Cross country

Cross country running is a very popular sport at Sevenoaks with training and competition taking place throughout the Michaelmas and Lent terms. The school has an excellent track record in national competitions and has recorded wins at the prestigious King Henry VIII relays in Coventry and at the Knole Run. Our junior and inter runners regularly qualify for the National Final of the ESAA Cross Country Cup and finish in the top ten of approximately 400 schools nationally. With Knole Park adjacent to the school, and an athletics track and gym on site, we have some of the best training facilities in the country. We organise the annual Knole Run, one of the largest and most challenging races on the schools’ national circuit, and have included cross country in our co-curriculum for at least 150 years.

One of the country’s top schools for distance running.

Students can choose cross country as their main sports choice from Year 11 upwards, although this can be younger for particularly talented athletes. Those taking this option have training on Tuesday and Saturday afternoons with the latter often replaced by a fixture.

These runs are supplemented by three further after-school training sessions which are open to all year groups and allow cross country to be successfully combined with other sports. In addition, the school runs an annual training trip in October half term – which alternates between an overseas destination like Club La Santa in Lanzarote and a domestic one like the South Downs. There are also close links with Tonbridge Athletics Club and Sevenoaks Athletic Club.

A wide variety of team and relay fixtures are held against other schools between September and March, including participation in the ESAA Cross Country Cup, Kent Schools Championships, Henry VIII Relays and the South East Schools Championships. However, a highlight is always Sevenoaks School’s own Knole Run which is widely regarded as one of the premier national fixtures for school boys and girls. In recent years the girls have won the race several times (including 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2013), with the boys often placing in the top ten, taking third place in 2015 and 2018.

Having seen a significant improvement in the achievements of our teams over recent years, we can now realistically claim to be amongst the best distance running schools in the country.

Teacher in charge: Mr John Witton jlw@sevenoaksschool.org

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