One particular theme popped up a couple times in our spring issue, namely getting a good balance between competitive and non-competitive sport. Although competitive sport is a big part of independent schools, and many have become household names for their rugby or football, for example, it is important that schools offer a balanced sports curriculum.
David Byrne, Bede’s Senior School’s director of sport, says schools should give non-competitive sport a more prominent role within the school sports programme (read more on page 23). Recreational sports might include the gym, dance, walking, cycling or swimming – any activity where, instead of competing against other people, the participant competes against their previous performance or simply enjoys the activity without a clear end goal.
Not every child thrives in a competitive environment. That doesn’t mean the option shouldn’t be there – young people should be encouraged to step outside their comfort zones – but giving pupils the choice is key. Rugby School, for example, offers Pilates, aerobics and circuit training. In swimming, squash, badminton, soccer and road running, there are both recreational options and competitive opportunities.
To find out more about Rugby School’s plans for school sport in 2020, head to our special report on page 31. Also consider attitude. Are your teaching staff celebrating competitive achievement more than personal achievement in a recreational activity? It’s worth checking how you praise different sporting achievements.
But for now, sit back, relax and enjoy our issue, filled with inspiration for your school’s sports department.
Editor of Independent School Sport