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News > From the Headmaster > Sport in the life of our School

Sport in the life of our School

Sport is an essential element in our School’s educational vision.

We have a particular focus on competitive team sports.

There are recreational sport options open to the boys, where the focus is on participation and improvement, but all boys are required to put on the School colours as part of a team in at least one season each year.

Even sports that are traditionally conceived as individual activities, such as Track and Field or Swimming, are framed as a team experience.

There are a number of reasons that competitive team sports figure so prominently in the life of the School.

Through team sports boys learn to be part of something bigger than themselves. They learn to work with others and to value the contribution of others.

Cooperation is essential in nearly every form of human endeavour and achievement; team sport provides a context in which the boys can experience cooperation, or its absence!

In addition, the shared experience of playing together is the substance of many friendships, bonds and memories that last for decades.

Sport is both formative, and revelatory, of character. That is, the experiences of competing, of winning, of losing, of improving, and of persevering, all play a part in shaping character.

At the same time, sport provides a window into the character of individuals and of their communities.

The boy who gloats in victory reveals something about himself. The boy who perseveres despite being outmatched also reveals something about himself.

Sport provides a forum that shows the boys the relationships between effort and improvement.

They can see the relationships between practice and skill-development, between training and fitness, between drills and execution.

These relationships transfer to other areas of life, including study and academic learning.

The challenge is, of course, to help the boys to make the connections. I note that many of our elite sportsmen have exemplary records of engagement in their studies because they have learned these lessons.

A related benefit of inter-school sport, and the experience of supporting your team from the stands, is the cultivation of a sense of community and identity.

The chanting, cheering, exultation, and excitement all contribute to this sense of belonging.

I take it that this is a fundamentally healthy aspect of being human; we are connected to one another. Our actions have an impact on others, for good or ill.

In this context, I make the observation that cheering is a good thing; gloating is not.

I am not a fan of the chant ‘Look at the scoreboard’, or of applauding the errors of the other team. Supporting your own team does not require disrespecting the other team.

Sport is a servant in the educational endeavour. It is not the master.

This is true, whether the sport is played on Number 1 Oval in front of crowds, or at Bressington Oval in front of family members.

Sport has such an important place in our School, not because it is inherently valuable or meaningful in and of itself, but because through sport we learn and grow.

Sport at Trinity is not ultimately about producing great victories, but great young men.


Tim Bowden | Headmaster

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