Sharon Muxworthy

27th May 2005 at 01:00
Girls don't always love PE. But at St Bede's school in East Sussex, director of sport Sharon Muxworthy is doing a great job involving everyone in a choice of games and building team spirit.

She's been at the school for six years and, according to long-standing history teacher George Carney, has really made a big difference, with more girls enjoying team games of all sorts. Ms Muxworthy's "commitment and organisation" have created exciting opportunities - with hockey teams doing particularly well.

Nominating "Muxworthy" for our flowers, champagne and chocolates, Mr Carney says she has set up a sports tour to Barcelona this term - a typically bold gesture to "reward all the hard work of players and coaches during the season". Set in 100 acres of farmland amid the South Downs, St Bede's is an independent, non-selective, mixed school for 750 youngsters from Years 9 to 13, some of whom are boarders. Ms Muxworthy is head of one of two girls'

houses called Charleston and Bloomsbury (after the famous farmhouse down the road where Bloomsbury artists once lived).

Current headteacher Steve Cole, who arrived from New Zealand four years ago, says Sharon Muxworthy has done "wonderful things" for girls' sports including football, squash, tennis, swimming, and hockey. Her clubs are among 130 out-of-school activities on offer every week. "Sport is not compulsory here and if our students want to walk on the Downs or get involved in recycling they can."

Founded only 26 years ago, Mr Cole says St Bede's is different from other independent schools locally and, indeed, from the more traditional environment he knew at St Paul's College in New Zealand. "We're making our own own traditions here and our director of sport is key to that."

We know there are heroes out there. Tell Sarah Bayliss, TESFriday editor, about yours at the address on the left. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks Spencer

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