Opportunity is the key to taking part

Elmhurst School for Boys

27th June 2018 | Headmaster's Blog

As I stepped up to take on the role of Head Teacher here at Elmhurst, I passed on the reigns of the PE Department to Mr Venier. He is experienced in delivering the curriculum to a high standard and improving team performance at representative level, but perhaps the most important conversation I had with him when he started was around opportunity. I asked him how we could increase the opportunities for the boys in sport.

In reviewing current provision, it was clear that every boy had the opportunity to take part in House competitions such as House Football, Basketball, Cricket and Athletics on our Sports Days. Every boy entering an event was awarded a House Point towards their House total, whatever the result in his competitive event. This year, House Table Tennis and Hockey were additions to the programme with the Hockey Tournament being held on the astroturf at Langley Park Girls School, with every boy in Years 4, 5 & 6 being given the opportunity to take part.

Partnerships with the community have also been forged resulting in greater opportunities for all. The aforementioned Langley Park Girls School astroturf has been the venue for Hockey training on Friday evenings for our pupils. Beckenham Cricket and Tennis Club have held Squash taster sessions leading to a number of boys taking up the opportunity to learn Squash on a Sunday afternoon, as well as some of our boys choosing to join the Club to play Cricket. We have collaborated with Old Palace to play Hockey and Netball and mixed teams for Tennis and Gymnastics were entered into the Croydon Schools competitions.

By providing the boys with these opportunities, they are clearly taking part in more activities. The benefits of exercise in children have been highlighted in the national press, but for me, having the opportunity to take part in a wide ranging programme of sporting activities also provides them with the opportunity to continue to develop those skills and characteristics for the 21st Century, at the core of our vision:

  • Leadership 
  • Adaptability 
  • Teamwork
  • Motivation

As Pierre de Coubertin said, “The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity.”

-  AJ Padfield

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