Hi Tom M, can you give a short account of how Covid-19 concerns have impacted the sports program this year, and how Léman PE Department have planned to counteract this?
Our passionate PHE team are all major advocates of fitness and healthy lifestyles, so this has been a serious time for us all. Our first priority is always the health and safety of our students and the first step in that is always to follow our stringent regulations. During the VSE period, we worked hard as a team to create fun and challenging content for our students. We knew that both on and off campus students were spending a lot of time on their computers. The PHE team embraced that challenge and met it head on with continually active and engaging lessons. I am really proud of the PHE team and how well we supported each other and our community. In starting the 2020-21 academic year, Ms. Felicia Dracz and I have been undergoing the quarantine process. We are extremely grateful for the hard work of our teammates Mr. Scofield Guo and Mr. Kuan Li and are so happy to have returned to campus to engage once again with our students in person.
Can you give a brief summary of the sports activities happening between now and Christmas?
Clubs have started again on October 19th. We have a variety of active clubs on offer including U11 and U15 Football and U19 Volleyball. As the President of CISA, I am working closely with the other Chengdu schools to ensure that health and safety are the priority when making decisions about returning to competition. At Léman, we will be taking a cautious approach. We will not go to other campuses or accept guests from other schools until a yet to be determined time in 2021. We will still use sport as a way to connect to others. We will participate in Nord Anglia Global Campus competitions of running, swimming and track. Autumn is also our traditional time for Cross-Country running and we are excited to get moving in November!
What are the benefits to our students from participation in sports activities, be it teams or clubs?
There are innumerable benefits to our students from active participation with their peers. At Léman, we focus our athletic pursuits on fitness, fun and learning. We express a core belief in the ongoing importance of fitness as an integral part of a balanced lifestyle. We believe in challenging our students to set high expectations and commit to achieving them. Sport activates critical and creative thinking pathways in a constantly evolving matrix of decision making. Practicing, learning and playing together allows our staff and students to interact in authentic ways and make lasting connections. Exercise also has a proven positive impact on academic learning. Allowing students to exert themselves physically while thinking along these different pathways helps provide focus for academic work.
The revamped House system sounds interesting. How will you fit these activities into the school day?
House systems are a proven model for building community at leading schools the world over. At Léman, students and staff are members of one of our four House Teams of White Tigers, Black Tortoise, Blue Dragons and Red Phoenix. These characters come from a historic background in Chinese culture and represent characteristics we value in our community. Under the guidance of House Leaders, students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities to gain House Points for their teams. House Activities have a wide focal range, whereby athletic, academic, cultural and service opportunities exist. The Nord Anglia Global Campus initiative offers us the chance to connect and challenge ourselves amongst our worldwide Nord Anglia family. This year at Léman, we will also introduce more lunchtime House activities, offering challenging, creative and cooperative opportunities for our students. We are excited to provide even more opportunities for our students to create meaningful connections with one another. We will also work with our LFA to provide safe and special community events which incorporate the House System when the time is right.
How will the upgrade in our pitch and track facilities benefit our students?
At Léman we are fortunate to have incredible facilities at our disposal. In partnership with the local education bureau, we are very proud to be in the process of renovating and updating our Lower Pitch area. In addition to a beautifully refurbished running track, we will have a new artificial turf area with another full-size football pitch. This area will become an important hub for PHE classes, school and community events. Our facility spaces are integral in providing the best PHE experience for all of our Red Pandas. With the Upper and Lower Pitch, the cross-country running track, outdoor basketball and volleyball areas, our full inside Gymnasium and our 6 lane, 25m swimming pool, Léman continues to be positioned as a leader for athletic opportunity in Chengdu. As a PHE team, we make it a priority to use our brilliant facilities to provide the widest range of experiences for all of our students.
What achievements in the Sports program are you most proud of since you arrived in 2018?
We’ve certainly had some great achievements during my time at Léman, including championships in volleyball, basketball, soccer, swimming, cross-country and more. We have hosted successful events at the local and national level. While we always compete to win and are proud of our successes, I personally take the most pride in hearing from an opposing coach or a referee that our teams play with honour and unending effort. I believe that sport is a window into character and I love to showcase the character of our fine students in the Chengdu community and across China. I am proud to lead a dedicated team that serves as ambassadors for our program and as role models for our students.