Hockey is a core sport during Sedbergh's Michaelmas Term, and continues to be played in the Lent Term. In addition to achieving team success across different age groups, several Sedbergh players have earned prestigious hockey scholarships at universities in the United States. Our club team, participating in the local league, contributes to the 13 hockey teams we field during the season – seven girls' and five boys' teams.
The addition of two new flood-lit, all-weather Tiger-turf pitches in 2023 marked a significant expansion of our playing facilities. The pitches' LED directional lighting allows pupils to train at any time of the year, and well into the evening. Situated behind the School’s state-of-the-art sports facility, the Hirst Centre, the new pitches are part of a sporting hub that seamlessly integrates indoor training in the gym with outdoor sessions.
The overall health and fitness of our players are enhanced by a hockey-specific, customised strength and conditioning program, overseen by former Argentinian national hockey player Flor Zappula. Most afternoons, our girls' teams can be found practising or playing in regular fixtures against other schools, including the top hockey schools in the country, as well as clubs and universities.
Players training with local and national performance teams receive support to travel to coaching sessions. Additionally, our sixth form pupils have the opportunity to access individual coaching sessions to enhance their technical skills.
Nick Davey, Director of Hockey, describes the philosophy behind hockey at Sedbergh, and his belief in developing a culture where players can make decisions, knowing that the School and coaching team are 100% behind them.
Whether it’s being brave or having freedom and creativity, or at least to not worry about the fact that it might go wrong. We want all of our pupils here to play with as little, or zero, fear of failure or of making mistakes. We want them to feel that the coaches, their teammates, everybody at the school are going to completely back and support them.
Nick Davey, Director of Hockey
"I love the sport and I love being on a pitch, working with teams and watching them change and hopefully build confidence, knowledge and experience growth. I'm looking to be a guide; I want to be able to signpost for them the choices and the opportunities that they have, although ultimately they've got to take those opportunities themselves. Something that I probably look to try and do in the majority of my sessions or in matches is to give the players that security and that safety to go and play."
"Ultimately, I want any person who leaves Sedbergh to have...really enjoyed hockey and that they want to continue to play it, to leave with a positive memory that they take forward into the rest of their life."
"Whether that's just through being part of a fantastic team that really supported them, whether it's that they love the sport and want it to drive them to another level or if it's just quite simply that they felt that they really benefited from the time spent doing something that was enjoyable, that was athletic and that gave them a sense of confidence and a sense of wellbeing."
"I think if some of those aims are being met most of the time, then the sessions will probably be going pretty well and the players will be walking off feeling like it was a worthwhile part of their day that they've really enjoyed. Some players love being stretched, they love being challenged, knowing them individually and being able to work out which players require which. When you get that right, that can really feed that feeling of exactly why I'm out there and, what we're trying to achieve."