The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

From the Head of Senior School

We know some of the benefits of playing sport include improved physical fitness and mental health, but with our summer sports season reaching its conclusion, it is a good time to focus on the other reasons that we value sport. All of our Senior School students take part in this aspect of the cocurricular programme and we know it is integral to their personal development. Training and competing alongside their peers gives students the opportunity to build new relationships and involve themselves with those in other year groups. Our Year 12 boys play an important role in this regard, as they provide leadership and act as role models for the younger students. In a way, it is an extension of what happens in their Mentor Groups at school, albeit in a different context and environment.

The boys learn to apply themselves, to work through challenging situations and to build resilience. They realise that we all fail at different times and it is how we respond in these situations that is important. Reflection is a vital part of this process and is a skill the boys are using in other areas of life. While it is important not to dwell on losses, or performances that did not meet our expectations, there are learning opportunities in each training and competitive situation. These guide our preparation for the next challenge and can motivate us individually or as a group.

Our focus at Scotch is on how we play the game and the respect we show for our opponents and our teammates. Two of our core values are:

Integrity:  adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

Stewardship:  using talents, abilities and resources in a responsible and honourable manner.

While the opportunities to develop these are available across a variety of experiences and activities, they are also central to how we approach our sporting programmes. As a College, we value how the students participate and compete, and how they respond to different situations. The life-long learning opportunities that exist in the sporting environment are essential to their development. The boys learn to play a role within a group and to help benefit a team, sometimes to the detriment of their own personal gains. They may make mistakes but they grow and learn from these, and that is part of the beauty of sport. We value their effort, their teamwork and the manner in which they compete.

Our staff are involved in the sporting programme as coaches and managers and this helps foster relationships and improve communication. Importantly, it also helps us "know the boy". These staff play an important role in our co-curricular programme as they provide a variety of expertise, guidance and support for the boys and help them challenge themselves both individually and as a team.