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Sports’ Report 16/17 #9 – Tuesday 6th December 2016

December 6, 2016
Ballard School Sport Astro Enjoy Fun

A Sports’ Report for Christmas

Our Director of Sport Justin Whitbread focuses his last blog of the Autumn Term around the role parents have to play in supporting their children in the world of sport. 

Dear parents and readers of Ballard’s Sports’ Report blog,

Can I warmly thank all parents for your support in the progress of Ballard Sport and also a very Merry Christmas.

There is a real buzz around Ballard Sport at the moment and even during the cold dark days of winter we have pupils attending with a smile, working hard on their fitness and also showing commitment to activities before and after school. It was -6c last Thursday and we still had 15 pupils attend our Breakfast Club playing rugby outdoors, with another 20 pupils playing netball inside. That is some commitment!

Can I also thank the parents who have taken the trouble to write in and thank the PE staff for their efforts in the development of their child. I have never worked with such a committed and caring team as Ballard Sport; we are all very lucky.

I would like to thank those parents, who did not write a note for their child to get out of the Cross Country (Health Related Exercise Unit) for Years 3-8 this term. It has been an amazing term to see pupils really push themselves in the training methods that we have taught them and then to attempt the Cross Country Routes, be it World, Olympic or Commonwealth routes… (ask your child!)

In the end exercise is not always supposed to be easy, however the satisfaction a pupil can get, whether it be a ‘Ballard Bumbler’ or a ‘Premier League’ runner is immense.

Quite often the hardest thing for some pupils is to not be tempted to feign injury, hassle parents or Matron for a note or forget to bring kit. Thankfully the numbers of that kind have been pretty low and we have only had to help out a few pupils with genuine injuries to be excused.

“I have never worked with such a committed and caring team as Ballard Sport”

So how can you really help as a parent?

I feel it’s all about giving positive messages (whether you are sporty or not, it doesn’t matter).

Here are some of my tips!

1)      Encouragement that physical activity aids learning and concentration

2)      All adults are role models. Even if it late in your life or you are trying to get fitter, you can still be a role model.

3)      Encourage your child to be active. Be reluctant in writing a note (unless really injured). Trust us as professionals to carefully get the best out of that child in the PE lesson.

4)      Try to work with clubs and practitioners (doctors, physios etc) to encourage the child that exercise can prevent a long term sedentary lifestyle.

5)      Provide a variety of opportunities. We do not encourage any sports person to specialise until after 16 years old. We expect our best sports’ people to play in all teams and participate in the school plays etc. An excellent example of this was last year our Rugby Captain also had a starring role in the school production.

6)      Develop good habits of exercise. Family exercise has a massive effect on a child’s lifestyle for life.How about you try family walks, catching a ball in the garden, a ‘Family Jogging challenge’, cycle rides or swimming as a family.

7)      Try to encourage “outside time”. Some great ideas include doing the gardening together or kicking a ball around the park. Reduce the temptation of technology. By reducing sedentary time when children are young this supports time management and encourages children to remain active.

“Kids need to play to grow physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally” – United Nations

Tips for what not to do during a game or during sport

Here are some Tips for what not to do during a game or during Sport! Personally, I need to remind myself to be a parent and not a teacher when supporting my child in Sport!

Ballard School Sport

10 reasons why parents should stop constantly instructing young players in games @BelievePHQ

These are 10 reasons suggested here as to why parents should stop constantly instructing young players in games.

1)      It reduces problem solving skills

2)      Decreases decision making abilities

3)      Decreases autonomy

4)      Reduces young player creativity

5)      Children will enjoy themselves more

6)      It increases pressure on the child

7)      Children will not learn from their own mistakes

8)      Decreases child coping skills

9)      Increases anxiety among young players

10)   Prevents children from mastering life skills.


At a recent Netball game, I attended with my 12 year old daughter, her quote was…

“Dad, just be my dad, not my PE teacher”….

It certainly made me think. I now help with the scoring and keep my mouth firmly shut! Being a parent is not easy, especially when it comes to encouraging sport and healthy lifestyles. It’s the input as role models and our presence which is important.

In the end, if we are supportive as parents, take the hard line during feigning injury,  be a role model at home, watching matches (not talking in matches) and encourage exercise, we can be the ideal parent to help our child’s development, support exercise and learning.

Happy Christmas

Mr Whitbread, Director of Sport


Our dedicated Sports’ website,, provides fixtures information, directions for away matches, results and more. Our Flickr Album ‘Sports’ Report at Ballard School’ is where our sports’ related photos can be viewed.

We tweet from @BallardSchool and @BallardSport

Ballard School is an independent, private co-educational school in New Milton, Hampshire (on the Dorset/Hampshire border), providing an outstanding level of education for nursery to GCSE. With small class sizes and proven academic excellence, we strive to nurture the academic potential of all students. Learn more about our academic programmes, pastoral care, facilities and school ethos by visiting our website or by requesting a prospectus here

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