Founded in 2020, the Sport Academy at Canberra Girls Grammar School has been established so that boys and girls on the Junior School campus, and young women on the Senior School campus, have access to the same high quality experiences in sport as those currently enjoyed by the students through our Music Academy. Within the Sport Academy, the Podium Program is a Signature Program that supports elite athletes and their pathways. More importantly, as an athlete and an inspirational role model for the rest of the students, the Program provides high performance mentors for the students.
The vision is to create an environment of success for students, and to help them to understand what success looks like for each of them. Our Academy goes beyond the action or act of playing sport and success in sport. The vision includes a broader commitment to a high performance culture. Think of the players in a sport team as the students in a classroom. If everyone is engaged and being supported, they are more likely to succeed. It is therefore not surprising that many of the cultural and leadership lessons can be shared between these two environments and across the school more generally.
While relationships underpin success in every sporting team, this is especially true in schools. In professional sport, you will always hear from successful athletes about how much they trust and respect their coaches and teammates and we aim for the same outcomes here at CGGS. The richest learning takes place in an environment where support and challenge are readily offered and received. When you take this concept into a school it enriches the culture and provides pathways for students to reach for their goals.
The skills are transferrable and help students to thrive
Sport provides students with transferable skills that help them in all aspects of their lives. There are six crucial ways that sport can help students achieve their best, both in and outside the classroom, setting them up for success – whatever they might consider that to be:
Discipline – students learn discipline and focus that will serve them well in their careers and in life.
Ability to perform under pressure - the ability to perform under pressure is critical, whether it is on the sporting field or during exams or performances.
Receive feedback - the ability to take on feedback defines young athletes (known as ‘coachability’). We see the same effect in the classroom.
Wellbeing - studies have shown that teaching students about resilience can have far-reaching positive implications for their wellbeing.
Teamwork - sport values a strength-based approach. The position you play, or event you compete in. We encourage each young person to pursue what they are good at, and we support each student in different ways.
Health - helps students achieve, and maintain, good physical health. A healthy body, and a healthy body image, are big issues for adolescents and participating in sport has a profound impact on their attitude in these areas.
Over time, students come to realise that many of the skills learned while playing sport were transferrable to their experiences at school.
Leading Sport are Ms Ellena Papas, Executive Director (Operations) and Ms Renae Domaschenz (Sports and Activities Manager). Please take the time to read their article in this eNews, discussing our focus on sport and the broad offerings we have available for all students.
Mrs Anna Owen