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Students benefit from holistic approach to sport

Students benefit from holistic approach to sport

St Paul’s Collegiate School isn’t afraid to do things differently. Every single student at the private Hamilton school must play a summer and winter sport. And all St Paul’s students, regardless of their athletic ability, have access to its high performance sport programme.

“We believe that a healthy body equates to a healthy mind and that participating in sport enhances academic results. At St Paul’s we are proud to provide a structure that focuses on the holistic development of our students, giving them skills to succeed in life,” says Peter Gilbert, St Paul’s Director of Extra-Curricular Activities.

This holistic approach to sport and studying is giving the school some impressive results.

In 2016 the St Paul’s boys' hockey team won the National Rankin Cup and last year it had the top girls' rowing crew in the country and four of its 1st XV played for New Zealand.

Aiding its success is Wintec, who signed a memorandum of understanding with St Paul’s earlier this year. The agreement sees a number of undergraduate and postgraduate students from Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance placed at St Paul’s to assist with its sporting programme.

Wintec undergraduate students work with St Paul’s junior classes during its physical education classes, primarily assisting with testing. They also help identify which students should progress to the high performance programme for Year 11-13 students.

Wintec’s postgraduate students are helping to foster a strength and conditioning programme and fundamental movement programme that focus on each athlete’s individual needs rather than being sports-specific.

“We are really pleased to be able to support St Paul’s high performance sport programme. We share a common vision around the development of athletic ability in everyone. It’s an excellent opportunity for Wintec students to apply their knowledge and skills and get some valuable hands-on experience,” says Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance Director, Greg Smith.

St Paul’s is unique in the way it runs its high performance programme. Rather than having a high performance programme dedicated to its elite athletes and top sports teams, all year nine and ten students participate in the school’s high performance programme.

“By offering our high performance sports programme to all students, it means we don’t let anyone slip through the cracks. As outstanding athletes emerge we can then progress them through targeted development and into first team programmes,” says Mr Gilbert.

The school is already seeing benefits from its strength and conditioning programme which concentrates on improving the quality of exercises such as press-ups and squats rather than quantity.

“Physiologically kids are learning what movements are good and safe which has led to a huge reduction in injuries. We’re really happy with how the programme is going and are excited about what further advantages we might see in the future,” concludes Mr Gilbert.

Find out more about St Paul’s sporting programme

Find out more about Wintec’s Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science

(Source: Natalie McKeany (Communications Contractor, Wintec))