Sports offered in the Preparatory School
Details of the sporting codes in the Preparatory School can be found below. Click on the sport in which you are interested, to find out more information. Each sporting code is run by an MIC (master/mistress in charge) who specialises in their respective discipline.
Athletics encompasses a variety of competitive athletic disciplines based on running, jumping and throwing. Track events are categorized into sprints (100-metre, 150-metre and 200 metre), middle distance (800-metre), hurdles and relay events (4x 100-metre). Field events include long jump, high jump and shot put.
Athletics is offered to our Grade 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 boys and our season runs for a few weeks in November where mid-week and Saturday meetings take place. Our training sessions focus on developing our team’s muscular endurance, flexibility, stamina and strength. The training is challenging, both physically as well as mentally, and it helps to develop resilience and tenacity in our athletes.
Through our various meetings, we aim to develop in our team a greater appreciation for the sport as well as the qualities of sportsmanship, teamwork and strength of character. It is more important to focus on the process than the product.
Ms Samanatha Forsyth, MIC
Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never give up.
Performing under pressured situations, constantly changing directions and moving at a high tempo are just a few skills that are required from our St Benedict’s basketball boys. Basketball is one of the fastest growing sports amongst our boys as it’s popularity has rapidly expanded our teams to a record number of nine across our Grade 5, 6 & 7 boys.
At St Benedict's Preparatory our boys are trained under dynamic conditions and as a result, our players maintain a high level of strength, power and fineness on and off the court. We compete in local fixtures against other highly competitive independent schools as well as various festivals and tournaments throughout the first term.
We wrap up with the St John’s U13 Basketball Tournament. This is without question the most anticipated tournament of the season.
Mr Braydon Naidoo, MIC
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.
Cricket is one of the most complex sports around as it requires more than one skill. Batting, bowling and fielding are your core components. At St Benedict’s Preparatory we strive in developing our boys in these three disciplines and the skills they require in order to help them become the best possible cricketer they can be. Cricket is one of our mainstream sports consisting of 16 teams from grades 3-7. We are part of the independent school’s program which is formed by some of the top boy’s schools around Gauteng. This exposes our boys to tough opposition and allows them to showcase their talent. Our U13A team travels down to KZN on an annual tour which exposes them to various oppositions as well as conditions in order for them to gain valuable learning experiences. Cricket is a team game and nothing is more important than playing and working as a team. We aim to ensure the boys cricketing knowledge is up to date as well as developing respect for their team mates, the game and their opposition.
Mr Daniel Van Der Berg, MIC
To me, it doesn't matter how good you are. Sport is all about playing and competing. Whatever you do in cricket and in sport, enjoy it, be positive and try to win.
Grit, determination and hard work are all words that come to mind when we think of our Cross Country boys. We kick off our season with the annual Inter House Event which takes place on a fast, flat 2km course around the St Benedict's Campus. It’s from here that we pick our top 20 boys, per age group, and start the preparations for our league races. Although a team is chosen, cross country remains a mass participation sport and we always welcome any boys that might be interested in the sport.
Cross Country is great for various fitness components including stamina, strength and speed and your mental toughness needs to be on point, ensuring that a well rounded individual is developed. Cross Country is offered to our Grade 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 boys and our season runs in April and May with races taking place every Friday Afternoon from 14:00-16:00. All boys run on a 2km route with the hosting venue being rotated between our opposing schools. Training sessions generally take place in the mornings as to free up the boys afternoon sports schedules, assisting them with other challenges and sporting codes that they may want to take on.
Ms Samanatha Forsyth, MIC
However ordinary each of us may seem, we are all in some way special, and can do things that are extraordinary that were maybe thought impossible.
Drive for show, putt for money and facing tough golf courses are all words that come to mind when we think of the St Benedict’s Golf Boys.
Our season starts off with golf trials at Royal Johannesburg - this tough and immaculate course challenges our boys, both mentally and physically, it is from there that we pick our top 20 players from Grade 5, 6 & 7. Boys who are selected, participate in the Ekurhuleni Golf League where they get a chance to play on a variety of courses that push them to reach their full potential.
Our golf programme focuses on developing the perfect swing and the expansion of knowledge as our golfers face a variety of slopes, greens, bunkers and fairways throughout the year.
Mr Mark Maconochie, MIC
Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies.
The game of hockey is played widely across the world and is, in fact, the second largest team sport in the world played in over 100 countries, therefore it's no surprise to see it’s rise in popularity amongst our Grade 3, 4 , 5 , 6 & 7 boys at St Benedicts.
Our training sessions focus on the development of hand-eye coordination, decision making and teamwork, all whilst under the supervision of highly experienced coaches. Hockey is a sport that caters for the serious athlete as well as the weekend warrior with camaraderie and fun being the main part and parcel of the game.
The boys have the opportunity to participate in various festivals during the season. The U12A and U13A teams have the privilege of going on a tour to KZN where they get the chance to challenge some of the top schools and make memories in the process.
Mr Anton Mdluli, MIC
Hockey is where we live. Life is just a place we spend between games.
Rowing at St Benedicts embodies all the aspects of a competitive sport that both nurtures and empowers boys to be their very best. This philosophy has allowed St Benedicts to win the South African National Rowing Championship for 25 consecutive years as well as allowed St Benedict’s Rowing Club to achieve the South African school team of the year award for two years in a row.
St Benedict’s Rowing aims to create an environment for boys from all walks of life- be it the ‘top athlete’ who thrives on competition, or the boy yet to find his sporting niche, and would like to join in the camaraderie of our prestigious team.
Our rowing strives to instil four key principles within the boys we work with: ENJOYMENT, PARTICIPATION, COMMITMENT, HIGH PERFORMANCE.
Rowing at St Benedict's Preparatory starts in grade 6 where the boys are introduced to the sport with emphasis on fun and comradery. This is the foundation of the competition culture that embodies rowing at St Benedicts. Once the boys reach grade 7 the focus shifts to nurturing the boy’s competitive nature and developing the mindset of an athlete. These two focuses allow for the development of a well-rounded athlete that is equipped for any challenge he faces, be it on the water or in the classroom.
Mr Jason Knowles, Head Coach
In rowing, as in life, there are competitors and there are racers. The competitor works hard and rows to his limit. The racer does not think of limits, only the race.
Rugby at St Benedict's comprises of two domains: Tag Rugby and contact Rugby. Our philosophy is to focus on the five core areas of rugby, as well developing our boys’ mental capacity. This includes: decision making on and off the field.
We aim to ensure excellence by equipping boys and coaches with all necessary requirements to help develop their game. All of our coaches are Boksmart certified, in order to ensure the highest level of safety possible and our state of the art facilities ensure for a wonderful Saturday out on the rugby fields.
Rugby is played from Grade 3-7 and our U13 team has the opportunity to participate in the St John’s Preparatory festival as well as a weekend at Pridwin for a Rugby 7’s festival.
Rugby, undoubtedly benefits the overall development of learners. The health benefits alone include; cardiovascular fitness and endurance, strength in upper and lower body, agility, and speed.
Mr Tyrone Fernandes, MIC
It is not the size of the man, but the size of his heart that matters
Soccer is the biggest and most loved sport at St Benedict’s. We have 400 boys in 33 teams as it is offered from Grade 3-7, with almost every boy participating.
Fixtures are played Mid-week and Saturdays against a variety of independent boys schools. Competition for places is fierce and ultimately keeps the boys working hard in order to get the results. Soccer is a fantastic way of getting our boys to learn teamwork, mental strength, coordination and concentration.
Our U11A, U12A and U13A teams tour to Camp Discovery, where they have the chance to play schools from all around South Africa. It is a great experience for our boys.This tour provides an opportunity to see different ways of playing football and it challenges them to step outside of their comfort zone.
Mr Andrew Naidoo, MIC
Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don't like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.
Swimming at St Benedict’s is about hard work, dedication and passion - most of all, it is about enjoying your time in the water. Our motto is: “Don't count the laps, make the laps count”.
As the saying goes, “hard work pays off’, this has never been more evident than what we see from our St Benedict’s Swimmers. Their unwavering passion, improvement in times and camaraderie between fellow schools and teammates is truly a sight to behold.
The swimming season runs for the whole of the first term. We kick the season off with trials in mid-January, any boy from grade 3-7 is invited to take part in trials. From here, three teams are selected to make up our Swimming Squad. The Squad trains twice a week in the indoor swimming centre and competes in weekly Friday Gala’s against the various independent boy Schools in Gauteng.
The top swimmers in Grade 2 are invited to join us at training sessions and our home galas’. This enables us to develop the boys and our focus is on providing an opportunity for all swimmers to gain that crucial gala experience.
St Benedict’s swimming is highly competitive. Our A Team recently came first at the 2019 ISASA Inter-schools Gala and the B Team came third in their respective leagues.
Ms Kim Ransom, MIC
For myself, losing is not coming second. It’s getting out of the water knowing you could have done better. For myself, I have won every race I’ve been in.
Tennis is a very popular sport in our Preparatory School and caters for tennis players of all abilities. We participate in the local, EASTA League during the first and third terms and the Independent Schools’ League during the second term.
We host a U11 festival, the Keenest of the Keen festival and a U13 festival where we invite schools to participate and strengthen our tennis ties. These festivals were started in 2007 and we are very proud to host these tennis festivals annually. Our U13 team also participates at the annual Private Schools’ Tennis Tournament at Sun City, hosted by Egalite Promotions.
St Benedict’s has a magnificent eight court tennis complex and all our tennis boys feel privileged to be able to develop their tennis skills at such a world class venue.
Mr Nicky Hannan, MIC
A game originally called “water rugby” requires the boys to have physical and mental strength, as well as the self discipline and motivation to succeed. If you are looking to improve your agility, hand-eye coordination, decision making and improve physical strength, then look no further.
Reasons why water polo is awesome:
- Water polo has an emphasis on discipline and time management
- Water polo boys are physically conditioned all year round.
- Mental benefits.
- Playing team sports is a fantastic way for people to develop their social skills.
- Teamwork and good communication are vital for success in water polo.
- It is great at developing problem solving.
Pre season begins the week before school starts, which gives our boys the opportunity to get ahead of the rest before schools return and fixtures are played. We have U11 and U13 teams, however we encourage the Grade 3 and 4 boys to start early. Fixtures are played on a Thursday afternoon, allowing boys to participate in their second sporting code on the weekends.
There are extra clinics and sessions to ensure our boys are always developing and reaching the goals they have set for themselves.
Ms Kaylin Shortt, MIC
A perfect water polo athlete can be best described as having the over-arm accuracy of a baseball pitcher, the vertical of a volleyball player, the toughness of a rugby player, the endurance of a cross-country skier and the strategy of a chess player.