The Mount School's inaugural Sports Dinner is taking place on 15 March, to recognise participation and achievement of all girls involved in the team and individual sports programmes.
The event for girls from S7 to Upper Sixth at the all-girl Quaker school includes hockey and netball matches earlier in the day between a teams of Senior girls and Old Scholars.
Rowena Jew, who teaches P.E. in the Senior School, said "The Sports Dinner recognises the passion for sports, health and fitness at The Mount. Bringing back our Mount Girl Old Scholars inspires our current students, and helps our graduates re-invigorate their passion for team sports."
Sports education consultant, Neil Rollings, encourages schools to refocus their approach to sport and the health aspects of physical education. "Through sport, children learn to develop desirable personal qualities, such as persistence, empathy, dealing with disappointment, and valuing health and fitness," says Rollings. "When schools place too much emphasis on elite performance, it may come at the expense of the sheer enjoyment of sport, and the ramifications can have an enduring effect on the medium-to-long term physical health of those students."
Rollings points to recent studies by the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, which found that "experience of sport at school is the biggest factor in determining whether adult women take exercise." Research found that 3% of 25 year old women have played an outdoor team game in the past 12 months, compared with figures that show 85% of girls in Year 7 play voluntary team games. By Year 13, only 25% of girls take part in team games.
Julie Lodrick, Principal, said "We at The Mount are very proud to offer a wide range of different team and individual sports for girls to enjoy throughout each season of the School year. Alongside the more traditional sports of hockey, netball and rounders, we also provide a diverse offering that includes scuba diving and night orienteering in the Junior School to ballet, fencing and basketball in the Senior School."
In the Summer Term, the School's Thinking Lecture will be delivered by respected sports and education psychologist, Dr Paula Watson, who is herself a Mountie. Dr Watson's talk will look at physical activity and understanding motivation.
Rowena Jew says, "The Mount is currently enjoying a huge resurgence of interest in physical activity and team sports, which is a great thing. We are looking forward to celebrating this at the upcoming Sports Dinner. It is important to recognise participation as well as elite performance. Most important is inspiring our girls to remain passionate about their physical health beyond their school years."
(The above article appears in Yorkshire Life, April 2014.)
For tickets and information on the Sports Dinner, please contact Rowena Jew on 01904-667500 or via email@example.com