Marlese brings a new football focus to Swanbourne House

Swanbourne House, the independent day and boarding school set in 55 acres of Buckinghamshire countryside just outside of MK, has exciting news on sporting developments at the school, including a new focus on football development, extended sporting provision as part of The Stowe Group and the appointment of ex-Arsenal Ladies coach Marlese Levermore as Head of Sport & PE.

With an impressive sporting background as a semi-pro footballer at Doncaster Belles Ladies FC and Watford Ladies FC, five years coaching at MK Dons FC, five years coaching at Arsenal Ladies FC and three years experience working at Swanbourne House in the Sports Department, Marlese Levermore’s appointment comes amidst an exciting period for the school’s sporting programme.

Earlier this year, Swanbourne formed The Stowe Group with Stowe School and Winchester House, giving pupils group wide access to the incredible sport facilities at Stowe which include an 18 hole golf course, modern gym, 8 lane athletics track, equestrian centre, 6 lane competition swimming pool and clay pigeon shooting range.

Former England Rugby Captain Dylan Hartley has already been spending time at Swanbourne as part of his work with the group, working with pupils on mindset training and giving insight into life as a professional sportsman.

Miss Levermore paints a picture of exciting times ahead for Sport at Swanbourne House: “Across all sports we’ll be looking at the individual and all aspects of their game. Whatever their chosen sport and whatever they’re competing in, we’ll be looking at giving all our players the tactical, technical, physical and psychological strength to succeed.

“The broad curriculum will move away from traditional training alone, and look at additional important areas of sport such as mindset and nutrition too.

“This all comes with the overarching priority of ensuring children are enjoying themselves.

“We want them to have fun and develop a real passion for being active, whilst enjoying the wonderful feeling of achievement that can be found through sport.”

The onsite facilities at Swanbourne House are clearly impressive and include a golf course, swimming pool, dance studio, gymnasium, grass tennis courts and football, cricket and rugby pitches.

The children have an opportunity to play sport every day and, from this term, the school will be introducing additional football coaching for both girls’ and boys’ football, following a pupil survey in which pupils fed back on their desire to receive more coaching and competitive opportunities in the sport.

Jane Thorpe, Head at Swanbourne and a talented and keen sportswoman in her own right, is looking forward to seeing how Swanbourne can build a national reputation for footballing excellence.

“We were determined to harness the passion and obvious talents of many of our pupils in football,” she explained.

“We offer a huge range of sports at Swanbourne including rugby, lacrosse, tennis, swimming, cricket, netball and hockey, and our teams have done extremely well both regionally and nationally over the years.

“Football is the sport with the biggest global following and adding further resource and talent into football coaching at Swanbourne House will undoubtedly lead to ongoing progress and growing success for our young footballers.”

Admissions for Swanbourne House take place throughout the year. To find out more or attend an Open Day, visit or email

This feature was published in the October/November 2021 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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