Sport is an essential part of what we do at Wellington, it instils in our pupils a sense of fulfilment and pride. It teaches invaluable skills, like teamwork and resilience. Most importantly, it is simply fun! As one of the best international Schools in Shanghai, we encourage all Wellingtonians to participate in some form of sport, and our offerings accommodate every skill level and interest, from competitive football to spin classes. Here, Simon Shand, our director of sport, shares some of the basics about the sporting opportunities available to all pupils at Wellington.
What kind of sports CCA programmes are available at Wellington?
The range of sporting CCAs at this Shanghai international school is extensive. We offers competitive sports from our sporting conferences such as football, basketball, volleyball, netball and swimming as well as those that are popular with pupils, like running, ultimate frisbee, softball/tee-ball, tennis, table tennis and kung fu. Pupils can also engage in fitness activities such as spinning, weight training and circuit training. Swimming and football have the most participants and run the entire year.
What factors determine which programmes that Wellington provides? Does the offering vary by term/academic year?
The sporting conferences we belong to have a calendar and we try to fit our activities into this schedule, so a lot of sports have a main focus during a particular term as it coincides with that calendar. However, if we are to prepare systematically for these sports, we do need to run pre-season training, so most of our activities actually run all year. We just place different emphasis on different sports depending on the time of year. We do look at the weather when scheduling events so our summer term does feature a lot more outdoor activities. We are always looking to promote more activities to ensure that all of our students’ interests are met. Also, next year will see us starting a full gymnastics programme here at Wellington.
Does every PE teacher have their own specialised programme?
Our team of PE teachers are all highly qualified and offer a considerable range of different activities. We have a lot of academic staff who are also qualified to coach different sports and activities. We also employ external providers to support our programmes.
What programmes do you instruct personally? Do you enjoy it?
I currently oversee the swimming programme and also offer volleyball and athletics. I will take a lead role in developing gymnastics as well but am happy coaching any of the sports offered here at this international school.
How does Wellington cultivate athletic talent?
As a top international school in Shanghai, Wellington has a clear pathway for athletes. It follows a traditional sports pyramid of fundamental skill acquisition in PE lessons, participation in CCA sessions, competition in our games and competitive sports programmes and elite performance in our Academy. We are also currently developing a scholarship programme that will support our athletes beyond their physical skills by offering nutrition, strength and conditioning and helping with mental preparation.
What opportunities for competition are available within Wellington and with other schools?
Wellington has a full range of sports competitions through our Shanghai sports conferences – SISA and SISAC, as well as our international conference, ACAMIS. We also compete in the Shanghai Swim League (SSL), which has regular competition and the SIYFOL football league, which is open to schools and clubs. Obviously, this has been a difficult year with the COVID-19 pandemic making inter-school sport difficult, so we have run a variety of in-house sports competitions that have given our students competitive opportunities. We have given them names like ‘Champions League’ (football), the ‘Junior NBA (basketball) and ‘Little League’ (softball/tee-ball) and these have proved very popular. We run intramural competitions in a variety of sports. We have managed to run regular ‘virtual’ swimming competitions against other schools.
Is being good at sports an advantage when applying to university?
There are two aspects to this. When applying to Universities a pupil must have a well-rounded CV, so participation in sports would be another dimension of their character and personality. This will make them a more attractive candidate. A high level of performance might also be helpful when applying to US universities.
How does sport build character in pupils?
Sport has had an incredible influence on my own life. My best memories and strongest friendships have come through sports, so I know how important it can be in a person’s life. In this modern age of social media screen time, stress and a sedentary lifestyle, sport can offer so much — physical fitness, discipline, resilience, creativity. It provides a valuable opportunity for our pupils to relax and develop outside just the classroom. A healthy mind in a healthy body” is still an important motto.
Company Name: Wellington College International Shanghai
Contact Person: Admission Department
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Phone: +86-21 5185-3866