Athletics is one of the main sports for boys and girls in the summer term, with the School competing regularly on Saturday afternoons throughout the term. Cranleigh has a fine tradition for its athletics, with a large number of pupils competing for both the County and Waverley. The School has 160 pupils training for athletics and it is the only sport where the boys and girls regularly train and compete alongside each other.
The ethos of the club is that every pupil, no matter their standard, will have the opportunity to reach their full potential through hard and organised training. This is also achieved by competing at some of the most competitive athletics meets in the country. Each athlete will train for their chosen events with individual programmes set out for them in order to peak during the season. Each athlete will have the chance to try all the disciplines as well as an athletic development session which will look to improve their flexibility, strength and speed of the pupils who haven’t got one or two events they specialise in.
The School also holds an Inter House Athletics day on the morning of Speech day where all houses compete against each other.
There are three weekly practices as well as meets every Saturday afternoon. The very top athletes will also be put forward to the Waverley trials with the aim of representing Surrey at the School national competition. To complement this, the School also has the support of professional sports injury and physiotherapy teams on hand at the School’s Medical Centre.
The School holds its meets at the K2 Crawley stadium. It has an eight lane 400 metre grass track as well as a high jump, triple/long jump area as well as a javelin, shot putt and discus area.
The School regularly wins inter school meets and in 2016 had 18 athletes selected for Waverley at the Surrey Championships. Out of those 18 athletes, the School won four golds, three silver and two bronze models as well as having the other 10 athletes all making the finals of their individual disciplines.
In September 2016 Anna Smuts was appointed Head of Athletics. Anna is an experienced athletics coach who represented Great Britain at junior level in the Pole Vault and has been involved in athletics coaching for over 10 years.
Anna is supported by Simon Brearley and Steve Pidgeon who are both highly qualified and specialist running coaches. Simon specialises in the sprint events as well as being an accredited strength and conditioning coach. He has a competitive background in athletics and trained with the highly respected City of Sheffield AC from ages 12 to 17 before moving onto Leeds Met Carnegie AC to compete at University. Simon has undertaken research into the transfer of strength training to elite amateur sprinters and is an active researcher in the field of plyometric training. Andy Houston (Director of Rugby), also supports the team of coaches.
Each age group will have a team manager as well as two coaches per event to make sure that every pupil gets focused training.