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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 David Mathews Head of HockeyMr David Mathews - Head of Hockey

Mr Mathews is an ex-Great Britain Hockey player who has played at two Commonwealth Games, two World Cups and four European Cups. Mr Mathews coaches at Canterbury Hockey Club who ply their trade in the Men’s Premier Hockey Division. He has also played National hockey for Canterbury and Holcombe Hockey Clubs. He is passionate about how he develops his squad players throughout the school years as well as those new to the game. In addition to this commitment, Mr Mathews takes charge of our golfing programme.

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.  

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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