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Talented Athlete Programme

The Talented Athlete Programme gives our students the opportunity to maximise their athletic performance through attending extra training sessions run by our dedicated team of sports professionals. 

Sutton Valence School rugby boys standing in front of their pitch proudly

The main emphasis of the programme is based around the improvement of our young athletes in the key components of strength, conditioning, speed, and agility. These dedicated sessions are run to ensure that our young athletes not only develop athletically but gain the knowledge and expertise required to take control of their own training regimes in a safe, effective, and meaningful environment. The Talented Athlete Programme is designed to empower our students to improve their athletic performances both inside and outside of school and to give them the education, understanding and confidence to train like elite athletes.

The programme is open to all students and our Sports Scholars and Exhibitionists are required to attend weekly sessions as part of their roles as Sports Award students. Students are given bespoke training programmes in line with their age and maturation. As well as catering for the physical development of our young athletes, the Talented Athlete Programme also gives students the opportunity to learn relevant sports psychology, sports nutrition and avenues towards professional sports. 

External professionals in these fields regularly attend to provide students with insight into the world of professional sport and how these different fields can have a positive impact on sports performance. 

Athletic Conditioning Coach

Mr Andy Dawling leads the Talented Athlete Programme, combining 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 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.

Pupil Testimonials

Since moving to Sutton Valence School, it has been clear to me just how significant access to excellent facilities and outstanding coaches are to aid development in the sport. Before joining SVS, I found it quite difficult to find time to go to the gym and when I did go I did not have the expertise on hand to boost my conditioning and performance. The fact that you have access to the amazing level of facilities and standard of excellent coaches makes the School second to none in terms of a place where you can maximise your athletic conditioning and be the best you can be at your chosen sport.
Harvey Beaton
England Rugby Under 18’s and Saracens Professional Rugby Player


When I first came to the School, I had never been to the gym before, however, I was keen to supplement my cross-country and athletics training with some strength and conditioning work, and so began attending two lunch Talented Athlete Programme athletic conditioning sessions under the guidance of Mr Braddick and Mr Dawling. Initially, we worked on building a strong base with key leg and core exercises, and after a few years, adding more technical movements, introducing bar work to aid explosive strength as well as maintain endurance. This led to vast improvements in my race performances, and I have since competed for Kent on numerous occasions and have been selected to race at England Schools level. I have been taught how to safely and effectively train and I now feel confident in going to university and creating my own programme to ensure my athletic conditioning continues to increase my performances further.
Ellen Crombie
Regional Athletics long-distance runner and English Schools Athletics competitor

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200


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