Clifton College, HRH Visit

Clifton College, HRH Visit

We were honoured to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex who visited Clifton College in Bristol today as part of a campaign to generate support for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) Charity.

During his visit he met head teachers and DofE Managers from schools across Bristol, as well as students from the College who are currently doing their Gold DofE programme.

He then played Real Tennis at our 90 acre sports complex against Sixth Former Bastien Van Der Zwalmen. It was a great game and Bastien was excited to play against HRH The Earl of Wessex.

“It was nerve-wracking at the start but then we got into it. He was really nice and really approachable. The game went pretty well, it was quite close, I didn’t expect it to be that close,” said Bastien.

Bastien played in a team with a student from the University of the West of England and His Royal Highness played with Jamie Sinclair from the University of Bristol.

HRH The Earl of Wessex is playing in Real Tennis in every court in the world to raise money for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Charity and help a new generation of young people transform their lives through DofE. He opened the Real Tennis court 20 years ago and played against pupils, so it was lovely that he could come back to Clifton College.

His Royal Highness played Real Tennis as part of his Gold DofE physical activity over 30 years ago and wants to show young people that the DofE journey does not end after receiving the award as many people continue to volunteer, hone their skills and improve their fitness.

Clifton College has been running the DofE for decades and places a high value on the opportunities it gives pupils in terms of independence, personal and social development.

Pupils at school have lots of opportunities for completing their Skill, Volunteering and Physical sections. The Volunteering section plays a big part at school and in the local community, DofE participants contributed a total of 871 hours of their time to help other people in the 2016-17 academic year. The extensive expedition programme includes walking expeditions in Morocco, Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor, Elan Valley, New Forest and the Mendip Hills.

 The school also offers expeditions in canoeing where locations have included the River Wye and the River Severn and more recently the school has run wilderness canoe expeditions to Sweden where pupils spend four days, canoeing through a vast lake system, cook on an open fire and sleep in hammocks throughout – a real ‘wilderness’ trip.

Dr Tim Greene, Head of College said: “The DofE is hugely important to Clifton College so it was a pleasure to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex, and fellow schools engaged in the programme, to the College to highlight and celebrate the great benefits participation in the programme bring young people. We hope that HRH’s visit to Bristol will inspire more young people across the city to become involved with the DofE.”

Heather Thompson, DofE Director for the South West said: “As a DofE Charity Trustee and Gold Award holder, HRH The Earl of Wessex is passionate about supporting young people to reach their potential, whatever their background or circumstance. We are grateful for his dedication to the Charity and taking on this fundraising initiative. HRH’s support, and the generosity of so many local partners, will help us extend our reach in the South West and work towards our ambition of all young people having the opportunity to do their DofE. The Earl’s enthusiasm for Real Tennis shows that the impact of a DofE Award really does last a lifetime.”