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Hinrich Romeike's schools - Bryanston School, England

World Class 2012 in partnership with the British Council bring you the stories of the schools where the dreams begin.

Back of Bryanston School with pupils

Bryanston School

A science class at Bryanston School

Bryanston School in Dorset, England, is an independent boarding school that prides itself on the opportunities it offers its pupils.

Bryanston School's Head Teacher, Sarah Thomas, believes opportunities mixed with a loving school community give each pupil the chance to succeed.

"Bryanston offers the opportunity to develop as an individual one's strengths, and to discover one's weaknesses, under the personal guidance of an academic tutor and housemaster/housemistress," she says.

Sport at Bryanston

Pupils playing rugby at Bryanston School
Rugby is one of the school's most popular sports

Sport is big at Bryanston with successful teams in hockey, rowing, tennis, athletics, rugby and netball. There are also strong cross country, kayaking, sailing, squash and fives clubs.

Pupils complete three sessions of sport each week in exceptional surroundings.

"The school has its own equestrian centre and swimming pool, and there is a well-equipped fitness suite and weights room," Sarah Thomas told us.

The school are excited about London 2012 and hope to be directly involved in the games after being awarded official pre-games training camp status by London's Olympic Committee of the Games.

Memories of Hinrich

He always looked on the bright side of life. He always seemed to have a smile on his face and a positive interpretation of whatever happened
Hinrich's school mate, Gyan Sharan Bitterli

Hinrich only attended Bryanston in the spring and summer terms of 1978 after taking a short break from studying in Germany. Trying to find records of his time there seemed a near impossible task.

However, Anne Macfarlane, Bryanston Society's Coordinator, has managed to track down some of his old school mates and teachers with memories of Hinrich's time at Bryanston. Hinrich's report from 1978 was also found, praising him for fitting in so well.


The comments below are from Hinrich's formers peers and teachers. They give a vivid account of Hinrich's vivacious personality while at the school.

"Romeike was a really likeable person. We were all new and wide-eyed but I recall he seemed to be bemused by his surroundings most of the time. I always remember him being up-beat."

Hinrich's roommate, Simon Miller.

"Hinrich arrived unable to speak a word of English, so the first thing we did was corrupt his surname. 'Formica you table-top' was about as respectful as it got.

Apart from his thoroughness when we learnt canoeing in the pool I had no inkling that he was particularly driven at sports let alone a future Olympic champion. However, character clues would have been his integrity and determination which were already in evidence... but he was also funny and likeable."

Hinrich's roommate, Ian Merrylees.

"What he couldn't relate to in the Bryanston sports ethic was the fact that we weren't allowed to wear our tracksuit bottoms to play hockey on freezing cold February afternoons...

I remember Hinrich in his shorts, his thighs turned pink by the biting cold, swearing away (in German and English, for you soon learned to swear as a boy living in the Bryanston dorms) at what he thought was the mad attitude of steeling the boys to become tough men."

Hinrich's school mate, Gyan Sharan Bitterli

"A remarkable achievement to come into C (Year 10) at Christmas as a 14 year old German boy and adapt so well in two terms to the system! His English has improved tremendously but he has always made immense efforts with all his other subjects. He has also played a full part in the life of the school and taken advantage of opportunities. Very successful."

A report in 1978 by his tutor, JM Lawson.


World Olympic Dreams

Hinrich is one of the athletes being tracked as London 2012 approaches and they strive to make their Olympic dreams a reality.



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see also
Romeike seeks crowning glory in London
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams


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