1) Can you tell me more about your role at BISS Puxi?
I’m in charge of all aspects of the BISS Lions Sports programme, from key sports development strategy to ensuring the safety of our athletes at home or travelling across Asia. I also teach PE across the whole school.
2) What is your educational background, both academically and career wise?
After graduating from Lancaster University many years ago, I started teaching in Manchester where I held a school sports coordinator role. I also worked as a talent scout for a big football team in the city. After six years of teaching and coach in in the city, I decided to move abroad for something different. I spent two years working in the now closed, BISS Nanxiang before joining the BISS Puxi PE department, nearly six years ago. I recently completed my Master of Education in Athletic Administration from Endicott College in Massachusetts, America. This was a mainly online course but I was able to spend a few weeks learning in Swiss Alps, which I loved.
3) What has been the most memorable experience to date in your career?
There have been so many memorable moments in my career so far as during any week, I see young people achieve as a result of their hard work in training or in lessons. One that springs to mind is from a few years ago in a previous school: I was coaching a middle school girl’s football team who were the third team of the schools age group. They had not won a game all season and were regularly beaten by a couple of goals each game. Each week we worked hard on developing the team and making sure the system worked. I remember the ninth game of the ten game season really well as we drew 0-0. This was our first clean sheet and definitely a sign of our progress as a team. The next week we played the league leaders who needed to win to secure the top of the league spot. We beat them 1-0 but it felt like we had won the world cup. The girls had worked so hard to get better after so many defeats and they came away deserved winners.
And now for some light-hearted questions.
4) What do you like to do in your spare time in Shanghai?
When I am not spending my spare time with my little girl, Elle and my wife Jules, I like to play my guitar, watch sport and do as much exercise as possible; but not all at the same time.
5) What’s your favourite restaurant in Shanghai?
Ooh that’s a really tricky question. There is a really good Italian place on Kang Ding Lu called Babbo. They have a fantastic meat selection.
6) What 3 things could you not live without in Shanghai?
All I need is a bike, my guitar and my running shoes.
7) We know that you love to participate in triathlons. Do you have any plans to do any in 2016?
Last summer I competed in my first Iron Distance (3.8km Swim, 180km bike, 42km Run) race in the UK. I was really pleased to finish it as it’s such a big challenge, but I am a little disappointed with the time I took to do the race. This year is all about getting back up to Iron Distance fitness and smashing the 12 hour mark. It takes a few races across the year to peak so I imagine I will do a few of these in spring time in the Chinese Triathlon League which is part of the International Triathlon Union.
8) As a Leicester City Fan, do you think they can do the impossible and win the English Premier League?
Foxes never quit. So I will keep the faith. My heart says yes, but I won’t tell you what my head says.
9) The Australian Tennis Open started this week? Who do you think will win the men’s and women’s tournament?
A safe bet will be Novak Djokovic for the men’s title as Andy Murray may have his head in other places with the birth of his first child coming soon. I find women’s tennis less predictable but I think Serena Williams should do something special if she can remain injury free. Both Djokovic and Williams are excellent examples to use for people who are able to look after their bodies during their busy seasons. Their diets and stretching routines mean they have stayed relatively illness and injury free for most of their respective careers.
10) And finally, what are your hopes and aspirations for 2016?
Stay healthy, stay happy, and keep moving forward. Also get under the 12 hour mark on the Ironman.
Thank you for your time Mr Hitchings.
Next week, we will be featuring Mr Webb in primary. Mr Webb was of course the rouge Batman who was captured by the Year 1 superheroes a few weeks ago in the playground.
If you have any pressing questions you would like me to ask Mr Webb now that he has given up his Batsuit, please email me here.
Ryan Kealey, Marketing and Events Manager