, they offer a solid grounding in the sport combined with all the ergonometrics required.
152 schools offer football. These programs vary widely so be sure to evaluate individual programs thoroughly. Here's the program one of the fine boys' boarding schools offers.
111 schools offer field hockey. Here is a peek at one school's program.
213 schools offer golf.
103 schools offer ice hockey which is no longer just for boys as Kent School's program illustrates.
185 schools offer lacrosse which continues to enjoy enormous popularity among players of all ages.
Indoor racquet sports
61 schools offer badminton and squash.
65 schools offer riding programs.
292 schools offer soccer programs, proof of the popularity of this internationally loved sport.
162 schools offer swimming as well as other related aquatic sports.
183 schools offer track and field. Track includes many activities.
If you have questions about a school's athletic program, be sure to contact the athletic director. The blend of academic and athletic excellence possible in a private school setting will please you. Your son or daughter will be able to play varsity hockey or tennis and still get into a respectable college.
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