There is no greater place than the sports field to develop a boy’s character, not only in competition with an opponent, but also in competition with himself. Durston House takes sportsmanship seriously and considers it a necessary part of a boy’s education. Fair play and respect for opponents are encouraged, as well as modelled by staff, throughout a boy’s time at school.

Although the rugby field, swimming pool or tennis court are the obvious places to observe sportsmanship, boys are asked to translate the same values to a classroom, music venue or school corridor. Here, too, we can see a moment of graciousness from a boy to another, having battled in competition in a Mathematics Challenge or the Verse Speaking Competition, one victorious and the other forlorn. Often, a knowing look and a handshake signal the end of ‘battle’, and the search for a new challenge begins, building character and providing further learning opportunities for boys.

Boys learn the importance of winning and losing from early on; through the many House Competitions, sports fixtures, class challenges or year group tasks, boys experience the highs and lows of victory and defeat, which we hope they meet with humility and respect, treating ‘those two imposters just the same’.