NBH Sport: it’s a girl’s world too
Sport has long been a key socio-cultural learning experience in male society. From fathers teaching their sons to kick a ball before they can walk to their sons growing into Sunday league football teams, sport develops the male bond within families, friends and workplaces.
And what’s more, we know that playing sport has enormous health benefits, increasing physical and mental wellbeing – both of which become increasingly important during the teenage years when children are faced with the pressure of exams and adolescence. So what about our next generation sportswomen?
Whilst more and more sporting opportunities are being created for women and, as a society, we are more aware than ever of the benefits of sport, we still see only half the number of girls participating by the age of 14. This is a crucial age for developing confidence and self-esteem, not to mention transferrable skills such as leadership and teamwork, and yet girls of today are deterred by self-conscious worries.
At North Bridge House therefore, we embrace Sport for All but aim to go above and beyond this too. Our inclusive approach to sport provides girls with greater opportunity to lose that teen angst and awkwardness on the netball court, hockey pitch, yoga mat, aerobics step…
… Cue ‘Girls in Sport’ Week
Last week, NBH Senior Hampstead organised their first ever Girls in Sport Week. The week was intended to provide all girls with the opportunity to engage with sport beyond the curriculum and perhaps take up a new extra-curricular interest.
The Year 9 girls stretched themselves into the week’s activities with a spot of yoga, led by current parent and founder of YoGoYoga, Nicola Pulvertaft. Nicola put the girls through their poses in a challenging session, ending with some great relaxation techniques which left them feeling focused and revitalised.
The physical benefits of yoga are huge, building strength, flexibility, balance and coordination, as well as lengthening muscles and increasing core stability, which can help reset students’ posture after a day hunched over their desk – or smartphone!
Yoga also helps teens to process their emotions and mentally refocus. It practices living in the present moment, increasing one’s sense and understanding of their emotions and ability to concentrate – both highly beneficial to revision-dazed, hormone-charged students. Better still, yoga, like all exercise, is proven to improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression and increase self-esteem. We have found it particularly popular with girls who are put off by the more traditional school sports, or have the typical teen body image issues.
Here come the mums
On Tuesday, the Year 7 and 8 girls enjoyed some healthy competition, side-lining age for a quick-footed netball match and a much celebrated 4-3 win for the Year 7s!
The Year 8 girls limbered up in our second yoga session on Wednesday, this time led by Faye Duane, whilst those in the netball (A) team played Portland Place and drew 7-7. After school, Year 8 mums were invited to play a netball match with their daughters. Despite them claiming they had not played in years, the mums showed no mercy and beat the girls with a convincing 16-8 final score!
Thursday saw our Year 10 girls head to one of the top gyms in London, UN1T, which did not disappoint! The training and conditioning studio offers cardio, strength, and mobility classes centred around the idea of working as a UN1T to complete the class. The girls were put through their paces in one of the studio’s signature classes, Trooper. Super troopers were awarded to Lola and Estelle, who were delighted to walk away with £50 worth of healthy goodies for putting the most effort into the class!
From cheerleading to the Copper Box
To end the week, the Year 7 girls took part in a cheerleading class led by Megan from the award-winning Zoo Riot London Cheerleaders. The girls got to try out all manner of cheer-jumps, dance moves, floor gymnastics and acrobatic stunts.
In the evening, Senior Hampstead girls teamed up with NBH Canonbury girls for a trip to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where students throughout Years 7 to 11 got to watch the England netball team play Malawi at the Copper Box Arena. Despite a comeback in the final quarter from the Malawi Queens, ranked 6th in the World, the England Roses held on to secure a win – 60-66 to England.
We would like to thank everybody involved in our Girls in Sports week and look forward to continuing to create as many sporting opportunities for girls across NBH as possible.
Published on: 1st December 2017