With over 20 year experience as a PE teacher and a world of knowledge sports at an elite level. Dani provides us with the last letter in this series, please enjoy.
I have been a PE teacher for over 20 years now and it was always something I wanted to do and I love my job! Neither of my parents were particularly sporty, so I’m not too sure where I got my passion for it from, but they supported me through school, college and University with all my commitments to sport. I get to do something I enjoy every day, whether it’s teaching/coaching sport, playing sport or watching sport. It’s also elevated me to coaching a sport that I love at elite level.
I sometimes worry, though, that many see sport as a pastime or hobby and not a priority or main feature. From my perspective, seeing young people evolve to be amazing adults through their commitment and love for their sport from a young age, taking part in sport is not to be sniffed at. I have had the pleasure to teach some outstanding students who are both smart and very good at their sport – even captained their country or gold medalled at the Olympics! That could be your son/daughter in the future!
Sport offers so much more than just kicking or throwing a ball around. It provides young people with an additional family – a team to be part of and valued in. It is a place they can escape to and get away from stresses – extremely beneficial for those suffering with any type of mental health issues. Sport teaches young people a lot about who they are and can often highlight areas that they want to improve on like confidence, teamwork and leadership skills. It is invaluable in helping them grow into the people you would like to see them being as an adult and to be proud of.
Sport can also help your children to deal with the harder parts of life like failure and making mistakes. As adults we are all too aware of work and family pressures and can often drop a ball (pardon the pun) – but we also know that many of us don’t handle that well. Sport allows us to learn to deal with success and failure in equal measure. It allows us to recognise that mistakes happen, but that we have to get back up and go again; that we learn from those mistakes and make it better for next time; and that those mistakes make the feeling of joy much greater when you do get that win.
As parents, I am hopeful that you see the value of sport in your child’s life and how it can help shape them as a thoughtful, engaging, confident and happy individuals. Sport brought so much to my life that I was able to share with my parents and they saw how happy I was when I was doing what I loved – and still do. I could bore you senseless with stories from my experiences, in fact I should write a book, but I hope that what I have briefly mentioned above encourages you to get your children involved, and keep them involved, with something that I am sure they will talk about when they are old and grey to their grandchildren (your Great Grandchildren!).
Dani is the Director of Sport at The Lady Eleanor Holles School and promoter of girls in sport and women’s leadership. She is also Assistant Coach to the Surrey Storm netball team that play in the Vitality Netball Superleague competition.
Social Media: Twitter @dani_mugridge