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Maximising athlete’s performance in sports and life

Danny Tauroa, Head of Sport and Physical Education March 13, 2020
Maximising athlete’s performance in sports and life

While academic achievements are important for the development of a child, involvement in sports is also important. The skills, concepts and knowledge learnt from sports can help contribute to the academic success of students. At GEMS (Singapore) we provide a sporting environment that encourages students to push themselves to new heights. We create opportunities to participate at all levels, allowing students to develop their skills and knowledge and aim for ever-higher performance targets.

A unique part of our sporting program here at GEMS (Singapore) is the opportunities we provide to our high performing student-athletes to develop their potential and achieve their goals in specific sporting codes - Rugby 7s, Triathlon and Swimming.

We believe these codes have realistically achievable pathways that our students can access to achieve world-class success in the future. Pathways for students who aspire to compete in their chosen sport at the highest possible levels in the future. This could be at a national or international level, or even as high as World Championships and the Olympics. The academies give these high achieving athletes a chance to train and be supported in high-level training environments that will push them out of their comfort zones and create successful pathways.

The GEMS Rugby 7s Academy is now into its third year and the progress made by the young men involved in this program has been significantly positive. This group trains before, during and after school 4-5 times each week and use the time to make subtle improvements to be confident and dominant players on the field. The hours put into perfecting skill work is balanced with developing important soft skills to be effective team players - organisation, commitment, hard work, time-management, and perseverance to name a few. The confidence and experience these players can now add to our school teams means that we are seeing more successful results on the rugby field and players are demonstrating a more professional attitude to their sport.
 
The GEMS Triathlon Academy was launched at the start of the school year and we have a small group of dedicated triathletes working through techniques and strategies to be effective competitors. This group has access to our world-class facilities and specialised training equipment. Within this short time, the athletes have competed in several triathlon based events around Singapore and have seen some excellent performances leading to podium finishes in their various age groups. Triathlon requires a large amount of dedication to training and self-belief during the competition to stay focussed and drive success. These are attributes our triathletes are developing through their commitment to training each week.

The GEMS Swimming Academy is undergoing some significant changes that will benefit our top swimmers. With our swim partners XLab Pro providing tremendous support and coaching expertise, we are soon able to provide added incentives to our swimmers who are driven to be successful and have demonstrated a high-performance mindset and dedication to their own success. Selected swimmers in the GEMS Swim Team will be offered scholarships to join XLab Pro to have more opportunities to train with them and receive specialised individual training and support.  XLab has developed programs that emphasise a winning mindset to get the work done needed to reach the top. The swimmers offered these scholarships will be in an excellent environment to reach their potential and gain future success.


Students' Success Overseas

This year we entered some of our teams in the Marlborough College series of sports tournaments held at their campus in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. These tournaments presented an excellent opportunity for our athletes to compete against some of the top schools from Singapore and Malaysia in an unfamiliar environment. Our teams were outstanding GEMS ambassadors and performed beyond expectations. We aim to have more sports tournaments in the new year to provide our athletes with new and unforgettable experiences.
 
Two of the four teams achieved a podium finish:
 
Under 14 rugby 7s boys - third
Under 16 rugby 7s boys - second
Under 14 touch girls - plate winners
Under 16 touch girls -
 
Finally, the importance of being physically fit and healthy has never been more prevalent than at the moment. The ability of our bodies to fight against unwanted viruses is strengthened if we are physically fit. Staying active and engaging in purposeful physical fitness training will strengthen your immune system and assist in maintaining a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.  It only takes 15 minutes a day to see significant improvements, and this is an investment in your time that will pay enormous rewards.


GEMS Jaguars Sport Teams

It has been an interesting time for sports at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) recently with Season 2 being disrupted towards the end, and some contingency plans put in place for Season 3. Season 2 ended unconventionally with ACSIS leagues being declared null and void due to games being abandoned and leagues could not be completed to have a fair final result. We continued to have a strong presence in all of the leagues our teams competed in particularly from those teams where the student-athletes have shown commitment and consistency with their training efforts and preparation for matches. Without these important characteristics from our students, we cannot develop consistent performances to achieve successful results.
 
A notable highlight for Season 2 was being able to field an unprecedented seven basketball teams across the available age groups. This is a credit to our students for getting themselves involved in a competitive team sport and to the coaching staff who are enthusiastically led by Mr Hoo.
 
The good news is that we are still able to offer a modified Season 3 and provide our student-athletes with opportunities to train after school. We see this as an excellent opportunity to develop individual skills sets and improve game understanding for the students. With everything we are doing during this testing time, we are looking to make the best of an unusual situation and it is very pleasing to see our field, courts and swimming pool still buzzing with activity before and after school.


GEMS Sport Strategic Plan

Over the past four years, we have had a very simple strategy to develop a robust competitive sports program through focussing on the five core sports of football, basketball, rugby 7s, touch and swimming. With a focus on these core sports, we aimed to build depth of talent across the school so we could improve our chances of success and in turn develop a high performing sports culture.  We have come a long way towards achieving this goal and continue to keep raising the bar to ensure the standard is always improving. Part of the strategy we have formulated is the introduction of new sporting codes as our player base continues to grow across the school. Providing we can sustain the progress we have made in the five core sports, we will look to introduce new codes. This will take some planning as we need to consider the space requirements and availability of coaching to effectively offer these teams but it is something we are looking at for the new academic year 2020/21. We have also identified the need to offer more sporting opportunities for girls at GEMS and this will also be a focus for the new school year.

 

Danny Tauroa
Head of Sport and Physical Education

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