Sport at Stover

Sporting ethos at Stover – Sport has an important part to play at Stover School and in recent years the development of the sporting programme continues to grow from strength to strength. Here at Stover we offer a wide and varied curriculum with the aim of engaging all pupils. As a department we believe there is a sport or physical activity for everyone and it is our responsibility to engage and inspire the pupils into a range of sports or activities to ensure they lead an active and healthy lifestyle beyond their time at Stover School. We aim to create opportunities for all pupils regardless of their experience or ability. As a department we enjoy taking those pupils who maybe new to a sport and see them progress through the term and into our competitive fixture programme or simply using sport as a way of enjoyment with their friends, as well as working with our sport scholars who are on their own journey. Whether this be through rugby and the Exeter Chiefs DPP & Academy, Devon County Golf, Tennis and X-Country, Exeter City Football Development Academy or National level equestrian and Skiing. We run an inclusive and competitive sporting programme at Stover with the School core values of Prepare, Inspire and Nurture at the heart of it.

The Department:

We have a range of experience in terms of teaching and playing in their own right amongst the sport staff at Stover. The teachers in the department have a vast amount of experience ranging from 8 years to 27 years teaching and coaching experience within the Independent sector both in the UK & abroad. We have 7 full time PE teachers, 1 part time, 2 specialist tennis coaches, 1 specialist golf coach, 2 shooting instructors and other academic staff who also have a passion for sport that help deliver the sports programme. A number of staff have also played or are currently playing to a high level and in some cases a Semi-professional level in Rugby in England, Spain and Australia, also in Football too, where two members of staff are currently playing for Exmouth Town at a semi pro level. They have also coached at County level in Rugby and Cricket. They are a hard working and inspiring group of staff and they are a pleasure to work with.

Rugby – Stover has a good reputation for rugby in the local area and we are very competitive across all age groups. The boys play fixtures from U9-U18 and we have had a number of pupils over the last few years get selected for both the Exeter Chiefs DPP & Academy. We aim to provide a range of competitive fixtures and tournaments for both 15 and 7 aside rugby. We enter Roslyn Park 7’s which is a fantastic experience and one of the worlds leading schools 7’s tournaments.

With the recent success of women’s rugby we have included rugby into the girls curriculum in the winter term It has been fantastic to partner up with the Exeter Chiefs to help deliver the coaching to the girls and help inspire and grow rugby as a sport amongst the girls. It has proven to be very popular, with around 15-20 girls playing at local rugby clubs too. Our next step is to transition the girls into contact fixtures, they have been taught the different techniques, but now need to apply them in a competitive environment. Our aim is to focus on the 7’s format of the game and take the girls to Roslyn Park too, amongst other tournaments.


As with rugby and cricket, we include football on the curriculum for both boys and girls in the Spring term. They both have competitive fixtures from U9 all the way through the senior school. We also enter and host tournaments, including recent success for our U13 boys winners of the Stover Cup and our U11 boys being crowned ISA South West champions and they have qualified for the nationals, hosted at England’s St Georges Park. Through our staff we have a good link with Exeter City Academy staff and we have had pupils go through to the Exeter City Academy and we have recently supported a pupil in gaining a place.


This is offered as the main sport for the summer term to both the boys and girls. With the recent inclusion of the 4 bay nets, we are excited about the development of Cricket at Stover this summer. From the prep all the way through the senior school, cricket is taught throughout the summer term, including fixtures and local tournaments. Our girls compete each year in the Lady Taverners, which we hosted and the U13 won the first round and went on to compete in the County finals round.


Hockey is offered for the girls in the winter term for all ages from prep to senior. They compete in fixtures and local leagues against State, Grammar and Independent Schools. We will be looking to compete in the ISA Hockey competition too as from September 2024.


Netball is the main sport for the girls in the Spring term across all ages. They have two double lessons a week in the senior school and a triple lesson in the prep school. We have had recent success with both the U11 & U13 girls qualifying for the ISA National finals. We also compete in the IAPS competitions for our prep age groups.


We are fortunate to have a tennis academy at Stover which is run by our full time tennis professional Kendal Bradley. Kendal is a leading tennis coaching in the South West and was also a very accomplished player in her own right. We also have Tracey Brown who works with Kendal, who again is a top tennis coach and involved in the County tennis programme. We have teams across all ages for boys and girls, U9, U11, U13, U15 & Seniors. We compete in the LTA Youth schools competition and ISA tournaments. We currently have a number of players on the Devon County pathway, including a boy and girl who represent the County.


Athletics is a popular sport amongst the pupils and it is included in their PE curriculum across prep and senior school. We host a number of local league events and also attend the ISA Regionals and Nationals and the Prep school regionals. Each year we have a number of pupils who qualify for the national championships which is held at Alexandra Stadium, Birmingham.


X-Country is a part of Stover’s history with our impressive grounds it includes a testing X-Country course. All students partake in X-Country in the winter term and based of their times they are then selected for the South Devon Championships, which is held each year at Stover. We have a number of runners each year who qualify for the County Championships and one of our runners came 2nd in 2024 and went on to be crowned South West Champions as he represented Devon at the National finals. We have also has recent success with 10 of our runners qualifying for the ISA national finals in Worksop.


Golf is a fast-growing sport at Stover thanks to the recent partnership with Andy Fox (Head Pro) at Stover Golf Club. It is very fortunate to have one of the Counties best golf course right across the road from the school and the pupils are enjoying the new opportunity. We currently have over 30 pupils receiving coaching once a week with Andy and the progress they are making is very impressive. A number of pupils have now joined local courses, including Stover Golf Club and we are due to compete in the Devon schools this summer as well as other fixtures against other schools. We are also launching our parent & child 9 hole Texas scramble competition this summer 2024.


Reflecting the proud tradition in Devon of offering some of the best sporting shooting in the country, Stover School includes clay pigeon shooting as part of the sports curriculum.

Clay shooting is available to all pupils in the senior school either as individual lessons or as part of an activity session. We are one of the very few schools fortunate enough to have our own shooting ground within the boundaries of the school. As part of the Clubs and Activities programme pupils can join a group session between 12.00 and 1.30 to test their hand eye co-ordination in the challenge of hitting a moving target with a shotgun. From these group sessions, pupils who show good progress can be offered the chance of individual lessons. These lessons last 40 minutes and are taken during the school day and it is here that the school shooting teams are chosen.

Sixth formers who are doing a sports leadership course can come down to the activity sessions where our coach will start them on their way to a coaching qualification of their own.

The school has a range of automatic clays traps that allows a variety of targets to be thrown to challenge the best of our pupils. Our resident coach has been teaching clay shooting for over 35 years. Originally trained by BASC (British Association of Shooting and Conservation) he has worked at numerous shooting grounds and has taught many individuals at both clay and game shooting. He is also a NRA accredited Range Conducting Officer which allows him to sign for and run Ministry of Defence (MoD) ranges. In competitions both the girls and boys team find themselves shooting against schools 2 to 3 times bigger than us and whilst this can be intimidating they have competed hard and we have had some excellent results. Many pupils continue to shoot after they have left Stover either joining local clubs or syndicates and in several cases representing their university in competition. Clay shooting is fun, it teaches safety and discipline and gives our young people a chance to shine in a sport they might not have considered before.

Academic PE

We offer GCSE PE through the OCR exam board for yr 10 & yr 11. In sixth form we can offer both A’Level and the National Extended Certificate for BTEC.

Sports leaders- We offer the sports leaders programme to both prep and senior pupils. It is run by Mr Powell and he works closely with Mrs Becky Mason who runs the School’s Sports Partnership. Together we host a number of events each term and our sports leaders help run each event. They are a real credit to the school and it is fantastic to see them lead with confidence and encourage the pupils taking part.

Curriculum offer for Games and PE

  • Boys – Games – Rugby, Football & Cricket
  • Girls- Games – Hockey, Netball & Cricket
  • Boys & Girls PE – Badminton, Orienteering, Table Tennis, Martial Arts, Health Related Exercise in the fitness suite, Tennis, Athletics, Volleyball and Handball

All students will be taught 9 different sports through the year in their lessons. The majority will also experience more sports through the activity programme.

Sports Facilities

  • Wide range of rugby and football pitches
  • 4 Lane astro turf Cricket Nets with rubber crumb bowling end
  • 6 tennis courts- 2 are indoor
  • 6 netball courts – 2 are indoor
  • 4 badminton courts
  • Fitness suite
  • Outstanding X-Country Course
  • 9 hole golf course
  • Shooting range onsite
  • Archery range onsite

Sport Fixtures & Competitions:

We offer a comprehensive fixture list each term following the major sport of that term. We play the majority of Independent Schools in Devon and have recently extended this into Somerset and the Taunton area too. These schools include, Plymouth College, Mount Kelly, Queens College Taunton, Shebbear College, St Peters Lympstone and Kings College Taunton amongst more. We compete in local tournaments against Independent, Grammar and State schools in the South Devon Schools competition. We are also members of the Independent Schools Association (ISA), Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) and The Society of Heads. All of which offer a range of sporting competitions for our students to benefit from.

Recent achievements:

  • U13 Football Stover Cup – Winners 2023
  • U13 Rugby Will Cole Cup – Runners up – 2023
  • U11 ISA Netball – South West Champions & National finalist
  • U13 ISA Netball – National finalist
  • U11 ISA Football– South West Runners up & National finalist
  • South Devon Schools X-Country- U15 boys – Winner- 1st place
  • South Devon Schools X-Country – U13 Girls – Winner – 1st Place
  • U13/14 Boys – ISA X-Country South West Champions & National finalist
  • U12 Girls – ISA X-Country South West Champions & National finalist

Individual honours:

2023B. RusdenExeter Chiefs DPPRugby
2023L. HallidayDevonTennis
2023F. ChatfieldDevonTennis
2023H. GascoyneExeter Chiefs AcademyRugby
2023J. KnightExeter Chiefs AcademyRugby
2023M. HoltGreat BritainWater Polo
2023E. IvesDevon Golf
2023G. WardGreat Britain Mountain Biking
2023E. PattersonDevonAthletics
2023T. SmithSouth West Sailing – Topper class
2023A. Armitage GB National Schools Skiing
2023O. Luscombe2 x National Champion Equestrian Dressage
2023H. Cooper-ThompsonGB U18 ChampionTaekwondo
2023J. Prince Exeter Chiefs DPPRugby
2023O. RylanceExeter Chiefs DPPRugby


Sport Trips & Tours

  • Somerset Cricket Twenty20
  • Exeter Chiefs experience day
  • Senior School Dubai Tour 2025
  • Prep School North Devon Tour
  • Exeter Chiefs Women
  • All Blacks v Barbarians – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Sport Scholars Programme:

The sports scholarship programme runs from year 7-13. The programme is aimed at those pupils who are showing outstanding athletic ability, are coachable and are currently performing to a high level in their chosen sports. The two pathway onto the programme are as follows:

  • Making outstanding contributions to school sport in at least 2 key sports included in the school programme. For example Rugby & athletics or netball & tennis. These pupils will be amongst the strongest and consistent performers in their year group.
  • For those pupils who compete in sports outside of the main school programme such as skiing, equestrian, sailing etc, we do ask them to be on a minimum of County to National standard.

The programme includes – 1:1 Mentoring, trips to live sporting events, guest speakers, personalised dry robe, 2x strength and conditioning sessions per week before school.

Assessment – Pupils will complete a range of fitness testing, where the data is compared to national averages and our own data for our existing scholars, complete different game-based activities and have an interview with either Mr Lloyd -Director of Sport or Mr Powell who leads the Scholars programme.

Links with local and professional clubs

  • Exeter Chiefs