Sport for All

At Dauntsey's, sporting opportunities are everywhere. There really is something for everyone, from elite athletes to energetic all-rounders.

We believe that physical exercise should be fun, challenging and open to everyone because it has so many benefits. As well as improving fitness and co-ordination and teaching pupils new skills, it’s a great way to build confidence, resilience and mental toughness.

Team sports in particular give our pupils a real sense of achievement, they help to learn leadership, teamwork and self-discipline – qualities that will set them up for life beyond the sports pitches.

Please explore the list of options below to find our more.

All Sports


Head of Athletics: Marcus Olsen

Background: Marcus Olsen joined Dauntsey’s in 1999. He is Director of Sport and Housemaster of Rendell House. He has been running athletics since 2000.

Athletics at Dauntsey's

Dauntsey’s is proud of its excellence in athletics and the results over the past ten years have been exceptional. Athletics is currently based at the Warrington Field, although in 2018 a new synthetic track will be built on the main school site. As well as excellent coaches from within the School, Dauntsey’s employs external coaches in specialist areas such as High Jump and Hurdles.

Pupils take part in athletics once or twice a week and compete on Saturdays at Schools such as Marlborough College, Canford and Bryanston. In 2007, Dauntsey’s won the prestigious Lutra Shield Competition, a trophy that had been won by Millfield in the previous 15 years. Fixtures are also held for the Lower School against local state and prep schools.

The School supports and encourages as many of our pupils as possible to take part in the Area Trials and normally at least 25 of our pupils go on to compete at the County Championships. Dauntsey's regularly have County Champions who go on to compete in the South West and National Championships.

Athletics is all inclusive and all our pupils are given the opportunity to try a full range of athletic disciplines during games sessions or after school clubs.


Head of Basketball: Alun Pickford

Background: Alun Pickford joined Dauntsey’s in 1998 having played and coached basketball in the North London area. He played at Watford, Stanmore and Trowbridge basketball clubs and was involved when Stanmore won the Founders Cup in the mid 1990’s. He coached the U17 Hertfordshire team and set up basketball as a school sport at his previous school in North London, as well as at Dauntsey’s. He is Head of the Design Technology Department.

Basketball at Dauntsey's

Basketball is played at Dauntsey’s throughout all three terms with the match season falling in the Spring Term. Coaching is aimed at fostering individual and team skills as well as preparing pupils to represent the School at senior level. There is a big emphasis on teamwork, strategy and organisation and pupils are encouraged to continue to develop their skills outside of formal coaching time. Boys who select basketball for a games option give themselves the opportunity to be selected for the squad session in the Spring Term. Basketball is coached through games sessions and is not only for team players who go on to represent the school. There is a club session once a week throughout the year which is open to pupils across all year groups.

During the Spring Term matches are played against a number of independent and local state schools, always with the intention of having competitive fixtures. A large emphasis is placed on good sportsmanship but fair aggressive competition.


Head of Cricket: Andy Palmer
Cricket Professional: Jon Ayling

Background: Andy Palmer is a Level 2 coach and has been Head of Cricket since 1998, having held a similar position at Colston’s School before arriving here in 1995. He was Chairman of the County of Avon Schools' Cricket association for 11 years as well as being an E.S.C.A. regional selector. He is now the West Region representative on the HMC cricket committee and administers the Monkhouse Intersport Bath and District Schools League.

Jon Ayling was a very promising all-rounder at Hampshire who played 60 first-class and 94 one-day matches before injury cut short his career. He gained winners’ medals in both the Benson and Hedges and Nat West Trophy Finals at Lord’s. Having gained his Level 3 certificate he later returned to the county to become First team bowling coach and Second team coach. He joined Dauntsey’s in 2012.

Cricket at Dauntsey's

Cricket is the main sport for boys at Dauntsey’s in the Summer Term. Most boys have games twice a week throughout the term, with extra practices and net sessions taking place after school for team squads and individuals. A programme of indoor coaching runs in both the Autumn and Spring Terms with many players having individual sessions with the professional as part of their timetable.

Our facilities are excellent with four grass squares, six artificial and four grass nets, an artificial wicket and four indoor nets. The main pitch boasts an electronic scoreboard and delightfully renovated pavilion.

At least 11 teams regularly compete against other schools on Saturday afternoons and midweek. Internal matches are also played on Saturday afternoons to give all boys an opportunity to play the game. Dauntsey’s competes in the Monkhouse Intersport League and National Schools T20 competitions at First team level, as well as the E.C.B./E.S.C.A. Cup competitions (Under 15 & Under 14 teams). First XI tours take place every three years, usually to the West Indies during the Easter holiday.

Girls also play cricket with coaching taking place throughout the winter and a programme of matches during the Summer Term. A small number of inter-school fixtures feature mixed teams.

Dauntsey’s cricket has strong links with both Wiltshire and Hampshire. Many boys gain representative honours at district and county level with the best of the older players being selected for the relevant academy squad. We regularly host inter-county matches, county squad training and coach education courses. We are also the home of the M.C.C. Foundation Mid-Wiltshire Hub, providing coaching for promising local youngsters.

Please follow this link for information on this years' Monkhouse Intersport League.


Dauntsey's has approximately 25 pupils currently competing for the school at various NSEA competitions around the area in dressage, showjumping and eventing competitions. Parents play a big role in organising entries and suggesting competitions to enter but our Equestrian Team Coach has a horse background and totally understands the complexities of horses. We have been placed numerous times at the NSEA championships each year, have won Windsor Horse Show showjumping, and have recently won at Hickstead showjumping as well. Dauntsey's hosts an Inter-Schools showjumping competition at the West Wiltshire Equestrian Centre each year, with over 250 competitors. 

Grovely Riding School in Wilton provides lessons for those without their own horses. The pupils travel by bus to the riding school once a week and enjoy learning both on and off the horse.


Head of Football: Robert Lewis

Background: Robert Lewis joined Dauntsey’s in 2003 and has been in charge of football since September 2004.

Football at Dauntsey's

Football is played at Dauntsey’s as a major sport for Senior Boys, predominately in the Spring Term. The aim of the coaching team is to develop individual skills as well as preparing teams to represent the School. There is a big emphasis on teamwork and pupils are encouraged to take leadership on and off the field.

The 1st XI play around ten fixtures and the 2nd XI usually have about seven or eight fixtures. The fixture list is competitive with the likes of Marlborough, Canford, Beechen Cliff, Downside and King Edward’s, Bath. In recent years, fixtures at U16, U15 and U14 level have been added to the calendar.

Every three years, the footballers go on a tour. In the last 12 years, the destinations have been Spain and the Netherlands, and include a programme of coaching at a professional club, as well as matches against local club opposition. Tours have visited clubs such as Villarreal CF, AFC Ajax, Feyenoord Rotterdam and PSV Eindhoven.


Head of Hockey: Jimmy Devney

Background: Jimmy joined Dauntsey’s in September 2016 from South Wales where he was Head of PE for seven years. Jimmy continues to play hockey for Cardiff & Met in the Men’s West Conference of the National League and captained the side for 7 years. During this time, he captained the side to three EHL West Conference titles, the European Hockey League (2014, 2016 and 2017) and also to victory in the European Trophy 2016. He has represented Wales and was part of the Commonwealth Games Training Squad in 2013-2014. He is also currently Head of Academic PE.

Hockey at Dauntsey's

Hockey is played at Dauntsey’s as the main sport for the girls and boys in the Autumn and Spring Terms respectively. The aim of the coaching team is to develop individual core skills, as well as preparing teams to represent the School on match days. There is a big emphasis on creating a team ethos and pupils are encouraged to take leadership on the field. All boys and girls have games twice a week throughout the term, with extra practices taking place where necessary.

Up to 15 girls’ and 15 boys’ hockey teams regularly compete against other schools on a Saturday afternoon, with midweek matches also being played. Dauntsey’s enters the U18 Boys’ Boarding Schools Cup, as well as National competitions. In 2005, the U16 boys’ were National Schools’ Quarter-Finalists, whilst the First XI boys’ reached the same stage in 2006 and 2008.

Every three years both the First XI Girls’ and Boys’ Squads go on a major tour. In the last 15 years this has included tours to South Africa, Australia, Barbados, Malaysia and the Netherlands. The First XI Boys' Squad also attend the Cardiff and Met invitational tournament annually as part of their pre-season preparations.

Dauntsey’s hockey is very proud of the number of players who go on to representative honours at County, Regional and National Level. In the past, we have produced U16, U18 and U21 International players for England and Wales. We have close links with Devizes and Salisbury Hockey Clubs, as well as a number of players who are involved with JRPC training squads.

We run our own summer and easter camps to develop younger players, these are open to Dauntsey's pupils as well as the local community.

Summer Hockey Camp 2019


Head of Netball: Kerri Bradley

Background: Kerri Bradley joined Dauntsey’s in January 2015 from The King’s School Canterbury, where she had taught for nine years and was appointed Head of Girls’ Sport in 2011. She was Head of Netball at King’s from 2006 - 2015. Kerri has an extensive coaching background; she is a Level 2 coach and a qualified umpire and has taught all ages in schools from primary school level through to senior age groups. She is still very much involved in playing herself with the Devizes Regional squad and is now coaching the U12-U18 Devizes Netball programme.

Netball at Dauntsey's

Netball is the main sport played by girls in the Spring Term however they can access netball in the Autumn term as a club. Dauntsey’s encourages pupils of all abilities to experience and enjoy netball, whether at recreational or team level. Twenty teams operate in total, so there are plenty of opportunities for players to compete against schools, clubs and county sides.

All girls have games twice a week with midweek and Saturday fixtures throughout the term. The School has a very experienced coaching team and every player has the support to make steady improvement in their performance, whilst having fun.

The School runs and hosts the Area Schools’ Netball Tournament (U14 and U16). Our teams compete in these tournaments and have regularly qualified for both the County and Regional Rounds. The School has recently been successful at Regional level in 2017 with the U14 age group winning the County round.

Recently, Dauntsey’s teams have been on tour to Barbados and Malta.

A number of players have gained representative honours at county and regional levels. Most recently one of our leavers achieved her first Super League cap in the 2018 season and she also represented England. The School has close links with local netball clubs in Devizes, Swindon, and Salisbury as well as Wiltshire, Regional Academies and Team Bath Performance Pathway.


Head of Rugby: Marcus Olsen

Background: Marcus Olsen joined Dauntsey’s in 1999 from Saracens Rugby Club. He has played at Bath and Saracens as a professional player and was involved when both teams won the National Cup final at Twickenham. He has also represented England at Under 18, Under 19 and Under 21 levels. Over the years he has coached both the South and South West Under 16s and Under 18s as well Dorset and Wilts Under 16s. He is Director of Sport and Housemaster of Rendell House.

Rugby at Dauntsey's

Rugby is played at Dauntsey’s as the main sport for boys in the Autumn Term. The aim of the coaching team is to develop individual skills as well as preparing teams to represent the School. There is a big emphasis on teamwork and pupils are encouraged to take leadership on the field. All boys have games twice a week throughout the term, with extra practices taking place where necessary.

At least 13 rugby teams regularly compete against other schools on a Saturday afternoon, with some midweek matches being played. Dauntsey’s enters the Schools Cup Competition at both Under 15 and Under 18 and in 2012 the Under 15 team won the Daily Mail Vase Final at Twickenham, beating Sir Thomas Rich's School 17-5.

Every three years the First XV Squad go on a major tour, in the last 20 years this has included tours to New Zealand, South America and Australia.

Dauntsey’s rugby is very proud of the number of players who go on to representative honours at county and regional level. We have a number of players who train with Bath Academy at various age groups.


Head of Swimming: Rebecca Squire

Background: Rebecca joined Dauntsey's School in 2013 following several years teaching science in other local schools. Rebecca has many years’ involvement in swimming and is currently involved in teaching and coaching swimming within local clubs, Wilts County ASA and Swim England. Rebecca is a qualified club coach and is looking to complete her Level 3 coaching certificate. Rebecca spent 9 years at Loughborough University training with the swim team and competed at Regional and National level. She is still involved in competitive swimming and represents her club in local, County, Regional and National competitions. Rebecca is also a tutor in Hemens.

Swimming at Dauntsey's

The School has a 25m indoor pool and swimming runs all year-round. Senior and Lower School pupils can train during prep, long break and before school throughout the week, giving everyone ample opportunities to improve their stroke technique, water confidence, fitness and also to have fun. Swimming is open to pupils of all ages and abilities and there is a strong emphasis on swimming for enjoyment and fitness as well as swimming competitively.

Fixtures are organised during all three terms and usually take place on a weekday after school. A number of age groups are fielded and both boys and girls compete. We also enter a number of national swimming relay competitions including the ESSA National Swimming Relay Championships, The Bath Cup and the Otter Girls' Freestyle and Medley Relays for independent schools.

Dauntsey’s swimming is proud of the number of pupils who are involved with swimming within the School. We have recently re-affiliated the school with Swim England, so Dauntsey's is now a swimming club in its own right. This will enable our pupils who are not members of other clubs to compete in Open Meetings and County Competitions. A number of local swimming teams also use our facilities for training and therefore we have links with local clubs.


Head of Tennis: Kerri Bradley

Background: Kerri Bradley joined Dauntsey’s in January 2015 having previously taught for nine years at The King’s School Canterbury, where she was appointed Head of Girls’ Sport in 2011.

Tennis at Dauntsey's

During the Summer Term, Girls’ Tennis is offered in conjunction with Athletics, whilst Boy’s Tennis is offered in conjunction with Cricket and Athletics.

The School is very fortunate to have seven hard courts, three grass courts and 21 astro courts available throughout the term. During the Summer Term all of these courts are full with pupils enjoying tennis recreationally during the school day, outside of scheduled lesson times. Their enthusiasm for the sport generates a healthy attitude towards participation in our substantial, inclusive tennis programme. This also encourages strong competition for places in our teams.

Dauntsey’s puts out girls’ and boys’ teams at every year group and they continue to enjoy considerable success against our traditional independent school rivals, as well as (for teams up to Under 15 years age levels) in the Wiltshire Aegon Schools Tennis Competition. In 2017, our U14 boys Aegon Team reached the top twenty in the country.

Throughout the academic year over 200 pupils enjoy private tennis lessons (singularly or in pairs) with one of Dauntsey’s professional tennis coaches. Additionally, group sessions also run to cater for growing demand. Will Baillie leads a strong coaching team who are also affiliated with Devizes Tennis Club and provide coaching for all levels and age groups. Will is a Level 4 LTA Performance Coach and current County coach and selector. He has represented Wiltshire at all age groups and is Head coach at Devizes Tennis Club.

2018 Tennis Tour

More Sports

Pupils at Dauntsey's also compete in a range of other sports including rifle shooting, squash, fencing, table tennis and cross-country.

Rifle shooting has gone from strength to strength and the School's shooting team competes in the British League with regular fixtures against schools such as Marlborough College and Abingdon. Pupils from across the years are given the opportunity to shoot at the local range throughout the week.

Cross-country runs throughout the year with both individuals and teams entering area and county competitions. Each year a number of our cross-country runners go on to represent the county at regional and national level.

The School also offers a huge range of clubs and societies with several sports clubs including tri-cross, trampolining, karate, yoga and archery. Please follow this link to find out more about our clubs and societies.

Contacts for all sports

This film is Dauntsey's tribute to the This Girl Can campaign launched by Sport England to inspire women of all ages to participate in physical activity.

The sporting character of students is clearly evident on match days. Students play hard, play to win, and show that they can win and lose graciously

Going the extra mile; excellence in competitive school sport, Ofsted

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