Beyond the major sports, we offer a wide variety of sports which pupils enjoy at all levels. These sports add breadth to the opportunities available to our pupils, allowing those with particular ability to pursue their chosen sport at the highest level, while giving pupils who are participating at a recreational to try different activities, have fun and acquire new skills.
Badminton is played throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. Pupils choose to play the sport as their chosen activity and receive coaching during their activity session. Each team also benefits from extra coaching provided after school which is a chance for them to work on their match-play tactics and they have the opportunity to play in competitive games each week.
Cross country takes place in the Spring Term. Training involves runs in the surrounding area, with routes ranging from Dorking to Epsom, as well as some longer runs for the senior members of the team. Cross country is a sport for all in terms of gender and ability, with participants ranging from the casual runner keen to improve fitness, through to athletes of county and national standard. Despite the natural individual element, cross country enjoys a very strong team spirit and employs this ethos to good effect. In addition to inter-school fixtures, which take place on a Saturday, we also regularly take part in the Bushy Park 5km run, with individuals aiming to better their own personal best for the course. In recent years, the School has won Central Surrey District titles. In addition, numerous individuals have been selected to represent the district at the county championships.
Golf is offered as an activity at St John’s. Each week golfers attend a coaching session run by a professional PGA coach at Pachesham Range in Oxshott. Sessions typically involve range work, with sessions devoted to chipping and putting as well as the long game. Players receive video analysis and are given the opportunity to go out on the course to play a few holes from time to time. Each term there is a golf event: in Autumn Term the St John’s Open takes place; during the Spring Term there is an inter-house golf competition; in Summer Term there is an annual fixture against the Old Johnians. We also enter a team for the ISGA Golf Matchplay Tournament each year.
During Summer Term a group of pupils travels to Queen Mary Sailing Club at Ashford to sail in the School’s own fleet of “Laser Class” dinghies. We work closely with the Club’s RYA-accredited instructors, which means that pupils gain relevant nationally recognised RYA qualifications.
Approximately three times a year, depending on demand, we run weekend yacht sailing trips from Port Hamble Marina, usually aboard 8-berth cruising yachts from 37’ to 44’ in length. We have staff and pupils who are qualified to RYA Day Skipper or Competent Crew level and we are sometimes joined by Old Johnians who are experienced sailors. The Solent gives the crew the opportunity to explore the many pretty towns, coves and creeks which are within easy reach and we are able to moor for the night in the ports of Cowes, Lymington, Yarmouth, Portsmouth or Southampton. All crew members have the opportunity to helm and to learn sail handling and ropework skills.
The St John’s Rifle Club has a long and proud history and this is continued by those Old Johnian’s who shoot for the Surrey Rifle Club and Great Britain. Target-rifle shooting is split into two seasons: “small bore” (firing the air rifle and .22 on the indoor range at 5 and 25 yards) and “full bore” (firing the SA80A2 5.56 mm cadet rifle and the 7.62 mm cadet target rifle at ranges from 100 to 600 yards). Rifle Club members start their training in the small-bore team, honing their skills and marksmanship principles under careful coaching. In the Autumn Term the team competes in the Stanniforth Cup against other teams from around the country and our most recent results have been satisfying. They also compete in one-on-one “shoulders” against local schools and clubs. The full-bore team trains for two days over the Easter holidays and then weekly at the National Rifle Association Ranges in Bisley. They compete in regional and national matches on Saturdays during Summer Term. The season is rounded off with a week competing at the national schools’ meet, culminating in the prestigious Ashburton Cup held again at Bisley.
Squash takes place as a weekly activity when pupils are taken to use the courts at Ashtead Squash Club to be coached by the club’s professional. The squash team plays matches against City of London Freemen’s School, Trinity School Croydon, Reeds School and Reigate Grammar School. In addition to this there are junior and senior house matches in the Spring Term.