Last weekend saw history being made as Brisbane hosted the NRL Grand Final for the first time since the game began in Australia 114 years ago. Even with the COVID-19 political football and 75% capacity in Suncorp Stadium, the excitement was felt across the nation as the Penrith Panthers conquered the South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 to 12.
Australia is a sporting nation and many of our sporting events are held more sacred than any religious festival. Once a year, hundreds of thousands of people across two states dress in maroon or blue and in November the whole country stops for a horse race!
For those who love sport, it is easy to see the value of Sports and HPE programs at schools. Some parents may be hoping that their child will be the next Nathan Cleary, however, that is not why we have a Sports Program at GCC.
There are others who struggle to understand why a good chunk of school time is spent on Sport and HPE. They may not regard themselves or their children as ‘sporty’ and wonder why the time isn’t spent on more academic pursuits.
Sports lovers and the less athletically inclined may both be surprised to learn these five misconceptions about sports in school.
1. School sport is not to create superstars.
Sport is not just for those who are born with prowess but it’s about making sport accessible and enjoyable for all students. The cult status of Australia’s star sportspeople can actually result in more couch potatoes as people watch their stars perform. Learning to love sport and ‘have a go’ for all physiques and skill levels at school will result in a healthier Australian population. Playing sport is not just for the superstars.
2. School sport is not so students burn off excess energy.
In younger year levels, this can be a wonderful byproduct of school sport but it is not the purpose. Just like a Maths or English class, a HPE lesson will be about what students learn in each class, why they are learning it and how they will know when they are successful. Students often return to the class more energised.
3. School sport is not so the class teachers have more planning time.
Just like Music and French, Sport is an integral part of a varied education outside the home classroom. Quality physical education programs are an essential component of a well-rounded education. Gross motor skills are developed, balance is improved and students are stretched beyond what might happen at home. After one Prep PE class, a young student went to Mrs Stott very worried because water had appeared on their forehead. This poor student had never before experienced what it was like to perspire after exercise!
4. Physical education steals time from academics.
This is the opposite of what happens. Research has shown that regular physical education improves students’ focus and achievement in academics and can reinforce learning in maths, reading, writing and science.
5. You don’t have to be good at sport to enjoy it.
A positive sporting environment focuses on teamwork and encouraging each other. The emphasis is on having fun and improving skills rather than winning at all costs. Exercise and playing sports promote an improved sense of wellbeing and an energised outlook on life. You don’t have to win or be good at sport to enjoy these results.
At Glasshouse Christian College we are blessed with excellent HPE and Sports specialist teachers from Prep right through to Year 12. Our students have amazing opportunities to play traditional competitive sports with other schools as well as enjoying the benefits of our beautiful location such as mountain biking, surfing, and diving. We do not need to produce the next NRL Grand Final MVP for our students to excel in their sporting pursuits and enjoy a lifetime of health, fitness and wellbeing.
Mike Curtis, Principal