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A Trio of Sisters and Scholars

A strong streak of sporting talent clearly runs through the Neville family as each of the three sisters currently studying at Downe House has been awarded a Sports Scholarship on their own merit. The eldest sister, Anna who is in the Lower Sixth, has been a Scholar throughout her five years at the School; Honor is in the Lower Fifth and the youngest sister, Iona, has only just joined Downe House Remove in September 2018.

We caught up with the three sisters to find out what being a Sports Scholar means to each of them, who inspires them…and exactly how competitive the sisters really are.

What do you enjoy most about being a Sports Scholar at Downe?
Anna: Being a Sports Scholar allows you to be in a community of people from across the yeargroups who are all passionate about the same thing. What I enjoy most is that I can have extra training, informative sports-related talks, one-to-one sessions - all opportunities that help me evaluate and improve.

How do you feel the Scholarship Programme has helped your sports development?
Iona: The Programme has helped by pushing me to train harder than before and being more confident with myself. It also gives me the chance to try and beat Anna and Honor!

How competitive is the Neville household?
Honor: Actually the Neville household is not that competitive. We compete to try our best but not necessarily to beat each other. We all do slightly different things so there is not too much pressure but enough to motivate us all to do our best.

What was it like growing up with sporty sisters?
Anna: Having sporty sisters meant that we always had someone to go with to evening and weekend clubs. Despite them both being younger, I definitely learn things from them. We are so close so when we played sports, it was like having a friend to do something that we both enjoyed.

How do your parents support you in your sport?
Honor: Our parents are always really supportive of us all and come to our matches at weekends and my dad will sometimes help me with lacrosse or fitness training, practising stick work or going on runs.

Who is your sporting idol and why?
Iona: My idols are my sisters as I would love to be like them when I am older. My other idol is Mo Farah because when he was running the 10,000 metres at the Olympics, he fell over during the early part of the race but he got up and finished in first place. This shows if you fall over, you should never give up but get back up as and you might win.

What’s the best and worst thing about having your sister at school with you?
Honor: One of the best things about having my sisters at School with me is that I can have an extra person to talk to who isn't in my year that knows me well. One of the worst things is that there is a pressure to be like them and live up to their standards if they do something really well but it is also a matter of giving them praise to congratulate them.

Director of Sport, Mrs Lydia Rayne said, “The Neville sisters are a very talented trio and not only do they consistently make an enormous contribution on the pitch, but they also show an outstanding level of commitment and enthusiasm in training. I am delighted to hear that all three girls believe that the Programme has been instrumental in helping them to become stronger, fitter and more confident in their sports and we are all very proud of the way that they support one another in every aspect of School life.”

Every year, a limited number of Sports Scholarships are awarded to girls with strong sporting potential which opens up access to a range of specialist enrichment activities and leadership opportunities as well as a Mentor who will give one-to-one support and guidance for each Scholar’s development.

For more information about the Downe House Sports Scholarship Programme, please visit


Posted: 29th Nov 2018


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