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Sport and Wellbeing

 

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself, as the new Director of Sport and Wellbeing at Kent College. Although, this is new position, I have been at KC for 5 years, and have been very fortunate to have taught a wide variety of year groups, overseen the Junior Boarding House, and head up PE in the Prep School.

Sport is my biggest passion and has enabled me to compete at a high level, meet some wonderful people, keep fit and healthy and travel! We are very lucky at KC to have an incredibly committed PE department, outstanding facilities, and a staff body and leadership team that greatly value sport and understand the importance of encouraging our pupils to regularly participate.

Over the past decade there have been growing concerns about the drop out rates of young people being active. Research has shown that participation in physical exercise, particularly in girls, dramatically drops off from around the ages of 11-12. It is no coincidence that it is about the same time age that girls start to become more aware of social pressures around gender identity and body image.

Girls become reluctant exercisers simply because the curriculum they are offered in school is too narrow, focusing mainly on traditional team games. PE provision should be about introducing, encouraging and motivating young people to participate in physical activities which they can continue into their adult lives. A curriculum that focuses only on competitive and elite sports, does not appeal to those girls who want to enjoy participating without the need for an end result and is a significant factor in falling participation rates.

At KC, we have identified the reasons why our girls might become reluctant to exercise. Whilst my department and I will be introducing a new sports scholarship programme, to support our elite sportswomen, we are fully aware that we need to tailor the rest of the programme to address the interests of all our girls. The department have spoken to groups of pupils and parents, listened to what they want and we understand that the key is to ensure our girls feel confident and comfortable when exercising, and most importantly enjoy it!

We are so excited to be launching our new Sport and Wellbeing Programme at the start of the academic year. Every afternoon, girls from different year groups from Year 7 through to Sixth Form will be offered opportunities to participate in a broad variety of activities that they can opt to participate in, that promote healthy minds and healthy lifestyles. They can participate with friends, using our extensive range of facilities and switch off from their busy schedules. Activities offered will include basketball, Gritfit camps, table tennis, trampolining, boxercise, running, street dance, lifesaving, climbing, sessions on our outdoor adventure course, Forest School, yoga, mindfulness and of course our team sports netball and hockey.

These Wellbeing afternoons will take place within the curriculum, which has been achieved by only slightly lengthening our school day. Crucially, there is no impact on the academic curriculum, removing another obstacle for why there’s a drop in participation with girls.

We cannot wait to see our girls flourish with our new Wellbeing programme at such an exciting time in female sport. Johanna Konta reaching the Wimbledon Semi-finals, the England football team reaching the semis of the Europeans, the England cricket team crowned as World Champions, and the Hockey team taking Olympic Gold in Rio. Watch this space!

Mrs Georgie Hughes, Director of Sport. Please click here to email Mrs Hughes.

Posted: 12/09/2017 at 09:49
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