THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE SPORTS DEPARTMENT

  • February 08, 2016 | Liz Ashmore (Director of Sport)

We have a mantra in the Sports Department which we often ask the girls to repeat: ‘Do YOUR best!’ This motto speaks to our philosophy of ensuring that every girl becomes the very best version of herself possible.

From Grade 0 to Grade 7, our focus in every sport is very much ‘skills based’, as we are acutely aware that we are not only preparing girls for the more rigorous sporting demands in high school. We are also trying to engender a love and a passion for sport to guarantee that all the girls continue participating for as long as they are able, well into adulthood.

Whilst instilling those skills, we also differentiate in sports lessons, which means that we are able to offer each girl assistance, on her level of competence; so we might focus on a basic swimming technique with one group, whilst doing a different activity with a more proficient group. We recognise that girls need exposure to competition as this is a reality in high school (and life!), but we still focus very much on the lessons that can be learnt and the skills that can be improved, as a result of participating.

Through the participation of all our girls in the sports programme, we are also teaching some valuable life-skills such as:

>     Teamwork
>     Leadership
>     Setting and achieving goals
>     Respect
>     GRIT
>     Accepting feedback
>     Dealing with success, failure and disappointment
>     Time management
>     Dealing with stress
>     Other skills that are sometimes learnt by ‘default’

As parents, you have an important role to play in fostering a passion for sport in your daughter. Positive feedback at home or on the side of the field can contribute greatly to your daughter’s enjoyment of sport. The infographic below summarizes this important role and is very much in line with our philosophy:

As far as the future is concerned, we have had a number of requests to start water polo in the Girls School. We believe that, as many of our girls go onto high schools which offer the sport, we need to prepare them as best we can. In discussions with the Headmaster, we have decided to introduce this sport gradually, on a ‘modular’ basis, to the Grade 7 girls. We will be hosting a few clinics this term and then we will introduce a weekly training session in Term 3. Going into 2017, we will reassess the interest in the sport and decide the way forward from there. It is imperative, at this stage, that we honour our commitment to complete sports practices by 16:15 each day and we will work on preserving this, yet also offering an additional sport. I will keep parents informed of clinics and decisions as the year progresses.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any queries or comments regarding sport at St Peter’s Girls School. We are blessed with a dynamic, passionate and enthusiastic team of sports teachers and I know they will impart passion and knowledge of sport to our girls.