CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

5 sports teachers on their career, what they love most about their job and inspiring the future generation

PUBLISHED: 13:44 28 April 2014 | UPDATED: 13:52 28 April 2014

Wayne Callaghan, Buckswood School

Wayne Callaghan, Buckswood School

Various

In the latest of our ongoing series, we meet the people out on the school playing field come rain or shine, hoping to inspire our children with a lifelong love of sport

From the Spring 2014 edition of A+ education magazine

***

Name: Katie Robinson

Role: Head of Middle School, head of girls’ games, teacher of science, boarding tutor

School: Handcross Park School, London Road, Handcross, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6HF. 
Tel: 01444 400526/handcrossparkschool.co.uk

***

Why did you decide to become a PE teacher?

I originally had the idea during an A-Level PE lesson. My teacher at the time, Miss Blainey, was really inspiring. She loved what she did, and we always enjoyed her lessons. One day, we asked Miss Blainey why she became a PE teacher, and she said that she wanted to give something back and that her PE teacher had inspired her. Later, I completed a gap year as a hockey specialist and teacher of PE in an independent school, and I was hooked! Teaching sport was all I wanted to do, and even now I cannot wait to get out on to the field or into the sports hall.

What’s the best thing about the job?

The children. They make each day unique, and I can guarantee a day has not gone by since I started teaching back in my gap year where I have not smiled. Whether it is having a laugh and a joke out on the playground or when one of them achieves something for the first time, every moment is worth it. At Handcross Park, there is also a sense of community. We aren’t just a staff body and children, we are actually a massive family and each one of us supports each other in one form or another.

And the worst?

You hear it all the time, ‘the marking’, ‘the long hours’, ‘report writing’, but actually we do these things because we care and these little things can make the difference between a child fulfilling their potential or not.

Tell us the funniest thing that’s happened in your career?

Oh, there are so many! I laugh every day at school, so I am not sure I could narrow it down.

What would be your top tip for those hoping for a career in sport?

Hard work, diligence, commitment and determination. Also, if you listen to and act on advice given to you by your coaches or teachers, you will improve. They want to help; they want the athletes or children they train to reach their full potential. They care about what they do, and they care about you.

------------------------------------------------------------

Name: Gill Preston

Role: Head of girls’ games

School: St Andrew’s School, Church Hill House, Wilson Way, Horsell, Surrey GU21 4QW.

Tel: 01483 760943/st-andrews.woking.sch.uk

***

Why did you decide to become a PE teacher?

I always enjoyed participating in any sport available at school, but I decided to focus on swimming and by the age of 12 I had started helping my mum with coaching. Also, at school, I was always helping people with work if they got stuck and one day a friend said to me you should be a teacher as you explain it in a much better way than our teacher! Later, I went on to become a Year 3 teacher but always had a very full timetable teaching swimming and other sports. After having my two children, I took on the role I have now as head of girls’ games.

What’s the best thing about the job?

The best thing for me is to see the progression the children make and the enjoyment they get from playing in a team whether they win or lose.

And the worst?

The worst thing is standing out in the cold and rain for three hours a day in the winter!

Tell us the funniest thing that’s happened in your career?

Before an away match, the girls all went to use the school’s toilet facilities, but had been gone for some time. Eventually, one of my girls came out to the field to tell me that someone had got stuck in the cubicle! The caretaker had to get a stepladder, open the window and pull her out through the gap! It’s not something you would want to happen but the girl in question took it very well and the sight of her being pulled out of the window still makes me smile.

What would be your top tip for those hoping for a career in sport?

To succeed as a professional sportsperson, you must have determination, commitment and focus. However, it is the parents who will be transporting them all over the country to compete and will be paying the bills for them to do so. So my top tip is to work hard, but also appreciate the support and input you get from the adults around you.

------------------------------------------------------------

Name: Adam Izzard

Role: Director of sport

School: St Lawrence College, College Road, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 7AE.

Tel: 01843 587666/slcuk.com

***

Why did you decide to become a PE teacher?

My love of sport shone through at school from some great teachers and I basically wanted to try and do the same. Hopefully, I am in some part.

What’s the best thing about the job?

Seeing pupils achieve great things even when they have struggled with a particular sport. Seeing that sense of achievement on their faces is worth every sacrifice I give to the job. I also get to work with vastly experienced colleagues: we have four current international players on my staff.

And the worst?

The pay! However, I do love my job and wouldn’t change it for anything.

Tell us the funniest thing that’s happened in your career?

Going to a ball the night before a school fixture, I stayed at a friend’s house and woke up late. I also forgot my sports kit so had to coach rugby from the sideline with my tuxedo, bow tie and shiny black shoes on. It’s fair to say, I got a few odd glances!

What would be your top tip for those hoping for a career in sport?

Those that make it to the very top have done so through sheer hard work and never giving up. Two that I taught, Craig Pickering and Sam Baldock, never ever gave up on their dream and always worked as hard as they possibly could.

------------------------------------------------------------

Name: Jacqui Weller

Role: Head of girls’ games

School: Lancing College Preparatory School, The Droveway, Hove, East Sussex BN3 6LU.

Tel: 01273 503452/lancingcollege.co.uk

***

Why did you decide to become a PE teacher?

I first of all trained to become a drama teacher but an opportunity arose to teach PE. I jumped at the chance as I had always been passionate about sport at school and knew the huge benefits that sport would have on the children I taught.

What’s the best thing about the job?

You see children, who perhaps are not achieving in academic lessons, realise that they are good at a certain sport. Their self-esteem grows and they go on to take up a sport outside of school.

And the worst?

That would have to be the spring term when it is too cold or wet to even throw a netball!

Tell us the funniest thing that’s happened in your career?

Sport Relief with the male members of staff donning skirts and wigs against the Year 8’s on the netball court was definitely a highlight!

What would be your top tip for those hoping for a career in sport?

If you enjoy what you are doing, take it up outside of school. Start by talking to your teacher and find out about clubs and teams that are in your area. The only way to improve at a sport is to practise.

------------------------------------------------------------

Name: Wayne Callaghan

Role: Head of sport/member of the SMT

School: Buckswood School, Guestling, Hastings, East Sussex TN35 4LT.

Tel: 01424 813813/buckswood.co.uk

***

Why did you decide to become a PE teacher?

It’s not that you decide to become a PE teacher, it’s a vocation.

What’s the best thing about the job?

Watching the scholars succeed and seeing their expressions when doing so.

And the worst?

The English weather!

Tell us the funniest thing that’s happened in your career?

Whilst teaching in South Africa, my schoolboys made the regional hockey semi-final. My very talented left wing was born without a bottom left calf, so Bruno had a prosthetic limb, but he was still outstanding. After the match, a reporter from the local newspaper approached me, upset that I had let the boy on the wing play the whole game with an injury! And that I was one of those teachers that only cared about winning! The reporter said it was clear that the boy was injured and he even had a bandage on his knee! I went on to explain that Bruno was actually a disabled athlete competing in able-bodied sports. I called Bruno across and asked him to have a chat with the nice lady. The next week, Bruno was the main story on the sports page. I still have a little chuckle when recalling that day.

What would be your top tip for those hoping for a career in sport?

You and your opponent want the same thing. The only thing that matters is who works the hardest for it?

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 16:30

She may have recently moved to the seaside, but Surrey still holds a uniquely “precious” place in the heart of legendary children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson – not to mention the crucial role the county played in bringing everyone’s favourite and newly-returning feisty foster-kid to life

Read more
Yesterday, 11:59

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (23, 24 and 25 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Surrey is full of secret hideaways and hidden gems. Slades Farm on the Wintershall Estate is definitely one of them

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search