THE new academic year always provides schools with new and exciting opportunities, but none more so than this year for King’s Ely.

The Cambridgeshire school has succeeded in appointing not one, but two international coaches to head up their Rugby and Rowing programmes.

The new Head of Rugby is Jim Thompson. Jim has played rugby for Scotland, was picked for a full tour to Argentina and played full back in the Scotland World Cup Seven-a-side squads on three occasions. As the son of ‘At The Races’ and Radio Five Live presenter Derek Thompson, and the grandson of the ‘Voice of Rugby’, the late Bill McLaren, Jim is certainly not short of pedigree!

Jim spoke of his delight at the position he has taken at King’s Ely: “I am absolutely delighted to have joined King’s Ely as Head of Rugby. I am really looking forward to developing the rugby programme across the school and very excited to have the opportunity to inspire the students to reach their potential. I will look to pass on my knowledge and experience from what I have learnt over my 8 year professional rugby career. These are exciting times for King’s Ely sport”.

Mark Beer is the new Head of Rowing. Mark has coached athletes through to national and international level, but most recently as the athlete development coach for Cambridge University Boat Club. His main task there was to develop the talents of novice oarsmen to the point at which they would become representative for the full university squad; a perfect fit for developing young talent at a school such as King’s Ely, which already has a successful relationship with Cambridge University Boat Club, sharing the stretch of River from Ely to Cambridge.

Mark commented how excited he was at the prospect of working at King’s: “It’s a great privilege to be heading up the King’s Ely rowing programme. I’m looking forward to working with an energetic and dynamic group of students and coaches to further develop rowing within the school. The school has great facilities and arguably the best stretch of river in the country for rowing right on its doorstep”.

The two additions to the already experienced coaching staff at King’s Ely support the school’s drive to deliver the finest sporting opportunities, inspiring young pupils with the calibre of recognised sporting profiles such as those of Jim and Mark and providing coaching that will get the very best out of pupils, from the development of the youngest children right through to the elite performers.

The Principal of King’s Ely, Sue Freestone, commented: “We are really pleased to have added these talented sportsmen to our teaching and coaching team.  I look forward to some exciting developments in the sporting life of the school”.

Back to all news