Head of Sport

COVID-19 has created a new reality around sport and physical activities. This week, we ordinarily would have been congratulating our footballers and cross-country runners for their representative team efforts, and finalising Term 3 Sport nominations, all before settling into Round 4 of our IGSSA, IPSHA and Hills Netball Saturday fixturtes. As it stands, our students and society has had to amend their physical activity regimes, favouring solo training over team activities. Organisations everywhere have been forced to amend their schedules, from community sporting bodies right up to the IOC postponing the Olympics in Tokyo from 2020 to 2021.

As is often the case, sport imitates life as life imitates sport. The skills that are so valued by athletes are proving extremely useful to navigate the challenges associated with COVID-19. Resilience to be able to react to unexpected circumstances and challenges; adaptability to make the most of the circumstances in front of you; discipline to stick to the game plan and not cut corners; teamwork to acknowledge that goals are easier to achieve when everyone is listening to clear instructions and buying into the plan; and endurance to push through on the task at hand until the final whistle.

Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” but the best coaches are able to react to an unexpected blow and pivot their planning down to the new best course; the current set of rules has not only forced a reconsideration of plans, it has also allowed innovation. Sporting clubs and organisations across the world have been looking at ways to keep people engaged. The LN Sport Department has been working hard to create programs for students to stay active whilst they were learning remotely with fitness sessions, challenges and sport-specific modules, and we’re continuing to explore opportunities framed by ever-evolving circumstances to get our girls back and moving when it is safe to do so.

Another thing good coaches do is review, learn and adapt their future plans. What have we learned from this forced set of circumstances that we can apply when the ‘new normal’ begins? How can we harness information learned from implementing new training techniques via technological innovations for the ongoing betterment of our programs and the benefits it provides our students?

We don’t know what the immediate and long-term future holds for sport right now. But rest assured, that as with everything at Loreto Normanhurst, the welfare of our students is very much at the centre of all our decision making and we’re working hard to create programs, activities and environments where students can return to getting involved in enjoyable physical activity sessions safely. We’re committed to creating return-to-train and return-to-play pathways that maximises opportunities for our students, and whilst we know there may be months to go as part of this process, we can’t wait for that first weekend of Saturday sport; when the whistle blows and the next piece of our ‘new normal’ begins.

 

Mr Matthew Mulroney

Head of Sport