Meet the sports director
Is director of sports at Barfield School. Here he talks about his love of all things sport and how important it is to a child’s development
How did you get into teaching sport? When I left school I was accepted as an apprentice in the Royal Signals. It was my dream, but it was also hard won. I was initially told that I would never make it and it took perseverance and hard work to change my supervisor’s mind: I ended up being awarded best all round apprentice and served 11 years across the world. The experience taught me firsthand that you should never let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough.
In the army I trained as a Physical Training Instructor (PT) and I used the above mantra with my troops, helping anyone struggling and incorporating them back into the team. My ethos was all about building confidence and developing skills. Planning and organisation were at the core of my role in the army and I have always been passionate about being outside and having fun – one of the most important parts of teaching sports – so it felt like a natural next step.
How often do pupils at your school take part in sport and what sports are available? From Year 3 upwards, our children have the opportunity to take part in sport every day. They train and participate in a huge variety of sports, such as: Football, Netball, Hockey, Cricket, Tag Rugby, Athletics, Triathalons, Aquathons and Rounders. I never want to see children left out of school teams and so all pupils represent the school and their Houses. They also swim at least once a week and have an excellent range of extracurricular activities. Our younger pupils also swim once a week and take part in two to three hours of specialist sport coaching.
How does sport play a role in children’s development? For me it is all about building confidence and self-esteem, as well as keeping physically and mentally fit. I also feel it empowers children. It is why I love teaching swimming. You see children who are petrified of water grow in confidence and nothing can beat the beaming smile when they eventually swim
Barfield School, Guildford Road, Runfold, Farnham, GU10 1PB Tel: 01252 782271 Web: barfieldschool. com