Sports Directory

Sport plays a major part in life at Downe House with a huge variety of activities on offer.


Competitive Sports

Learn more about the aims, successes and highlights of each of our team sports. We also offer an exciting range of recreational sports.


Downe House has an excellent reputation for lacrosse and with fourteen school teams it is certainly one of our biggest sports.

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Lacrosse is a major sport at Downe House.

We aim for all pupils to have the opportunity to excel in lacrosse to the best of their ability.

–          All pupils have the chance to represent their House and School in lacrosse matches.

–          Weekly lessons and training over the two terms encourage excellent development of skill and tactics.

Downe House 1st Lacrosse team have won the National Lacrosse Championships four times and have been the South West Champions four times over the last five years.

The 6 school lacrosse teams compete annually in the National Championships and usually place in the top 8 or higher.

Most weekends in the Michaelmas and Lent terms there are fourteen lacrosse teams competing in matches – over 250 lacrosse players!

Our pupils have the opportunity to train at Regional and National Level with nominations made annually to regional and national academies. Currently we have over 40 girls involved in these programmes.

We run a hugely popular Lacrosse Tour to the USA is every three years. The Downe House teams who have competed in the USA have been very successful and have regularly been finalists/winners in three-day tournaments whilst on tour.

Our lacrosse coaches at Downe House have international playing and national coaching experience at Junior and Senior Level.


You can expect lots of netball at Downe House and extremely high levels of participation, with teams from A to E in each year group.


Hockey is a key sport at Downe House and has grown hugely in recent years with our teams achieving excellent results.

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Hockey is taught throughout the School, with lots of opportunities for complete beginners to the most experienced players. There are weekly matches on Wednesdays and Saturdays and every A team is entered into the district and county tournaments in both the Michaelmas and Lent terms. Where tournaments allow we will also enter our B teams to gain exposure and experience tournament play. Our teams have been successful in the district tournaments with all age groups winning silverware (2018-19).

As well as regular training and matches, our Hockey programme includes extra weekly fitness sessions, indoor training, masterclass sessions to focus on individual skills in small groups and a junior hockey club. All activities are run by our experienced and dedicated coaches.

Downe House has a strong link with Berkshire Hockey and nominations are sent for the most able girls to attend their Junior Development Academy. From this we have girls selected to the Berkshire County Squads.


Our 25m heated indoor pool brings a popular and successful swimming programme to school.


Tennis season is all year round at Downe and we are proud to offer the finest coaching programme in the country.

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Tennis is an all year round activity at Downe House. We play every day, throughout the year with more than 300 girls taking tennis lessons each week. Our team of six highly qualified coaches run the tennis programme focusing on four key elements; technical, physical, tactical and mental. We like to bring out the competitive spirit within the girls but also promote the social aspect and qualities the sport can bring both during and after their life at Downe House.

Our senior team has reached the national school finals twice in recent years and regularly competes each summer at Eton in the ISTA Championships. Summer is our tennis term and every weekend we play our friendly fixtures versus other schools with each year group having A to C teams giving lots of opportunity for all levels and ability.

Every other year we offer a tennis tour to Vale Do Lobo, Portugal during the Easter Holidays which has proven to be a huge success.


Every girl in Remove to Upper Fourth (Year 9) has squash as part of their Physical Education lesson rotations and private squash lessons are incredibly popular throughout the School.


Athletics plays a major part in life at Downe House, particularly in the summer months. Small group sizes for every ability level are the key to achieving potential.

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All the disciplines in athletics are taught throughout the Summer term to all years from Remove to LV.

Every year group has the opportunity to compete in Inter-School matches:- U12, U13, U14, U15 & Senior Teams.

Our participation in athletics is very high; Sports Day ensures all pupils are involved in at least one event for their House.

Downe House compete successfully in the West Berkshire Championships and at Regional and National Level in the English Schools’ Athletics Cup and have made the National Finals five times. Alongside this we have county representation in the Pentathlon and Heptathlon every year. On average we have over twenty athletes selected to compete for West Berkshire in the County Championships.

We offer extra training in the evening at Downe House and arrange for girls to receive additional training at the Newbury Athletics Club.


We offer a tremendously successful skiing programme at Downe House.

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Skiing is a very successful sport here at Downe House. We currently have two teams that compete on a yearly basis at the British Schoolgirls’ Ski Racing Championships in Flaine, France. Competitors have garnered much success during these races, often coming away with team and individual wins.

We also run a Development Ski Team that attend ski race training every term. They also compete every year in the ISSSC Ski Championships in Les Deux Alpes, France. This is an intensive week of race training aimed at skiers who are less experienced racers and culminates in a Ski Championship Race against other rival schools at the end of the week.

Girl holds cricket bat and smiles


Cricket is offered as part of Physical Education lessons and is enjoyed the summer months. From as young as U12, the pupils relish the challenge of both soft and hardball lessons, practices and matches.

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Cricket is growing at Downe House and we are so excited that it is being taught throughout the curriculum for all years. There will be plenty of opportunity for softball and hardball matches both internally and against other schools.

We welcome a range of abilities from no experience to some very experienced club and county players.

The Sports Department have recently invested in a Flicx wicket net and have dedicated an area of the field to cricket. Pupils use the nets at the local West Ilsley Cricket Club weekly.

We are excited to see the girls embrace another sport and show their talents with bat and ball!


Horse Riding and Polo

We have students who regularly compete for the School and train with our specialist Head of Equestrian, who is an international coach. We can also offer weekly group or individual riding lessons on a Sunday where students can work towards their BHS exams if desired.


As well as being part of Physical Education lessons, we have fixtures during the year and arrange for girls to go offsite to a local badminton club for extra training. We recently won gold medals at the Newbury Schools’ Badminton Tournament.


Basketball is offered as part of Physical Education lessons and girls have the opportunity to play in basketball fixtures against other schools.


As well as offering volleyball in PE lessons, we also have strong links to a local volleyball club which caters to girls who want to play for fun or compete at a high standard. We have a number of volleyball fixtures during the school year.

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Volleyball was officially introduced a couple of years ago to the girls at Downe House and has been well received. It is now offered in PE lessons along with a weekly extra-curricular club. In addition, we have a link with a local club in Newbury where some of the girls go to train.

Matches are played throughout the year with an evergrowing fixture calendar. We’ve even played an international match against Balmoral College, Argentina which we won 2-1.


Gymnastics at Downe has a varied and interesting programme. As well as a competitive gymnastics team, we have a club that is open to all and girls take gymnastics as part of their Physical Education lessons rotation.

Cross Country

At Downe House we are proud to offer numerous cross country routes throughout our very own 110 acre site. We have cross-country teams for each age group who have had major competition success.


Football is growing in popularity across prep schools and girls’ schools generally and we’re growing our football programme too.

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Football is an up and coming sport at Downe House. Due to higher demands football is now played across several year groups. Girls have the chance to practise their football skills in lessons, following a scheme of work that aims to develop and enhance all football related skills. The girls are relishing this new opportunity and matches against local schools and clubs are starting to feature on the calendar.

This year marks our first entry into the Girls County Cup across three age groups. With the success of this we are aiming to introduce more regular fixtures over the course of the year.

Recreational Sports

As well as competitive sports, we are proud to giver girls the opportunity to pursue a huge variety of other sports. Some girls will discover a passion for a new sport whilst others will participate in these at a high level.


Dance plays a huge part in life at Downe House throughout the year and at all ages and abilities with thirty-two onsite dance classes taking place weekly. We currently offer classes in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, modern theatre and tap.


Our onsite facilities for fitness include a cardio room containing a wide variety of machines as well as a strength and conditioning suite.

Spin / Cycling

We have thirteen spin bikes onsite with which we offer high intensity fitness sessions for smaller groups.


Yoga and Pilates

The Sports department and Co-Curricular Activities work together to offer a range of wellbeing physical activities.


This summer we are offering sailing as a weekly offsite club, which girls can sign up to, on a termly basis and is open to all ages and abilities.

Wall climbing

We currently offer wall climbing as a weekly club, which girls can sign up to on a termly basis and is open to all ages and abilities.


We currently offer ice-skating as a weekly offsite club in Basingstoke, which girls can sign up to on a termly basis and is open to all ages and abilities.


Rounders is offered as part of Physical Education lessons and is enjoyed the summer months.

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