From Ms Allum

It has been an absolute treat for me to watch Ashleigh Barty win the French Open. What a fantastic role model for all young people in Australia. She is such a wonderful Sportswoman – a fantastic tennis player and a gracious, down to earth young woman.

There have been other examples, too, of other female athletes at the top of their game – the Matildas, Women’s Rugby 7s, Women’s AFL... There are so many great role models in Australia for women and sport. And a little closer to home, in an earlier edition of Behind the Green Gate, we acknowledged the achievements of Old Girl and current SCEGGS Netball and Cross-country coach Amy Parmenter. Amy is a member of the Giants Super Netball team (Sydney’s premier Australian league team in the Suncorp Super Netball competition) and was voted MVP in a recent match. It should be inspiring for all the students here at SCEGGS – I hope they are seeing what can be achieved with talent and hard work.

On this note, you might like to read this article about the captains of four English women’s teams in cricket, netball, football and Rugby Union: English women's teams.

On a different but related note, there is a great deal of research about the importance of Sport and Physical Activity for all young people. All the research points to the fact that young people who participate in sport and organised recreational activity enjoy better mental health, are more alert, and more resilient against the stresses of modern living.

If you are interested in more, here is an article on this topic: importance of Sport and Physical Activity.

Co-curricular activities at SCEGGS have always been important, and I want our girls and young women to participate in a broad range of activities. I want them all to be accomplished, well-rounded young women - active, contributing, healthy, flourishing. Being involved in sport and physical activity (either inside school, outside school or both) is an important part of that.

We have been reflecting on this at SCEGGS, and how we can strive for an even better Sports program. There will be three prongs to this drive for further improvement.

Firstly, we want a renewed emphasis on the importance of commitment to participation when a girl signs up for an activity. I wrote about this in last week’s Behind the Green Gate. We want to ensure that there are clear expectations of turning up to all matches and training sessions and that girls consistently meet those expectations with 100% attendance, save in exceptional circumstances.

We also want to help girls not to be over-involved – to make careful decisions about their activities so that they can effectively manage all their commitments and make a good contribution to each.

We also want to work on the consistency of our sporting program, ensuring that the quality of coaching is as good as possible. We will employ some additional specialist Sports coaches who will oversee the development of a cohesive and coordinated program across all the grades and years of schooling, working with the coaches to improve their work with all teams and provide a more specialised and refined skills program.

Finally, we want to give a higher profile of Sport in Assemblies, particularly in the Primary School, giving greater recognition to sporting achievements and celebrating successes. I want to give a higher profile to Sport in our publications, profiling some high achievers (students, Old Girls, coaches, etc) and also promoting the broad range of Sports offered at the School, and also some of the other Sports which our students participate in outside of the School.

I want our girls to enjoy sport and physical activity – to be proud of representing their school, to strive to be the best they can be – individually as athletes and sports women and as team players, and to celebrate their own and others’ achievements in this arena. I want all girls to think that Sport is important and that SCEGGS does really well in this area, as much as academic studies, and cultural pursuits such as music and drama.

As always, please do give me a ring or drop me a line if you have comments or questions about this, or just to share your ideas.

I hope you all have a happy School holiday.

Jenny Allum
Head of School