Athletics is one of our main sports at Benenden in the Summer Term. All girls in Fourth to Fifth take part in compulsory sessions of Athletics once a week, as part of their PE curriculum. They experience a wide range of track and field events.
Those in Upper Fifth and above can choose to sign up for Athletics as one of their PE options. Within the Fourth and Upper Fourth, the girls work across all disciplines to gain the Aviva Athletics Award badges. As girls progress further up the school, some begin to specialise in certain areas, where they can receive more individual and specific training advice.
Although mainly featured in the Summer Term, we are able to offer students the chance to train during the Winter and Spring seasons at Tonbridge Athletics Club; this is only really suitable for particularly talented or very enthusiastic athletes as they have to join the Club as a member.
In the Summer Term, more girls travel to Tonbridge to train, and we also take teams of girls to compete in their monthly Open Athletics meetings. Our own Athletics Club is held at Benenden twice weekly and girls have the chance to practise all events at these nights; this is particularly popular with girls in the Lower and Middle School. As of 2015, we started taking girls in the Winter Term, so that those who wish to train in preparation for the Summer Term can gain excellent coaching all year round.
Inter-House Athletics/Sports Day
Our annual Inter-House Athletics/Sports Day is a keenly contested competition each year, with the focus being on participation and every girl taking part, rather than just on the more elite performers. That said, we do have school records that many girls aim to beat and we celebrate the top performances with medals on the day.
In addition to club nights, we host three or four of our own annual meetings attended by other schools, as well as participating in various fixtures including the Guildford High Meeting and competition against other schools in their Athletics meetings.
ESAA Track and Field Cup
A key feature of our year is our involvement in the prestigious English Schools' Athletics Association (ESAA) Track and Field Cup, where we compete in both the Junior (Fourth and Upper Fourth) and Intermediate (Lower Fifth and Fifth) age groups. We have a history of performing very well at the District stages and regularly progress to the Regional round of the competition in at least one age group; something we are very proud of since Athletics is not a major focus for the majority of our students.
District and County Cross Country Championships
We also compete in the District and County Cross Country Championships each year. Girls who are performing at county standard in any given event are entered by us into the Kent County Schools Finals each year too, where they have the chance of being selected to represent Kent in the regional Finals, or possibly, if talented enough, to progress further.