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The Sports Department

There is a 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, 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).


Mr Max Braddick

Head of Hockey, Teacher of PE and Games

Mr Braddick joined Sutton Valence in 2016 after graduating from the University of Worcester, where he gained an honours degree in Sports Coaching Science and Physical Education. Whilst studying in Worcester, he completed his Level 2 England Hockey Coaching Qualification and was lead coach for the University Ladies 1st XI as well as several Worcestershire age group teams. During his time at Sutton Valence, Mr Braddick has continued his county-level coaching, leading a Kent age group every season, as well as coaching at the next step of the England Hockey Single System – Performance Centre. Since 2017, Mr Braddick has assisted the Strength and Conditioning team at Saracens RFC, helping their academy players through weekly gym sessions held at SVS. Mr Braddick uses this experience to run the Talented Athlete Programme strength and conditioning sessions. Mr Braddick has recently gained Qualified Teacher Status and is a Physical Education Teacher after an excellent training year through the University of Buckingham.


Miss Beth Giddings

Teacher of PE and Games

Miss Giddings has extensive experience within her personal Hockey development. Her past achievements have been reaching the U18 England Hockey squad, being selected for National Age Group Training since the age of 15 and playing for East Grinstead 1XI. Throughout studying to become a PE teacher at the University of Brighton, she represented the English University’s Ladies Hockey team and Eastbourne Ladies 1XI. Alongside Hockey, Miss Giddings is a keen Equestrian, reaching the regional standard in show jumping, dressage and eventing. 


Sutton Valence School Paula HallettMiss Paula Hallett

Head of Tennis, 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. She specialises in Psychology of Sport and heads up our academic sporting provision.


Ms Hannah Jelfs

Head of Girls Cricket, Teacher of PE and Games

Ms Jelfs previously taught at Ashford School for six years and currently plays for the Kent Women’s Cricket team. Hannah has also played Hockey to a very high level playing for Canterbury and Holcombe Hockey Clubs. Ms Jelfs is a keep-fit fanatic and trains and competes in CrossFit on a regular basis. She joins us as an excellent teacher and tutor, high-level sports performer and an outstanding team player.


Sutton Valence School Kelly McConnachie the Head of NetballMiss Kelly McConnachie

Head of Netball

Miss McConnachie 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 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. 


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 Dawling is an ex-professional Rugby player who played for the Harlequins and Gloucester and who served for over 20 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 a Saracens Rugby Academy Coach. Mr Dawling combines his role at SVS with his work at the highly prestigious North London club.

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200


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