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Living The Dream

By Mark Vernon

Posted on: 12 Feb 2014

Mark Vernon is the Head of Ski Racing and Skiing at Reed’s School in Surrey. He inspires his pupils to be part of the School’s impressive Powder Byrne Ski Academy.

Reed’s pupils take skiing seriously. They train every week at Sandown Park and Aldershot dry ski slopes and the top racers will have up to five sessions a week with the Strength and Conditioning coaches. Students are also able to take time off to train with one of the academies based in the Alps and part of Mark’s role at Reed’s is to ensure they keep up to speed with their academic work.

Mark’s aim is for Reed’s to become the school of choice for exceptionally talented young ski racers, providing them with the necessary support to allow them to realise their potential in skiing and live their dream. One student achieved this and is currently taking part in the Sochi Winter Olympics...

It is a rare pleasure indeed as a teacher to see a pupil meet their greatest ambition. When we asked Luke Steyn as a fresh faced 17 year old student in the middle of his A level studies what his ambition was, he replied with great authority

“to ski in the Olympic Games”.

We are delighted that Luke has been able to fulfil his dream and that he will represent his native country Zimbabwe at the Sochi games.

Luke joined us at Reed’s School as an even fresher faced 11 year old from Surbiton High School and joined a select group of ski racers as part of the Reed’s Powder Byrne Ski Academy, where he could race, train and maintain his academic aspirations.

Pupils at Reed’s are able to follow their dreams and strive for sporting excellence whilst keeping up to speed with the rigorous academic requirements of GCSE and A level exams under the watchful eye of our academy structure.

Our goal is to enable pupils to compete at the highest levels possible in their sport and still achieve the academic grades needed to succeed in today’s hugely competitive modern society. Through a dedicated team of teachers, strength and conditioning coaches and technical experts, we hope that we give the students every chance of going on to 'live the dream'.

Luke is by no means the first off the treadmill and there are several British ski champions and many other sporting successes that have benefitted from the 'out of the box' approach to sport at Reed’s. Tim Henman stands alone as our premier sporting alumni but most of the others who did not quite meet his sporting heights have forged their own way to success at universities from Oxford to Stamford and Edinburgh to Colorado.

We wish Luke every success in Sochi, but know that he will be well equipped to tackle the challenges on his chosen career regardless of his ranking and safe in the knowledge that we have helped him ‘live the dream’.


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The ISC Press Office posts blogs on behalf of ISC schools and Associations.