Education Blog Aug, 11 2016

Lessons from Rio 2016: Need for a boost to sports in education

What grabs eyeballs at Rio at the end of the day are the medalists who are reasons for their teachers and their schools to heap praise and be proud.

By Jasleen Kaur Taneja
Lessons from Rio 2016: Need for a boost to sports in education
  • The 2016 Summer Olympics commonly known as Rio 2016, is a major international multi-sport event in the tradition of the Olympic Games as governed by the International Olympic Committee, being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Games running from August 5 to August 21, 2016, are seeing enthusiastic participation from 11,547 athletes from 208 nations competing in 311 events.
  • What grabs eyeballs at Rio at the end of the day are the medalists who are reasons for their teachers and their schools to heap praise and be proud. Unfortunately, Indian athletes haven’t made it to the top honours yet. That makes us look at a few academies/schools/colleges that have churned out medal winners and may be, take lessons from the kind of infrastructure, facilities and training that they are providing.
  • Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, Wiltshire
  • Jazmin Carlin, who won a silver medal in the 400m freestyle swimming at Rio Olympics 2016, attended the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, in Swindon, which was rated outstanding by Ofsted in 2013, and now operates in a standalone academy trust. The academy strives to maximise the potential of each person in the community and wants the school to be the best of the best. It believes and follows the program of continuous improvement.
  • It prides itself on producing responsible, health conscious, global 21st century citizens who will give to society. The academy claims to be ‘A global school in a local community.’
  • Painsley Catholic College, Cheadle, Staffordshire
  • The 21-year-old Adam Peaty beat his own World Record to win gold on day 2 of the Olympics., 100m breast stroke. Born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, he attended Painsley Catholic college, a Roman Catholic academy, and then Derby college, an FE provider.
  • Painsley College’s motto is ‘Know Yourself’and thus, they concentrate on each individual’s ability and the quality of relationships that exists within the college. Successful teaching, together with a varied and personalised curriculum, ensures that results are well above national and local standards.
  • Plymouth College, England
  • Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow, who won bronze at men’s synchronised 10m platform are the graduates of Plymouth College. It was their first competition and medal as a pair.
  • The school is involved with a wide range of competitive sports. The performance swimming programme won a swimming bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games, and at the 2012 Olympic Games fifteen-year-old Ruta Meilutyte won the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke for Lithuania. The number of pupils who have been selected to swim for England and Great Britain is now well into double figures and the swimming programme is offered in a partnership with the Plymouth Leander Swimming Club.
  • The school also runs a Modern Pentathlon and Fencing Academy which regularly sees athletes compete in world, European and national competitions. The Academy has produced more than 50 national champions in fencing, biathle, biathlon, triathlon, tetrathlon and pentathlon.
  • The diving partnership with Plymouth Diving saw Tom Daley become World Champion in 2009 and take bronze in the 2012 London Olympics. At the age of 13, Victoria Vincent was the youngest member of Team England in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
  • Court Fields School, England
  • The 33-year-old Edward Ling, from Somerset, attended community school Court Fields . He won a bronze medal for the men’s trap.
  • Court Fields is one of the most improved schools in Somerset in terms of GCSE outcomes (a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students, at a level below A level). The students, their parents, staff and Governors are aspirational, highly motivated and committed to ensuring that every student achieves their potential and leaves school well qualified for their next steps in education and employment. The school prides itself on its excellent pastoral care, varied program of enrichment, extracurricular activities and their outstanding relationships with each student.
  • Ralph Allen School, Bath
  • Siobhan-Marie O’Connor winning silver medal for 200m individual medley is an alumni of Ralph Allen School. Ralph Allen is a high achieving school for girls and boys on the skyline of the world heritage city Bath, in the local authority of Bath and North East Somerset. The school has consistently excellent results in the three core subjects, English, Maths and Science, and is consistently mentioned in The Time annual list of highest-achieving schools. It has developed as a centre of excellence for STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Students attend annual conferences at the University of Bath on sustainability for young people in the community in partnership with Resource Futures and the school has developed a wide range of partnerships to enhance the teaching of STEM subjects. It also lays emphasis on sports as they believe that if the body does not function well, the mind will not.
  • There is huge scope in the market of India’s educational institutions for giving a boost to co-curricular activities and looking at the holistic development of students. Collaborations at the primary level of education are doing wonders both as a business as well as the overall development of kids. But it may be time for secondary and higher education institutes to look at sports as a serious area and build the medal winners of tomorrow. 

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