Sport plays a very important role in the life of our pupils at Christ College. For a small co-educational school we compete in a large number of sports throughout the school year and the overall standard is very high indeed.
In addition to the main team sports we offer Athletics, Aerobics, Badminton, Basketball, Climbing, Canoeing, Kayaking,Squash, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Volleyball, Mountain-Biking , Fell-Running and Cross-Country.
Our indoor facilities include a swimming pool, squash courts and sports hall where we play badminton, volleyball, five a side football and hold indoor winter cricket nets. We also have a fitness suite equipped with a range of equipment to deliver our strength and conditioning programmes.
Outside facilities in the 40 acres of ground include rugby pitches, astroturf pitch ,cricket squares, hard court tennis courts, netball courts and outdoor cricket nets.
Elite Player Pathway
The overall purpose of this programme is to best prepare pupils who are aspiring to excel in sport but also to help them manage time and commitments with their education ultimately being the most important element of their schooling.
The EPP offers additional support to our aspiring elite sportsman through all age groups. This works on different banding depending on age group (gold/silver/bronze) with the Yr11 and Sixth Form being the Gold pathway. Essentially this enables them to access additional strength and conditioning coaching, individual player developments programmes specific to the purposes of their sport and areas for development. Alongside this they will also receive support from their mentor which will be a member of staff who themselves has coached/played and experienced elite level sport. This will include access to goal setting and periodization (setting training programmes). The final branch to the EPP programme is the workshops that the pupils are involved in. This includes sports psychology (mental rehearsal, motivation and resilience), nutrition advice, goal setting, time management, injury prevention and finally how to develop a ‘winning mentality’.
At Christ College we have a full programme of cricket, playing independent and state schools. There are teams in each year group and all boys and girls will have the opportunity to represent the college in fixtures. The 1st XI has a strong fixture list and hosts the MCC each year which proves to be a competitive and superb occasion set within the beautiful Brecon Beacons.
There are regular winter coaching sessions during the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, and the girls and boys all practice up to four times a week during the Summer term. There is a strong team of fully qualified coaches, and indoor and outdoor nets as well as a beautiful traditional cricket pavilion. The Boys Clubs of Wales, West Indies and Glamorgan have all played on the 1st XI pitch.
The 1st XI host an end of season 20/20 festival each year, involving teams from Wales, England and Australia.
A number of boys play in their respective age group teams at county level and many play for the local clubs near Brecon.
Christ College has a partnership with Cradoc Golf Club where experienced Golfers as well as beginners are encouraged to develop the game of golf through good coaching. Advanced players have the opportunity to receive guidance and tuition under the expert eye of the PGA Golf Professional. Pupils have the opportunity to play golf all year round at the excellent all weather driving range as well as the 18 hole golf course in the beautiful Brecon Beacons. Parents of current Christ College pupils and members of the Old Breconian’s Association can have access to play at Cradoc Golf Club.
Hockey is a focus sport at Christ College, and has become an important part of school life. Our aim is to provide quality coaching and a fun environment for all, but that also supports and nurtures those with aspirations to seek higher hockey honours. The School has a fine tradition of high achievement in Hockey. The College fields teams in all age groups in both Girls’ and Boys’ during the Michaelmas and Lent terms respectively, with a highly competitive fixture list against some of the best schools in Wales and the border counties. With facilities on site, College pupils are able to train and play across all 3 terms, especially since the creation of the school’s highly successful mixed Summer Hockey League in 2015.
Both Girls’ and Boys’ teams have achieved considerable success over the last 10 years. The Girls and Boys are recent National Champions at U18, U16, U14, and U12 National Champions. Since 2011 a Christ College girls’ teams has reached at least the National Semi Final every year.
Each year a number of Christ College boys and girls play in the Hockey Wales 360/Aspire Talent Development Programme with some progressing on to National Age Group Squads (NAGS) and to winning Welsh International caps.
Christ College also has established excellent club links, with many of its junior players training and playing for Brecon H.C. while stronger & more senior players train and play for Cardiff & Met H.C. throughout the season, comfortably managing school, club and Wales commitments.
Christ College hockey teams regularly host overseas schools from Germany, South Africa and Argentina, players from the senior girls teams embarking on a wonderful 2-week tour of South Africa every three years.
The Coaching Team
Mr Chris Marriott is the College’s Director of Hockey, recently taking up this position after joining the school in 2013 from Cambridge University, where he enjoyed a hugely successful 3 year tenure as Head Coach. Chris is a highly experienced Level 3 Coach who has worked in the English and Great Britain set ups and is also a qualified coach educator, regularly delivering courses and workshops for Great Britain Hockey. Chris was the Hockey Wales Coach of the Year in 2016 and is a member of the European Hockey Federation Top Coaches Programme.
Chris has been involved in coaching performance teams and in talent pathway programmes for Hockey Wales since 1999. He was formerly their National Coaching Manager.
Mr Tom Wood is the College’s recently appointed Sports Assistant and he works to support male and female hockey players of all ages throughout the programme. He also leads strength & conditioning programmes. Tom was a Christ College pupil (2014-16) and captained the 1st XI to an unbeaten season and a 3rd consecutive U18 National Championship title. He has represented Wales at U16, U18, & U21 levels, and is currently a member of the Wales Mens National Team. Tom coaches at Brecon Hockey Club and is currently finishing his dissertation year at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where he both studies and plays.
Chris and Tom are supported by our Graduate Sports Assistants and Gap Students as well as by some of our keen academic staff.
Netball provides participation and competition at all ability and age groups during the Michaelmas and Lent Terms with school fixtures against many Independent Schools and welsh schools as well as playing local Netball Clubs; the senior teams play in the very competitive Brecknock Netball League.
The school enter the County Tournaments all age groups playing against the South Powys schools. The U16 and U18 Regional Tournaments lead onto participate in the Welsh National Finals Schools Tournaments. Christ College regularly reach the U19 National Finals and in fact 16 times over the last 20 years. The netball girls regularly tour overseas and visited South Africa in 2013 and 2016 as well as returning again in 2019.
Further development and pathways for individuals allow elite players to be selected for Mid Wales Squads; Powys County selection; Mid Wales Development Squad; and Welsh Netball Squads.
Netball demands and relies upon core strength, so contributes effectively to any fitness regime; the game also improves an individual’s balance and co-ordination and contributes in part to the high standard of girls’ sport at Christ College.
Rugby has always been an important component of life at Christ College. The school works with the WRU and in conjunction with regional clubs to ensure its rugby structure is of a high standard to support players who wish to develop their sport alongside their academic studies . The school also supports local rugby clubs like Brecon RFC and Gwernyfed RFC.
The school fields 1st and 2nd XVs, as well as U16s, U15s, U14s, U13s and U12s teams. Teams play on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons in the Michaelmas Term and matches are played against strong Independent Schools and local Welsh schools. There is the prestigious match against Crawshays Welsh Youth and a match against Oratory School on the Arms Park. Each season several touring sides are hosted including schools from Argentina, Belgium, South Africa and Australia. In the Lent term rugby continues its focus as well as developing the art of rugby sevens where the team enter the National 7s Rosslyn Park; as well as hosting one of the most prestigious competitions at Christ College.
Christ College rugby teams experience regular domestic and overseas tours and each year will welcome overseas schools to play fixtures from countries such as Argentina, Belgium, South Africa and Australia.
The Coaching Team
Head Coach : Daniel Parry
A WRU qualified Coach, , Dan have studied a degree in Rugby Coaching and Performance at the University of South Wales. Dan has over 5 years’ experience of coaching, with the Cardiff Blues community foundation within the community game and schools and coaching within the regional age-grade set up.
Dan played rugby for Merthyr RFC and helped them reach the premiership. He also represented Wales in Rugby league
1st XV Forwards Coach – Gareth Nicholas is a qualified WRU Level 4 Coach and has experienced huge success through his coaching career. A former Head of Rugby at Bridgend College, Gareth was Head Coach of Wales U19s at two World Cups as well as Head Coach at Newport Dragons Regional side. He will continue to coach with the Cardiff Blues Regional Age Groups.
1st XV Team Physio, Bronnie Jones is currently coaching at Gwernyfed RFC and as well as being a qualified physio is also a WRU Level 2 coach.
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Christ College actively promotes tennis both as a recreational activity as well as a team and elite sport. All pupils are encouraged to have a go at the sport during activity and games time. Those players who wish to further their tennis will become part of a coaching group and play fixtures against other schools. The school also enters the LTA National Schools Competition each year.
The sport is led by the Tennis Professional Coach, Chris Hill, who has been recently ranked 9th in the world by the International Tennis Federation in the Senior Men’s Doubles. Chris has won over 70 titles in an illustrious playing career, including 20 national titles. In 2013, Chris successfully defended his British national doubles title at Wimbledon and was unbeaten in German and South Wales Leagues, and against the All England Athletic Club at Wimbledon.
This is a tremendous achievement for Chris who has been coaching at Christ College for a number of years. Tennis is proving a popular sport all year round and last year Chris introduced winter tennis aerobics which is proving to be very popular.