Traditional boarding schools have excellent athletic programs and often offer athletic scholarships. Participating in a sport is also a great way for boarding school students to become comfortable in their home away from home, and to get to know their fellow students. Some boarding schools even require that students participate in a sport every season, whether the sport is varsity, junior varsity or recreational. The Boarding School Review provides a list of boarding schools that offer the most sports. A sample of the top schools is listed below.
Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts offers 25 sports. The school has 12 fields and 17 tennis courts, as well as 3 athletic trainers. Its teams have won 17 Independent School League Championships since 2004. Milton Academy is co-educational and has approximately 670 students.
Phillips Academy Andover
Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts offers 23 different sports and many more dance, exercise, and recreational activities. The school has extensive athletic facilities for sports of all seasons, including tennis and hockey. The school is home to 820 boarding students and 291 day students.
Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts offers 22 sports and a variety of intramural and recreational activities. Its athletic facilities include 29 tennis courts, a hockey rink and two gymnasiums.
The Hotchkiss School
The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut offers 22 sports. The school has extensive indoor and outdoor facilities as well as its own golf course. And, with 595 students and 151 faculty members, the school has a great student-to-faculty ratio.
Sports academies are schools that specialize in one particular sport. Students attending such schools typically plan to pursue professional athletic careers. While these schools allow young athletes to work with experienced, often famous coaches, over-training can be hard on young bodies that are not yet fully developed. Also, choosing to specialize in a particular sport and to focus only on athletic dreams might limit a child’s ability to develop other interests and could even limit options for the future.