All of Queen Ethelburga’s students follow a sports programme with the values of fair play, honesty and determination at its heart. Our motto of ‘be the best that I can, with the gifts that I have’ is never more evident than through the work we do as TEAM QE.

Sports Facilities

Physical Education

Rugby Sports Programme at QE

Performance Sports


Specialist Sports


Queen Ethelburga’s provides opportunities to compete in Track and Field (T&F) and Cross Country (XC) for students across the school.

As part of an annual athletics itinerary, QE hosts and competes against local schools. QE students also take part in the English Schools Athletics Association (ESAA) Track and Field Cup, Harrogate and Craven Athletic Clubs events and the ISA Championships.  

QE students are encouraged to join Track and Field Running Clubs, to partake in more athletics outside the curriculum programme. Students on the Performance Sports Programme (PSP) receive additional specialist coaching geared towards their events, as well as strength and conditioning sessions linked to their athletics discipline, to maximise their full potential.  

The athletics facilities at QE are of the highest standard and include an all-weather floodlit track, four long jump pits and  high jump and throwing areas.  

Athletes at QE have represented county, England North, England Juniors and Great Britain Juniors. Post-QE athletes have gone on to represent Great Britain Seniors and England Senior teams.  

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Athletics at Queen Ethelburga's College
Athletics Race at QE
York Knights Basketball
Rugby Sports Programme at QE
Athletics Race at QE
Rugby Kick  at QE
Hockey Training at QE
Cricket at QE
Athletics at Queen Ethelburga's College


Basketball at Queen Ethelburga’s has grown exponentially over its 5-year existence and QE is now considered one of the top academies in the country.  

The combination of access to world class strength and conditioning facilities and personalised skill development sessions, in school time, has enabled an individual developmental focus for all athletes to thrive and improve. This is supplemented by after-school team training sessions, which focus on tactical improvement and match preparation.  

QE offers competition at senior level in the invitation-only Academies Basketball League. This is paired with club competition, in association with QE York Knights, who compete in the National Basketball League and are in the North Premier Division. QE is one of a few select schools that boasts a national league club, made primarily of students from a singular school. With the recent addition of both U16 and U14 teams, QE York Knights now compete in the North Conference of the National League. This enables students lower down the school to have the same opportunities as senior teams. In addition, QE also competes in the English Schools’ Competition across different age groups and, in previous years, has reached the National Finals.  

The Performance Sport Programme (PSP) is available to students from Year 7 that wish to improve their basketball through small group development sessions and strength and conditioning programmes and is based on personalised individual needs. Basketball is heavily represented in the curriculum school-wide and is supported by after school and lunch time activities for all. These include sessions for students looking to develop to the highest levels, alongside inclusive activities for all to enjoy.  

Present and former students have represented Great Britain, England and Wales at junior level and many have been awarded scholarships to US universities upon graduating from QE.  

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York Knights Basketball


Queen Ethelburga’s offers opportunities to be involved in cricket from Years 3 to 13, with lunchtime and after-school activities offered to all students throughout the school year.  

Building an appreciation and enjoyment of the sport and providing a firm foundation in basic cricket skills underpin the QE approach to this quintessentially English sport.  

The curriculum-based work in the summer term is designed to encourage participation in school. The aim is to ensure that each cricketer develops their skills to their full potential. We offer a Performance Sports Programme (PSP), where individual learning, including a personally-tailored strength and conditioning programme, is undertaken.  

The school play competitive cricket at all levels, with a comprehensive fixture programme, including matches against local schools and clubs and, at senior level, against county U17 sides, as well as the MCC. 

QE cricket facilities include a purpose built cricket ground with six grass wickets and one artificial wicket, alongside a net area comprising four artificial surfaces and two grass surfaces. QE is unique in offering floodlit cricket, extending the opportunities for students to play.  

Present and former students have played at Junior County level, for area teams and for their local clubs. Former students have also represented England U19s and played second XI cricket for their respective counties at senior level.  

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Cricket at QE


Football is a key strand of the excellent sporting education that students receive at Queen Ethelburga’s and is available to students of all abilities, from Year 3 to 13.  

In addition to the football curriculum, QE competes in local and national competitions as full members of the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA), Independent Schools Association (ISA), English Schools Football Association (ESFA) and Association of Colleges (AoC). At senior level, QE students take part in fixtures against professional academy teams that provide great opportunities for students to test themselves against some of the best players nationally.  

Present and former students have represented the ISFA National teams, at different age groups, and some also play extra-curricular football at county or semi-professional level.  

As part of the Performance Sports Programme (PSP), students sign up to additional sessions, beyond the curriculum, that provide opportunities to work on skills, tactics, strength and conditioning, analysis and nutrition.  

QE is proud to provide world class facilities for football including: a triple court sports hall, seven exceptional grass pitches suitable for football and four 3G artificial pitches, all kept by professional grounds staff.

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Football at Queen Ethelburga's
QE Senior Footballers Claim Northern Trophy


Hockey is offered as a major sport for all age groups at Queen Ethelburga’s, with girls taking part in the winter term and boys in the spring term. 

The senior teams play across both winter and spring term and training is offered to every age group across the academic year.

Students engage in an extensive indoor and outdoor fixture programme with schools across the North of England and the Midlands, and a number of UK university club teams. Students regularly attend regional events, with the U18 girls achieving qualification for the National Indoor Hockey Finals, in 2017 and 2018.  

Queen Ethelburga’s have excellent hockey facilities, including both a water-turf pitch and a sand-dressed-turf pitch.

High-quality facilities and coaching mean that students can benefit from a personalised Performance Sports Programme (PSP). Individual and small group hockey sessions allow a more detailed analysis of technical and tactical competence, allowing detailed individualised plans to be created and managed. This encompasses a bespoke strength and conditioning programme alongside sports psychology support, video analysis, prehabilitation support and rehabilitation support.  

At QE, a well-supported club and talent pathway for hockey is central to the success of the programme. Present and former students play at county, regional and national level and there are international honours among the alumni of the hockey programme. 

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Hockey Training at QE


Queen Ethelburga’s is an exceptional environment for netballers of all ages to develop skills and strive for their future goals, both academically and athletically.   

The school enjoys competitive netball at all levels, with students taking part in an extensive fixture programme of matches against local and regional schools and clubs. At senior level, students can participate in strong competitive fixtures against other schools in local, regional and national tournaments.  

Present and former students have earned selection to county, regional and national netball teams and have represented England U17s, England U19s and Ireland U17s. They have also played in the Vitality Netball Super League, Netball Performance League (NPL) U21 and NPL teams and premier club netball teams. 

Team QE’s Netball U19s currently hold the prestigious 2019 National Schools Competition title and the Yorkshire Regional title.   

QE offers opportunities to be involved in netball beyond the curriculum, from Years 3 to 13. Lunchtime and after-school activities throughout the school year, encourage and provide all students with the opportunity to enjoy the basic, fundamental skills of netball. QE has a term-based netball curriculum designed to encourage participation for fun.  

We strive to ensure that each netballer develops skills to maximise their full potential. Students can take full advantage of one-to-one coaching, strength and conditioning programmes, nutritional  advice, physiotherapy and massage, to meet their individual developmental needs. 

Some students are engaged on a Performance Sports Programme (PSP) where a higher level of individual learning is undertaken.  

QE provides a total of 14 high-quality netball courts across campus: 10 outdoor and floodlit courts, three indoor courts and a full-sized international standard court with ample spectator seating.  

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Netball at Queen Ethelburga's College
QE Crowned Netball Champions
School Netball at Queen Ethelburga's


At Queen Ethelburga’s, students are offered competitive rugby at all levels with an extensive fixture programme comprising matches against local schools and clubs. At senior level these fixtures expand to include other regional Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) Academies.  

We offer an innovative and exciting Performance Sports Programme (PSP) where a higher level of individual learning is undertaken. The Programme involves technical and tactical work, video analysis and a strength and conditioning programme which is specifically designed to meet the student’s individual needs.  

There are also opportunities for students to be involved in rugby beyond the curriculum, in Years 3 to 13, with lunchtime and after-school activities for senior students throughout the school year. 

Past and present students have played for county, regional and international teams, which is always encouraged at QE.  

The facilities at QE are outstanding with seven superb grass pitches suitable for rugby and four state-of-the-art 3G astro pitches. All are floodlit and looked after by professional grounds staff.  

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Rugby Kick  at QE


Students at Queen Ethelburga’s compete in matches arranged against local schools, at both junior and senior level. Students compete at regional level within English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) and in both regional and national level school competitions, within the ISA.

The school offers opportunities to be involved in swimming at both lunchtime and after-school activities.

The activity programme for swimming has been separated into swimming development groups and swimming squad training. The focus for swimming development at QE is very much on enjoyment and providing a firm foundation in the basic swimming skills and techniques. swimming squad training is aimed at enabling QE students to compete at the highest possible level. Some students within swimming squad are also engaged on a Performance Sports Programme, (PSP) where individual learning is undertaken, alongside a strength and conditioning programme that is designed to meet individual needs.  

QE boasts impressive swimming facilities within the Genesis Aquatic Centre, including three endless pools, each fitted with treadmills, and a four-lane 25 metre training pool, which supports a full Colorado competition-timing system with touch pads and fixed screen. Additionally, the Centre also includes a jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and ice baths, used as part of the rehabilitation programme for all athletes, across all QE sports. The facilities are used, and are suitable for, nursery and reception right through to Year 13 students.  

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Swim coaching and Training at Queen Ethelburga's

Some thoughts from our TEAM QE alumni...

My greatest highlight at QE has been participating in the Sport Elite Programme for hockey. Since beginning the program in Year 10, I quickly progressed from playing 3rd team hockey at Leeds Hockey Club to playing in the 1st team. Now post-QE, I have continued to play a high level of hockey at the University of Nottingham.

The hockey coaches went out of their way to introduce us to new skills and to clarify tactics and formations. Unlike other schools and sports clubs, QE’s coaching staff was supportive of both my sporting and academic pursuits, valuing not only the player but the individual.

Particularly during my final year, I really appreciated the efforts both the academic and coaching staff went to in order to help me balance my time effectively. Moreover, the support I had available to me, not only with regards to my rugby development and academics but also in terms of pastoral care, made sure that my two years at QE were the very best that they could have possibly been.

My two years at QE were two of the best years of my school career. I got the opportunity to have a taste of what it was like to train as a full-time athlete, while completing my A-levels in one of the best schools in the area. 

I developed my hockey skills massively with the help of two fantastic coaches. Not only were they coaches, but they were also friends who supported you on and off the pitch.

QE helped me get to my chosen university and helped me push my hockey to a higher level. 

The QE experience is not something you find easily. It has a perfect balance of high standard academics and high standard sport which is exactly what I was looking for after being released by York City Football Club. Deciding to go to QE was the best decision I have ever made in my life. I would not be where I am today if it was not for everyone at QE.

The standard of coaching is in a different class. Mr Bolland and Mr Newey always pushed us to be the best players we could, whilst also always believing in us, giving us support when needed, and having a great time along the way too. 

QE has made it possible for me to realise my potential and I will forever be thankful for the place.

Moving to QE really helped me push on towards my goal of playing full time professional rugby. Mr Rawlinson and the rest of the coaching staff, along with the first-class facilities, enabled the SEP programme to work at a very high level, pushing our performance up week by week.