Kia ora e te whanau
“Sport is a very rich source of values and virtues that help us to become better people. We need to deepen the close connection that exists between sport and life, which can enlighten one another,” says Pope Francis, who often fondly recalls how he and his family cheered on his favourite soccer team when he was a boy.
Yesterday we were privileged to attend and participate in the Catholic School’s Junior Quad Tournament with other Catholic schools in the Dunedin diocese. Just like our faith, sports gives us the opportunity to learn lessons around values and culturally appropriate behaviours. I was heartened by the way our youngest students wore their uniform with pride and gave their all out on the field and court. They showed respect for the officials, demonstrated fair play and camaraderie and most of all they had fun. The senior students who came along to umpire, coach and manage supported our young students and role modelled what it is to be a St Peter’s College leader. The many parents, grandparents and other family members who came along to coach, manage or cheer the students on was also very much appreciated, and it is great to see us come out of the shadow of Covid to come together as a community in events like this.
Sport in schools is not just for professional athletes. It is for everyone, sports can be for pleasure, for recreation, for improving health and fitness, as well as for learning how to be a team, and how to win or lose graciously. Along with all of the obvious health benefits there are many social benefits to playing youth sport. These are:
Improves academic results- Sports help keep kids focused. The focus has been shown to help kids work harder and as a result, get better grades and results in their examinations.
Improves concentration- By being more focussed concentration improves in and outside the classroom.
Increases self-esteem and self-confidence- With more achievements on the field or court, students have a greater sense of accomplishment which boosts esteem and confidence in other areas too.
Keeps drugs and alcohol away- Focused, driven students are far less likely to fall into bad habits like drug use and alcohol abuse if their minds are occupied with productive activities.
Decreases the dropout rate- Focused students who actively take part in academics and co-curricula activities will undoubtably have a greater chance of going on to higher education.
More than anyone it is the parents and caregivers who make sports opportunities happen for kids. Whether it be the financial commitments for fees and equipment to driving back and forth to fixtures or coaching a team, we would not have as many opportunities for our young people as we do now. So, we thank you all very much for showing the 3 school values of Commitment, Community and Compassion in volunteering and supporting. Finances can be a barrier to student participation, and we want you to know that we are given funding every year through the Community Trust of Southland to ensure all individuals can access what they need. If you would like assistance for your child to play sport here at St Peter’s College, please do not hesitate to contact me any time confidentially.
Charity Fulfils the Law.