Games Participation, Coaching and Selection Policy 

The Belhaven Hill Games Department has an inclusive participation policy. All children at the school, unless medically unfit to do so, play rugby, hockey and  cricket (boys) or hockey, netball and rounders (girls) as their main sports in the Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms respectively. The separation of the boys’ and girls’ sports in each term is for logistical purposes but there are opportunities for the boys and girls to play all the sports.
Barring factors outside our control, every child will play in competitive fixtures during the term. Depending on the number of children in each games group, this may mean one fixture or it may mean many more. Representing Belhaven Hill on the sports’ field is a privilege to be earned, and we believe that this exposure to competitive fixtures helps to develop the children’s skills and appreciation of the sport; it also helps to develop a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences with their peers as well as developing their appreciation of the social element of sport. Match teas are very important.
At Belhaven Hill, we generally combine two year groups for each sporting group, thus the senior group will be made up of form 1 and 2 children, the U11s form 3 and 4 and the U9s form 5 and 6. By and large these children train together and are selected together with no preference given to any year group but in some cases fixtures are arranged that only feature children from one specific year group. Occasionally, children may be asked to play outside of their normal groups: this may be to help us make up numbers for a specific match or, in exceptional circumstances, if we believe it will be of significant benefit to a child’s sporting development.
All children in each age group are coached by enthusiastic and dedicated coaching staff, with individual members of staff managing specific teams, thus allowing them to develop close links with the individuals in their group. We, unashamedly, base our A team selection on merit and application while at all times trying to give as many children as is practical a chance in the various teams. Taking part and enjoying the game is of paramount importance but we also have a desire and duty to extend the most able sportsmen and sportswomen in each discipline. Our selection procedure is not driven by an overpowering desire to win at all costs but instead is designed to ensure that the higher ability sportsmen and sportswomen are tested at the higher level and are thus pushed to their upper limits, a mantra which mirrors what happens in various other aspects of school life.
As coaches, we strive to improve the skills of all the children in our care and to instil a love of, or at the very least respect for, the sports we coach; we are proud of our success in doing so in the vast majority of cases.
William Townshend
Head of Sport
UKCC Level 2 Rugby Coach
UKCC Level 2 Cricket Coach
UKCC Level 1 Hockey Coach
SRU Level 2 Rugby Referee
Hockey Scotland Level 1 Hockey Umpire

William Townshend, 21/09/2017