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The Place of Sport in Schools

by Richard D Boyce

posted in Reference and Education

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Sport plays an important role in the education of our children. It helps to round off the character of our children. On the other hand, for the teacher it can be a chance to see his/her charges outside the class room doing something they love. The teacher, too, can gain much both physically and emotionally from being involved in a sporting activity.
There are many reasons why it should be part of the school curriculum. They include:
• The development of physical fitness;
• The opportunity to teach student team work;
• A chance for students to develop leadership skills;
• The chance to develop school spirit and
• The chance to develop non-academic skills.
For the teacher, there is a chance to see his/her students in a different light doing something they love. On the other side of the coin, the students meet the teacher in less disciplined situation enabling them to get to know the teacher in a different scene. Often, they see the teacher indulged in a passion.
Schools can provide a wide variety of sports that cater for students with different natural skills as well as offering them to play individual as well as team games. This allowed the "less able" athletes (in a physical sense) to find a sport that could be theirs to play successfully.
In the early years of my teaching career, I completed two university degrees at night while teaching fulltime. In the winter, I played Australian Football, beginning training in February and playing often into later September. As my fitness improved, so did my stamina to study for longer periods of time. Added to this I slept better, waking feeling refreshed each morning. I'm sure the same applies to sporting students. It always amazed me that many of our best academic students excelled in multiple school sports.
For the teacher who goes beyond the school sporting scene into representative arena of school sport at state and national level, there are many advantages. They include:
• The chance to extend their coaching experience;
• The chance to work with gifted athletes in their sport;
• The chance to meet and work with people of like interests who are passionate about school sport and their game;
• A chance to visit other areas within the sport to learn more;
• The opportunity to extend their organisational experience and the ability to work with people from all parts of the education and sporting world in their sport; and
• The chance to meet and talk to people highly regarded in that sport.
For those teachers keen to climb the promotion tree, it provides a great opportunity to show what they can do that would help them in a leadership role in their school.
Finally, the greatest advantages that school sport has are twofold. In the disciplined environment of the school, it is easier for the teacher to create the concept of true sportsmanship than it is in a club situation. Secondly, as teachers, we are already trained coaches. It is what we do on as daily basis. What many people in the outside community forget is some of the most successful coaches in the world of sport have first and foremost being a career teacher before becoming a fulltime coach.
About the Author: is a website with eBooks providing professional development for young teachers. All teachers involved in this website were involved in sport during their entire careers at all levels from simple school competition up to national championships in their sports. Our author coached and managed in Australian Football at High School level from the humble school competitions up to the National Schoolboys' Championships. Baseball/Tee Ball were other of his passions. This article comes out of that experience.
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