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Sport Department

There is wide range of sports and activities on offer at Sutton Valence. All pupils can endeavour to grow and develop their skills on the sports field and through the application of hard work and discipline many can gain excellence in their chosen sports. We believe in supporting and challenging those who aspire to compete at the highest level, whilst offering support and encouragement to those pupils who simply want to enjoy their physical activity to ensure lifelong health and wellbeing.

Staff Profiles

Sutton Valence School Head of Sport Mark Howell

Mr Mark Howell

Director of Sport and Head of Rugby

Mr Howell was a Welsh junior international Rugby player before playing professionally for Worcester Warriors.  He has captained the Metropolitan Police Service 1st XV and became a British Police Rugby International.  Mr Howell coaches on the Saracens Kent Player Development Pathway and is a Level 3 England Rugby Coach.  Mr Howell is also a former Police Sergeant in the Metropolitan Police Riot Squad (Territorial Support Group).


Sutton Valence School Head of Sport Mark Howell

Mr James Henderson

Head of Hockey

Mr Henderson has played as a junior in the England Hockey Single-Player System. Following on from the Single-Player System Mr Henderson played for Leeds Metropolitan University in the North Premier League, whilst continuing to coach the Leeds Metropolitan Ladies team. Mr Henderson qualified as a teacher at Norwich School whilst gaining National League coaching experience with Harleston Magpies and junior coaching experience in the Welsh Premier Hockey System. In 2014, Mr Henderson was appointed Head of Hockey at Cheadle Hulme School in Cheshire alongside his heavy involvement in the England Hockey Pathway at JRPC level. Mr Henderson also coached senior Hockey at Alderley Edge Hockey Club. As Head of Hockey at Cheadle Hulme his teams reached five National Finals in three years. Through Mr Henderson's success as a school and club coach he was appointed Belper Ladies 1st team coach whilst playing for Cannock Men 1st team, both teams plying their trade in the National Conference Leagues.


Sutton Valence School Paula HallettMiss Paula Hallett

Head of Tennis and Head of Academic Physical Education

Miss Hallett heads up our extensive Tennis provision in conjunction with a team of qualified and skilful coaches. Having played at Junior County Level, Miss Hallett went on to become an LTA qualified coach at the tender age of 19, coaching in various top independent schools’ summer camps whilst qualifying to become a teacher. It was here that Miss Hallett honed her coaching craft whilst drawing on inspiration from some of her favourite all-time players: Steffi Graf, Serena Williams and Andy Murray. Miss Hallett has built up the Tennis provision at the School to ensure that our students have every opportunity to develop their skills to become the best players that they can be. Miss Hallett specialises in Psychology of Sport and heads up our academic sporting provision.


Sutton Valence School Kelly McConnachie the Head of NetballMiss Kelly McConnachie

Head of Netball

Miss Kelly McConnachie is our Head of Netball who has outstanding relationships with both players and staff which ensures that our Netball provision is of the highest quality.  Miss McConnachie has played Premier Division Netball in the Maidstone, Tonbridge and Medway leagues and has a wealth of coaching experience that allows our students to flourish and maximise their potential.

Miss McConnachie swims for the Kent Masters Team and has recently started to brave the cold water and compete in open water competitions. At university, Waterpolo was her main sport and she is an ASA Level 2 Swimming Teacher. In her Sports Science degree she specialised in Physiology, Psychology and Biomechanics; all of which are invaluable for teaching A Level PE and coaching School teams.


Sutton Valence School Vince Wells the Head of CricketMr Vince Wells

Head of Cricket

Mr Vince Wells started his Cricket career with Kent and then moved on to Leicestershire where he played a key role in Leicestershire’s Championship triumphs of 1996 and 1998, opening the batting and bowling first change. Mr Wells then finished his playing career at Durham in 2003 with a batting average higher than his bowling (the mark of any genuine all-rounder). His 302 first-class wickets, at just 26.22, gave him a better domestic record than many English Test bowlers. Mr Wells played nine Limited Overs Internationals for England in 1999 and was a member of the England World Cup Squad that year.

Mr Wells is a Level 3 Cricket Coach who develops strong relationships with staff and pupils. He is highly adept at encouraging talent and confidence within our cricketers. 


Sutton Valence School Graham Alderman the Teacher of PE and Games

Mr Graham Alderman

Teacher of PE and Games

Mr Alderman has been teaching for 30 years and has extensive experience of playing and coaching sport at County, club and schoolboy levels. He has taught across the range of sports including curriculum and academic Physical Education. 

Mr Alderman successfully led the department for twelve years as Director of Sport and has overseen some major transformations at our School that has allowed sport at Sutton Valence to flourish and thrive. Mr Alderman’s passion is rugby, however, he is highly adept at coaching Swimming, Gymnastics and Athletics amongst several other sports.  


Sutton Valence School Graham Alderman the Teacher of PE and Games

Mr Matt Latham

PE & Games Teacher

Mr Latham studied at Sutton Valence and in 2015 graduated from St Mary's University Twickenham with an honours degree in Physical Education and Sports Science. Whilst completing his degree Mr Latham worked at Tiffin School in Kingston as a rugby coach, where he gained his Level 2 England Rugby coaching qualification. Mr Latham then worked at Kings College Wimbledon as a Post-graduate Sports Assistant where he further developed his coaching craft and became passionate about becoming a Physical Education teacher. As an Old Suttonian, Mr Latham is thoroughly looking forward to coming back to Sutton Valance to complete his teacher training.


Mr Andy Dawling

Athletic Performance Coach

Mr Dawling combines his experience as an elite level Rugby coach with his background as a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach to ensure that our students have outstanding opportunities to develop as athletes. Mr Dalwing is an ex-professional Rugby player who played for the Harlequins and Gloucester and who served for over twenty years in the Parachute Regiment in the British Army. He represented both England Rugby Sevens and the British Army in a distinguished sporting career. Mr Dawling is a Level 3 Rugby coach and a UKCC accredited Strength and Conditioning coach. He was a personal training instructor in the British Army and is currently involved in the coaching of the Saracens Player Development Pathway.

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