Inspiring girls to stay in the game

Aim for the Top, St Catherine’s School featured in The Weekly Times, Education Magazine 2022, showcasing students and schools setting their sights high with a healthy mix of sports and study.

CREATING a strong culture of participation, positive experiences and engagement are key to St Catherine’s School’s sporting success at a national level, says principal Michelle Carroll.

She said the school’s culture of participation was instrumental in St Catherine’s back-to-back wins at the prestigious Head of the Schoolgirls Rowing Regatta and in winning Rowing Australia’s National Championship this year.

“Schools have a unique opportunity, not just to deliver physical education and school sport well, but to also create a culture in which being active is the norm,” said Ms Carroll. “We know if girls are physically active, they will be healthier, happier, have higher self-esteem and body confidence. At St Catherine’s we aim to ‘change the game’ for our girls by lifting the sporting landscape, enabling a positive experience, and engaging all our girls in sport.”

While research shows families are the most powerful influence on a child’s activity levels, schools are seen as the most important sites for change. This is often associated with the staff that encourage girls to “stay in the game”.

Member of the Head of Schoolgirls, and National Champion Rowing Crew, Year 12 student Sarah Marriott credits her teachers as being most influential in her sports participation.

“I would not have been able to stay motivated without the help of St Catherine’s sports staff,” she said.

They motivated me to manage my time, to exercise and work hard in my academic studies.”

Having worked in girls’ education for 30 years, Ms Carroll said she had seen first-hand that not all girls enthusiastically get involved in sport.

“Tapping into the sporting enthusiasm of adolescent girls can be tricky,” she said. “Our aim, as a school, is to ensure all our girls graduate with a pursuit of an active adult life.”

This year, St Catherine’s will further enhance its sports program with a Sports Development Academy for aspiring female athletes to further develop their abilities through individualised sports-specific training and athlete education services.

Education Magazine 2022

The Weekly Times

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