Former England cricketer joins Bede’s as a coach
Bede’s has announced that Sarah Taylor, former England and Women’s World Cup winning cricketer, will join the School’s Sports department as the Sports Development and Life Skills Coach.
In this brand-new role, Sarah will work across both the Senior and Prep Schools (located in Upper Dicker and Eastbourne respectively) to increase participation and performance in sport across all year groups; to support with elite-level coaching across the core and competitive sports; and promote positive emotional and physical wellbeing in pupils at all athletic levels.
Sarah, who also attended Bede’s Prep from 1999-2002, is excited to start her new role in January 2020. She comments, “This really is the perfect role in the perfect place for me. The opportunity to help inspire the next generation of children coming through the School is incredibly exciting.”
Sarah is best known for being a world-class level wicket-keeper in the England Cricket team, with career highlights including being the youngest female cricketer to score 1000 runs in One Day Internationals against India in 2008; being the first woman to be inducted in the Legends Lane at the Brighton and Hove County Cricket Ground in 2015; and being awarded the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year four times (T20I in 2012, 2013 and 2018 and ODI in 2014).
In 2017, Sarah was selected to represent England in the Women’s Cricket World Cup, during which she set the record for the highest 2nd-wicket partnership in Women’s Cricket World Cup history with teammate Tammy Beaumont. In an outstanding final match against India at Lord’s, England won by 9 runs. “Lifting the trophy was such a memorable moment,” Sarah says. “When I close my eyes I can still remember it; I think that moment will always stay with me.”
Alongside her astounding athletic career, Sarah has been a vocal advocate for positive mental health and wellbeing. “The life skills aspect of the role is something that I feel very passionately about,” Sarah explains. “I am incredibly fortunate to have had the experiences I have playing professional international cricket – it was a dream come true to travel the world and make the friends I did playing a sport I love. However, competing at that high level came with a huge amount of pressure, which made me understand the importance of instilling a work/life balance.
“I really want to encourage all of our pupils to trust and believe in themselves,” Sarah continues. “There is no set method that works for everyone and the process will be different for every child or teenager and may vary by sport; the beauty of taking on a brand-new role is that it gives the flexibility needed to make the programme a success.”
For Sarah personally, exercise has taken on a new meaning in her life since her retirement from international cricket. “I run every morning without fail for two miles, which sets me up for the day. When you exercise and challenge yourself it makes a huge difference to your mental wellbeing – especially when you choose to do it for yourself. This message is at the heart of what I want to teach the pupils – they are playing sport because they love it, and should work hard to achieve their dreams for themselves.”
David Byrne, Director of Sport at Bede’s, comments, “Coaching is at the heart of the Bede’s sport offer, and we are absolutely thrilled to have Sarah joining our team. She brings with her a wealth of experience and enthusiasm that I know will have a huge impact on our pupils and department as a whole. Bede’s has always focused on providing a quality, holistic education tailored to the individual, and our sporting mission is no different. We place equal importance on participation and performance to encourage a love of sport for life, and Sarah’s new role is absolutely vital in achieving this vision.”