In many of my blogs I have extolled the value of sport; the skills, the attributes and the values that it instils in our girls.
Watching the Senior School girls play lacrosse at Cople Fields and the Junior School girls playing netball at Cardington Road, I am often reminded how sport teaches the girls resilience. When they fall over, they quickly get up, when they are losing, they dig in more and when it is bitterly cold, they move more quickly. It teaches them that the strength of the team is more important than the talent of individuals, and I was reminded that self-belief instilled by both teachers and parents drives them to greater heights.
We have had a super start to super to sport at BGS in 2017. Ranking third in the country for our sporting successes in all girls’ schools and 11th nationally, for all independent schools, is an astonishing achievement and rightly reflects the work, effort and motivation of our sporting staff. Equally one of our pupils winning the national U18 Hockey Writers’ Club Higgins group junior player of the year, won in the past by many of the hockey Olympians at Rio, is a much deserved and personal triumph. And whilst I am incredibly proud of the girls’ achievement, the email I received from a parent of an opposing team crystallised what sport can do in developing the character of our girls.
This particular parent had travelled from Marlborough to watch his daughter play hockey against our U14 team, the winner of the match would play in the National Schools’ final. It was fiercely fought, BGS did not give up, but on the day Marlborough were stronger. Our girls were despondent, losing is not easy, but what made them stand out in this parent’s eyes was their generosity in their congratulations and their grace in defeat. Sportsmanship is not always modelled for them in the professional arena, but it is in the School.
The girls picked themselves up, learned much from the game and were gracious in defeat. It is these values that sport teaches and why losing at sport is as important as winning.