Last week at Assembly and in the newsletter, I referred to our school vision whereby we want education to provide opportunities and pathways for our young women. We want our girls to leave the College empowered to challenge and shape their future whilst being women who live by our Mercy values; being compassionate and respectful, seeking justice for others and themselves, and having the courage to pursue their ambitions. I also reminded the girls that they need to make the most of their time and opportunities at school, inside the classroom and outside.
The focus for Assembly yesterday was on sport. Our senior student leaders acknowledged and celebrated student sporting successes and promoted other activities and opportunities that are planned for the remainder of the Term.
There are a number of opportunities available for students to participate in, from the sporting courts, fields, pools, tracks and beyond. Involvement in sports ranges from competitive to social teams, and there are also lunchtime opportunities through the Sports Council run activities on Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes in the school gym. I congratulate the Sports Council for developing this initiative and encourage our girls to get involved and take advantage of this opportunity to be active.
There are numerous skills and attributes that students gain from being active and participating in sport. From individual to team sports, students learn how to commit to an activity, to manage their time, they develop their communication skills in team environments, they are able to develop an awareness and empathy for others and friendships can be developed and strengthened among team mates.
It is also evident that compassion and respect comes from being involved in sports and I saw this last week at the Year 7&8 Netball Tournament where, although it can be hard when the other team scores and maybe edges out ahead, our students still cheered on and supported, even with a simple acknowledgement when a goal had been scored.
Our Carmel Sports Department has three keywords that make up the vision for the department – engage, enjoy and excel.
In the department’s strategic plan each part of the vision has a goal with the focus being on providing an environment for students that is inclusive and supported, to provide quality sport experiences and opportunities to support all students, and to develop a 360 degree sports programme to focus on developing depth in the 6 core sports: netball, basketball, football, hockey, water polo and volleyball.
There is a lot of work that happens ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure that our students have the opportunity to participate in sport. From our staff at the College to the many volunteers, parents, old girls, staff members, children and so many others, but all the work that is done is done so that each student of the College has the opportunity to engage, enjoy and excel.
To all of those involved in sports at the College, from coaching to managing, thank you. Thank you for providing opportunities for our young woman to engage in sports and thank you for supporting them. To parents, family and friends who ensure students get to games and training, have the right equipment and are there on the sideline to encourage and support them, thank you.
My message to our students is to be involved. I encourage them to make the most of the many activities and opportunities available, to join a team or to even just commit to giving something new a try at a lunchtime activity. It is in taking part that they develop the skills and attributes to be equipped and empowered to pursue their personal excellence, where they will develop and will be prepared to challenge and shape the future, whilst being a young woman of Mercy who acts justly, loves tenderly and walks humbly with our God.