Developing 21st century skills through sport

Posted 7 June 2019 10:16am

There is so much to be gained by students finding a balance of academic, creative/musical and sporting activity during their school years.

Now more than ever, there is an increasing focus on young people having a grasp on 21st century skills such as persistence, grit, leadership, communication and collaboration – the sporting arena is a perfect example of how these skills can be developed and applied outside the classroom, providing students with real-life examples.

Any regular sporting activity will see students develop greater time management skills (balancing training sessions/games and study), and improve their ability to think outside the square by learning sport tactics and interpretation of the game.

Team sport particularly creates lifelong skills and abilities that are not easy to find in other pursuits. The confidence that sport can build goes way beyond the boundary of the sport itself. Many of the sports and activities offered at CGGS are available specifically with these benefits for our young adults of the future in mind.

Sports and Activities Manager at the Senior School, Deb Styman, is a keen sportswoman and says: "Training and competing regularly in a sport allows for some very important social and relational connections to be made with others."

"Being part of a ‘tribe’ of people with a common interest has been a real boost for my wellbeing (physical and mental) and the good friendships made outside of work, school or family circles has become increasingly important to me going through all of life’s challenges and celebrations."  

At CGGS, we endeavour to meet the needs of all of our students in their individual sporting pursuits, providing team sports and coaching for students who strive to compete at the highest level as well as teams centred around the fun and social aspects, while still offering the benefits of being physically active. There are also activities such as badminton, swimfit, mountain biking and a running club where the element of competition is minimised, or only at the level at which the students are comfortable.

This is not to say that some girls don’t thrive on competition and challenge. The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO said, "Girls worldwide who play sport are more likely to attend and stay in school, more likely to finish their education, more likely to be in better health and earn higher wages during the course of their lives.”[1]

The extensive range of co-curricular activities on offer at CGGS gives students the chance to explore their passions and interests, to find new pastimes, develop leadership skills and create friendships. The program encourages participation by every student, regardless of their skill level, through offering a variety of competitive and non-competitive activities. The importance of social interaction and connectedness with others is promoted in all activities offered in the program.

Liz Ellis, retired Australian netball player, recently recorded an interesting four-minute Team Girls podcast describing her love of the sport, how playing her sport assisted with her academic achievements and the added benefits she gained from being involved in a team sport. It is an inspiring piece. Click here to have a listen.

Thank you to David Blue and Deb Styman for their valuable contributions to this article.

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