Being healthy and active is a crucial part of every childhood, and while many kids thrive taking part in competitive games, there are just as many who don’t think sport is for them. Harrow Bangkok’s Director of Sport explains how every child can excel athletically
Some children don’t enjoy being competitive, does this mean sport isn’t for them?
Not at all. Some children thrive in individual sports rather than team games, and the wider the choice you offer them, the easier it is to find a sport they love. At Harrow Bangkok we offer 35 different types of sporting activities, so children can find something they enjoy.
What are the alternatives to the main traditional team games?
It’s important to remember that ‘sport’ is anything that’s active, and finding the right sport keeps students who don’t enjoy team games to stay fit and healthy. What we aim to do is get rid of the fear of failure which holds back a lot of children. We say, try it out, you don’t have to be an expert but we do encourage you to try new things.
We are very fortunate to have a very diverse campus which helps us to offer so many activities. We are also the only school in the region with a Lake, which enables us to put on aquatic sports like kayaking and sailing, and our new trails around the perimeter of the campus are great for cycling and running. We also specialise in creative and individual sports – for example dance, archery and horse riding.
How important is it to focus on wellbeing as well as being good at something?
It’s really important. Our philosophy is that ‘sport is for all’ and our Running Club exemplifies that – it’s hugely popular and very accessible, anyone can do it. Students enjoy it as much for their wellbeing as for running competitively. In the last couple of years, we’re increasingly focusing on providing sports for all – which is the philosophy of the Sports Academies.
Are Sport Academies just for the most talented athletes?
Academies are not solely competitive, they take a pyramid format from foundation level which everyone can access, onto development level where you can still choose not to compete, and onto elite level for those students who wish to compete regularly – at this level the coaching ratios are much lower. We have Academies for football, swimming, gymnastics, tennis and golf. We are different from other schools as we have year-round programmes through the Academies, which means we can put on training all year round, run by full-time in-house staff so we can assure the quality of coaching. Our students are trained in a fun, safe environment which is so important to us.
If my child is very talented at a sport, how can you support them?
If your child really thrives at an Academy sport, they could consider boarding with us as our boarding students can join the Academies free of charge – this gives them 24/7 access to the Academy training as well as support for nutritional wellbeing and strength and conditioning, which really gives them the edge to achieve their best.
What has been your standout achievement in the last 12 months?
Golf is a real strength at Harrow Bangkok and we’re really proud of the new Golf Academy which opened this year. We have the best school facilities for golf in South East Asia in terms of coaching provision and technology available, and we have two Year 13 students who will be taking full golf scholarships at US Colleges next year – which is a fantastic achievement.
Fact box: Harrow Sport by Numbers
- 35 different types of sporting activities are available
- 146 teams compete in 18 different sports such as basketball, football and rugby, volleyball and tennis, sailing and climbing
- 5 year-round Academy Programmes in football, swimming, tennis, gymnastics and golf
- 800 students are members of the academy programme