Pictured above: Headmaster, Ian Davies with some of Brentwood School's Sporting Stars
Brentwood School and Brentwood School Sports Centre has been selected as one of the 18 official nation-wide training venues for the London 2012 Games announced by Lord Coe and the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Games on Friday 1st October.
The school will host the Games-time training venue for the athletes competing in the Modern Pentathlon, providing facilities for four of the five sports: épée fencing, pistol shooting, 200m freestyle swimming and a 3km cross country run. The training venue for show jumping will be held elsewhere.
The School, of course, has a fine sporting tradition. It is well known as a centre of excellence for fencing, producing a stream of national and international fencers, winning the overall title at the prestigious Public Schools Fencing Competition more than 30 times since 1962, most recently in 2010. Former Head of School Alex O'Connell represented Great Britain at the Beijing Olympics and Anthony Crutchett recently achieved individual Gold in the sabre event at the Commonwealth Games.
The School has also produced international standard footballers, cricketers, squash and netball players. Alumni include Frank Lampard, the Chelsea and England footballer, Eric Peters, former Captain of Scotland's Rugby Union Team, Peter Barker, England Squash International and Ralph Dellor, cricket commentator and first chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board Coaches Association.
Brentwood School was chosen after an extensive review of all potential venues by the Organising Committee because of the high international standard of sporting facilities already available at the School and Sports Centre and the ease of access from the Athletes' Village in Stratford.
The area to which the athletes will be given access will comprise the Sports Centre, the Courage Hall car park, the Cricket Pavilion and the whole of the playing fields on the school side of Middleton Hall Lane. The facilities will be available for use by competing athletes from more than 200 countries from 16th July to 13th August 2012. The main sports hall will be reserved for Fencing, though special arrangements will be implemented during this period which will be announced nearer the time.
Lord Coe commented: ‘These are first-rate venues that will provide excellent training facilities for athletes getting ready for the biggest sporting competition in their careers. It is important that they have high-quality training areas for their final preparations.'
Headmaster Ian Davies commented, "I am pleased that the School will host a London 2012 training venue but especially that this will be for competitors in the Modern Pentathlon, an event invented by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. The Baron's view was that the Modern Pentathlon ‘tested a man's moral qualities as much as his physical resources and skills, producing thereby the ideal complete athlete'. This mirrors our approach to the education we provide at Brentwood School: the wide variety of opportunities available to pupils at the School help us to develop the all-rounder, combining academic success with sporting achievement and an active appreciation of the arts. I hope that the School's close involvement in the London 2012 Games will inspire our pupils to take on new challenges and seek to be the best they can."
Paul Morgan, Brentwood School Sports Centre Manager said, "It is a tremendous honour for Brentwood School Sports Centre to host the Modern Pentathlon training site for the London 2012 Games. The use of our facilities by so many international elite athletes will provide inspiration to our pupils, members and the whole community.'
Brentwood School is one of only three Independent Schools in the entire country to have been selected as an official London 2012 Games venue.