Sporting Opportunities at Manurewa Intermediate School
We provide our students with opportunities to compete in every zone sport that is on offer. Our staff works tirelessly to ensure our students are set up for success with high-quality coaching in both mornings, lunchtime and after-school sessions. Staff regularly attend professional development to ensure they have the necessary skills to coach and train our students to their maximum potential.
We place a massive emphasis on participation and we aim to have as many students as actively involved as possible. Our carefully designed Recreation programme is a vehicle for this. Not only do students see the importance of competing but they learn values such as fair play, communication, and perseverance.
As we know there are many people who believe such behaviour is elitist and that the “C” word is a dirty word – but I totally disagree. This is the reality, whether we like it or not, of the world we all live in and our kids need to know this, they need to accept this and they need to, therefore, do something about it by taking responsibility for their own learning and behaviour so they can readily contribute to society and achieve in the world. For me competition is not a dirty word – it is something that is important, something that has its rightful place in any school community and something that Manurewa Intermediate School will foster, in the most appropriate way for the age of our students and for the environment we are in, at all times and in all areas of school life – academics, sport, culture, service, the arts, and leadership. It is not something to be fearful of or intimidated by, but I believe, a spur to excellence for all of us, no matter what level we are at.
It promotes taking chances and trying something new. Competitions set a framework for practicing and facilitating a growth mindset for our students. They give benchmarks upon which we can base our improvements, and put value on the challenge of improving. A desire to win will often cause people to be more creative and to think outside the square.
Competition prepares you for the real world. The truth is we ALL compete on a daily basis. Think about it for a moment; examples of competition are all around us. Each and every day we are all trying to find the best parking spots, the shortest lines at the supermarket, the cheapest prices for virtually any product. Now jump further into the real world. Our students will compete for partners, husbands, wives, etc…and most importantly, 99% of them will compete for that amazing job that will pay mortgages, car payments, bills or the trip overseas. In the real world when you compete for a job there is one person who “wins”. Competition is a fact of life that everyone should probably embrace and this is why I believe there is no better time to start preparing our MI students for it!!
Developing Sporting Heroes. As teachers, we are always looking to increase students’ academic self-identity. To do this, it is vital that they have heroes to look up to. We know that Beauden Barrett is an expert at rugby because of his ridiculously high number of line breaks, tackles, try assists, and ultimately wins. Without the competition to showcase his skills, would our students still be able to recognise him as a hero they aspire to? Taking a similar structure into school life will help our students place value on educational criteria in ways that they currently cannot. This is something that we are having a major focus on, as we endeavour to develop the importance of academic success. We believe it is vital for students to see the links between developing academically and having an ability to develop in a sporting code. This is why we use sporting opportunities to further instil key values that will help set students up for success.
Persistence, resilience, and grit are all components of mental toughness. These valuable real-world skills come in handy across every area of our careers and lives. We must know how to bend and not break under pressure. We must learn how to handle stressful, competitive situations. In my opinion, the more our Manurewa Intermediate students are exposed to these, the better! Our school, for example, provides students with safe scenarios in which they can practice these skills and further develop their competitive nature. This could be in the form of our whanau competition, inter-school sports games, lunchtime sports competitions or with themselves when they are trying to improve on their latest assessment results. Students faced with tough challenges can learn how to pick themselves up and try again when they fail.
Thomas Bartlett - Deputy Principal