Sports appointments: September 2020

Three independent schools will be joined by industry professionals this September to help develop school sport
sports appointments
Phil Burgess during U-14 rugby practice

Cranleigh School

Cranleigh School has appointed Phil Burgess, an England and Great Britain Sevens player, as the school’s head of rugby and 1st XV coach. He will lead the rugby programme until the end of December before continuing his preparation for the 2021 Summer Olympics on Tokyo, with the GB Sevens Team.

Burgess has played professional rugby for 11 years, and signed professional terms for Harlequins after school. After university, he played for the Cornish Pirates and then joined the England Sevens squad in the 2013-2014 season. A back-row forward, Burgess was part of the Great Britain squad that claimed silver at the Rio Olympics. He won silver at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in 2018 and bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

Burgess said: “I’m really excited about the opportunity to work at such a prestigious and successful school. I endeavour to bring the same passion and enjoyment I have as a player into my new role as a coach and I look forward to becoming part of the Cranleigh team.”

sports appointments
Suzy Larkin

Eastbourne College

Former tennis tour professional and coach Suzy Larkin has been appointed as performance tennis coach at Eastbourne College.

In her time as a touring professional, Larkin reached a career high of 620 in the world rankings and 14 in Great Britain. She is the current Sussex County Champion and has enjoyed recent success in GB Tour events; she played nationally plus internationally as a junior. Larkin is an LTA and Professional Tennis Registry coach.

Larkin worked with Eastbourne College pupils training for GB Tour events earlier this year, with the school saying she made an “immediate impression with her technical coaching and ability to instil good training habits”.

As well as working on court individually and in small groups, Larkin will oversee of the weekly tennis training programme, including fitness, strength and conditioning, and mental skills work. Larkin holds a mathematics degree from Oxford Brooks University and will also take on the role of mentor and tutor to pupils at the school.

sports appointments
Mel Wilder

Millfield School

Mel Wilder, an accomplished event rider, has joined Millfield School this September as its new equestrian sports programme manager. Wilder will help chief coach Danny Anholt develop a new approach for equestrian and education at the school.

Wilder reached international success over 30 years to CCI5 including competing at the Badminton Horse Trials. She has produced several horses to compete at the highest level with success at Blenheim and Bramham Horse Trials.

She also has experience in business management, having held senior management roles in the Ministry of Defence and British multinational defence technology company, QinetiQ. With a degree in psychological sciences and a masters in research methods in psychology, Wilder has explored human performance in high-stress environments, and the effects of physical fitness and mental performance, nutrition and sleep.

Millfield is one of few British schools with equestrian facilities on campus.

Wilder said: “This is an exciting opportunity to be joining Millfield, to raise the profile of equestrianism, develop our young riders’ horsemanship skills and to ensure we are committed to the welfare of the horses in our care.”

Related news: Staff appointments: September 2020

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