Sports are integral to The King’s Hospital School ethos and whole-school experience; being representative of our fundamental agenda of student wellbeing, personal (character) development and the founding values of the School. The benefits of sport and physical activity are well known; including a healthy heart and lungs, stronger bones, joints, and muscles, reduced stress/anxiety and better sleep, increased confidence, creativity, and social connections.
Consequently, we consider our sports programme to be an extension of a single, coherent, core curriculum rather than a separate curriculum. We value the opportunities sports provide to engage in teaching and learning beyond the classroom. Sports also play a part in the significant relationships we enjoy with our Parents’ Association, our Past Pupils Union, and the local community.
We offer one of the most diverse sports programmes in Ireland with a wide range of team and individual sports and physical activities designed to fit the needs of our students rather than one they must fit into! Whether you have ambitions to perform at an elite international level, challenge for school honours, be active with friends or try something new, we have the programme for you.
Our sports programme explicitly combines the features of social integration, enjoyment, appropriate challenge, and personal relevance to provide meaningful experience through sport for each student.
Social Integration – shared positive participation with others.
- Recognising the importance that friendships, teamwork, collaborative learning, being supported and supporting others, coach-to-player relationships, developing leadership skills, and interest from parents and teachers play in successful student sport provision.
Enjoyment – positive emotions in action
- More than about having fun (although this is an important element), for our students it includes trying hard, making progress, being a good sport, taking responsibility, and experiencing positive and supportive coaching.
Appropriate challenge – key to meeting the individual development needs of every student
- Emphasises player-centred approaches to coaching, task differentiation, and empowerment such that achievement is self-referenced in terms of growth, development, and satisfaction.
Personal relevance – developing personal meaning
- Associated with learning beyond the classroom and connections to broader life. It is an explicit part of value-based approaches to coaching that create positive and meaningful experiences through sport.
‘Personal Best’ is a key emphasis of our sports programme and our students are supported in describing and pursuing personal goals within the collective setting.
We employ a team of highly skilled and experienced coaches who utilise proven coaching practices, competition strategies, and appropriate game forms to support student, skill, and game development by helping students to learn and to achieve their potential. Our coaches, equally, are committed to their own ongoing training and development and are supported, challenged, and empowered to meet the demands of our School sports framework.
The King’s Hospital has a proud tradition and long association with certain sports and consequently our FOCUSports receive particular attention. Form 1 students must participate in our FOCUSports for a minimum of two afternoons per week. Form 2, 3, and 4 students are also required to participate in a minimum of one Autumn/Winter FOCUSport and one Summer FOCUSport.
Rugby is one of our FOCUSports for boys. As such it is offered to all boys, catering for students at all levels through a variety of contact, modified contact (Touch) and non-contact (Tag) game forms. All Form 1 boys must participate in Rugby for a minimum of one afternoon per week. Matches for Form 1 and Form 2 teams take place on Wednesday afternoons or occasionally on Saturday mornings. From Form 3 onwards our teams compete in Leinster Rugby league and cup competitions.
Our TY rugby programme specifically provides a variety of training and game forms (7s, 10-a-side, Touch) to complement the extensive TY curriculum.
Our Junior boys’ team won the Fr Godfrey plate in 2023 and our Senior boys’ caption has been selected for the Leinster u18 Schools representative squad. A further four students have been selected for the Leinster u17 Schools development squad.
Rugby is offered to girls from Form 3 onwards, again in a variety of contact, modified contact and non-contact forms.
Our Head of Rugby is Ian Dumbleton who has over fifteen years’ experience coaching in Leinster schools rugby along with senior and u20 rugby in the likes of Seapoint RFC, UCD, and Old Wesley RFC. Ian is responsible for leading the high-quality rugby coaching and games programme in King’s Hospital. The Rugby coaching staff includes Head Coach – Keith Sothern, Performance Coach – David Hare, Junior Coach – Dave Plummer, and international player – Linda Djougang.
Head of Rugby – Ian Dumbleton (E: email@example.com)
Hockey is a FOCUSport for both girls and boys, catering for students at all levels. All Form 1 students must participate in Hockey for a minimum of one afternoon per week and all matches selected for.
Each team is entered in Leinster Hockey competitions with most matches taking place on Wednesday afternoons.
Our Senior Boys’ team won the Leinster Senior Cup in 2023 and were semi-finalists in the All-Ireland School Competition (Tasmanian Shield). Three of the team represented Ireland this year and a further four players represented Leinster.
Our Senior Girls’ team were runners up in the Claudia Tierney Cup in 2023. Four of this team achieved Provincial honours this year.
Our Head of Hockey, Peter Caruth, is a former international player who represented Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games and was a member of the team who won bronze at the 2015 Euro Nations Championships. In addition to his role in The King’s Hospital, Peter coaches in Corinthian Hockey Club.
The Hockey coaching staff also includes Irish international indoor player and Irish u18 girls’ coach – Rowland Rixon-Fuller, Irish International – Ellie McLoughlin, Irish Masters player – Jane Salter, and Leinster u18 boys’ coaches – Angus Dunlop and Max Neill.
Head of Hockey – Peter Caruth (E: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Basketball is one of our FOCUSports for girls. As such it is offered to all girls, catering to students at all levels. All Form 1 girls must participate in Basketball for a minimum of one afternoon per week and all matches selected for. Teams from Form 1 and Form 2 enter the North Dublin Leagues. We also enter u16 teams and u19 teams in the East Region Leagues for students from Form 3 upwards.
In 2023 our u16 girls with the East Region league. Our Junior team qualified for the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland championships and our Minor team qualified for the All-Ireland semi-finals
Basketball is offered to boys from Form 3 upwards too with u16 and u19 boys teams entered into relevant competitions.
Our Head of Basketball is Mr. O’Connor who organises the programme for both girls and boys and all our fixtures. Our Head Coach is ex New York native and professional player Conroy Baltimore.
Contact Mr. O’Connor (Email: email@example.com)
Athletics is one of our core Summer sports and all Form 1 students must participate in Athletics for a minimum of one afternoon per week in the summer term. For Form 2 upwards, Athletics is offered all year round with our emphasis on a range of sprint, jump, and throw multi-events. We enter students in the both indoor and outdoor track and field events, including the West Leinster Combined events, the Schools Medley Relays, and the Leinster Schools T&F Championships each year.
In 2023 our Inter girls’ team won bronze at the Medley Relays, Benjamin Caullier won u19 National Indoor 1500m gold, Abigail Farrell won silver in the Leinster Schools Inter girls 80m hurdles, and Emily O’Brien won bronze in the Leinster Schools minor girls 800m.
Badminton is a winter sport available to all form groups.
Focussed team training is held weekly in the Sports Hall in preparation for league matches, as well as social badminton for all students who wish to participate for fitness or social interaction.
Cricket is one of our summer FOCUSports for both boys and girls and is offered to all forms, catering for students at all levels.
All Form 1 students must participate in Cricket for a minimum of one afternoon per week and all matches selected for. Each team is entered in leagues organised by Leinster Cricket with the majority of matches taking place on Wednesday afternoons.
Due to the short nature of the summer sports season, we occasionally play matches at other times during the week. Indoor Nets training takes place in advance of the summer term.
Head of Cricket – Mr. Plummer (E: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Football is played during the summer term for senior school students with an emphasis on inclusion, participation and enjoyment. Students are coached in the fundamentals of football and challenge matches take place with similar schools throughout Leinster.
We have a fully equipped in-house gym for students in Forms 4 and above. Our qualified Strength and Conditioning coaches provide industry-leading fitness classes, strength and conditioning sessions and sport-specific training programmes. Gym classes offered include advanced strength training and athletic development sessions as well as one-to-one development sessions.
Michelle Barry & David Hare
From Form 2, students can attend rowing up to three days per week. All off-water training takes place in our purpose-built indoor rowing room whilst on-water training takes place twice per week at Neptune & Municipal Rowing Clubs in the Michaelmas and Trinity Terms. Our rowers compete in numerous regattas around Ireland, with the main event being the National Schools Championships.
Mr. O’Maoilchiarain (E: email@example.com)
The King’s Hospital Swim Club train two mornings per week throughout the school year. This is for experienced swimmers and is designed to be an additional fitness session, or part of a swimmer’s overall programme. We also offer swimming classes and ‘free swim’ opportunities for students who are not part of the Swim Club. Our onsite swimming pool has recently had extensive refurbishment and upgrade.
Christine Howard (E: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tennis is a core summer sport for all students and is mandatory for Form 1, with teams for all skill levels. Each team is entered into a league organised by Leinster Schools Tennis. Training sessions are held on our Astro pitches and hard courts, with professional tennis coaches providing training.
Yoga classes are offered in the early morning and afternoons four times per week. Yoga is a great way to improve balance, flexibility and muscle stability whilst providing a mindful practice to alleviate stress and anxiety. There are a variety of class styles available including energetic or relaxed flow.