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Beyond the Books: Athletic Achievement in North American Boarding Schools

Outside their classroom studies, many North American students are making waves on the court and out on the field. Several notable athletes, from Lebron James to Prince Fielder, have their roots in boarding schools across the continent. Athletics prove to be an important source of personal development and a source of balance, fun, and camaraderie for students. From teamwork and sportsmanship to discipline and staying healthy, there is much to be gained from active participation in team or individual sports. To highlight the importance of a well-rounded educational experience, BBR interviewed some boarding schools whose athletes rise to the top year after year:

Shady Side Academy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

With physical education and athletics as a part of the curriculum, students are well equipped to play the sport of their choice by the time they reach high school. With nearly 50 varsity and junior varsity teams across 17 different sports, including squash, lacrosse, and crew, both girls and boys have plenty of opportunities to compete and play.

Oaks Christian School, Westlake Village, California

Recognized for excellence across a variety of sports, Oaks Christian School racks up the championships year after year and is recognized for excellence on both a state and national level. In addition to traditional sports like basketball and soccer, there are equestrian and lacrosse teams. The school offers 48 teams across 26 different sports for both girls and boys.

Lower Canada College, Montréal, Québec

From wresting and jiu jitsu to soccer, swimming, and yoga, there are plenty of athletic options at this Canadian campus. Though the focus is on friendship and sportsmanship first, Lower Canada College athletics continue to collect awards and accomplishments. The school won 18 championships in the past two school years alone.

The Winchendon School, Winchendon, Massachusetts

Winchendon hopes that all of its students will participate in athletics, no matter the level at which they begin to play. Its teams compete across New England, with recreational intramural teams for those who prefer to play for fun over competition. Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports.

The MacDuffie School, Granby, Massachusetts

Throughout all seasons of the school year, MacDuffie offers students the opportunity to play in its after-school interscholastic athletic program The school even has badminton and Ultimate Frisbee teams. Whether competitive or recreational, all skill levels are encouraged to participate to promote community and physical fitness. The school offers several awards annually to its teams and players, as well as athletic scholarships to attend.

Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, New York

This New England all-boys school has a legacy of excellence in athletics. Its programs encourage students to pursue multiple sports each year for a well-rounded experience. Some unique athletic teams include skiing and squash teams. The school is active in the Founders League, a highly competitive prep-school arena where students prepare to play at the college level. Its also known to have some of the best athletic facilities in the area.

IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida

A specialized boarding school designed for student-athletes, IMG Academy offers rigorous baseball, basketball, American football, golf, lacrosse, soccer (football), tennis, and track programs. With top-notch athletic training comes a full college preparatory education, both of which are designed to instill core values and train top athletes for the university level and beyond.

Army and Navy Academy, Carlsbad, California

This leadership academy proudly makes the most of its location on the coast in Carlsbad, California. With surfing, swimming, and golf amongst its athletic offerings, students can enjoy the nearby ocean surf and seafront campus when not busy studying.

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