The Middle and Upper School athletic, physical education, and health and wellness requirements–each year offering opportunities in interscholastic athletics, physical education classes, and classroom programs–allow students to learn, compete, and grow in mind and body. The benefits of team sports, physical education, and health education include:
- The experience of teamwork, competition, sportsmanship, winning, and losing
- Development of relationships and self-confidence, plus physical and life skills
- Knowledge of nutrition, fitness, and mental relaxation
- Development of leadership skills, discipline, and a strong sense of self
The Future of Thayer Athletics
Numerous upgrades have been made to the athletic fields on the main school campus. The summer of 2015 saw the main baseball and softball fields undergo a complete overhaul. Both fields were re-graded and re-sodded; the irrigation system was also enhanced. Both fields have a professional portable fencing system that gives the look and feel of a permanent field but allows for the fencing to be taken down after the spring season. This, in turn, allows for a regulation soccer pitch to be lined between the two diamonds.
In the summer of 2016 the two grass fields behind the school were converted to turf fields using a natural vegetable fill rather than the traditional rubber fill. These are multi-purpose fields used for a variety of Upper and Middle School sports. In the fall these fields are used by soccer and field hockey for practices and games while football uses them for practices. During the spring these fields are used by boys and girls lacrosse for practices and games and also for sub-varsity baseball and softball for practices and games.
In 2018, a hospitality pavilion opened between the track and the turf fields. This new pavilion allows for pizza parties, team activities, and numerous tailgating events. It also provides much-needed space for equipment storage and restroom facilities.
The summer of 2019 promises to be a special one as the Thayer Sports Center opens at the South Athletic Campus. The center will house one and a half ice sheets, giving the Academy its first on-campus ice rink in school history. The rink will be named in honor of longtime coach and athletic director Arthur Valicenti ‘51 P ‘75, ‘75, ‘77 GP ‘10, ‘14. When finished, the 86,000 square-foot Thayer Sports Center will also have an indoor multi-sport playing field that will convert to four tennis courts in the spring, dedicated locker rooms, a concessions stand, a spectators’ room, and a host of other amenities. Also located on South Athletic Campus will be four new outdoor tennis courts and the existing outdoor turf field.
The summer of 2019 will also see the Fish Center for Physical Fitness completely refurbished with updated equipment and flooring. The Academy’s track will receive a complete resurfacing, and the pit areas will be reconfigured.
These steps exemplify Thayer’s commitment to provide students with versatile, top-notch facilities across the full spectrum of athletic offerings.