Over the last year, school sport and sport in general has not been as frequent as it perhaps was before Covid and Lockdown. This year, sport has started to return to what was the normal amount before Covid. For example, in schools, competitions such as the National and County Cups are starting to occur again. Personally, sport is one of my favourite things to do and I didn’t appreciate sport as much as I perhaps should have until it was all taken away from me and everyone else.

Having got the opportunity to speak to our Director of Sport at Richard Challoner School, Mr Manley, I asked him a few questions on sport and the impact it has had on the school and students. The first question was “ What has the impact of sport had on this academic year?” And the response from Mr Manley was “ I found this academic year sport has been an integral part of getting students back into the normal swing of school,  of their normal lives and getting the boys to socialise with their friends. It has provided students with an opportunity to stay fit to reduce stress and to improve the social aspects that were so lost with lockdown and to just allow people to have that mental release and that cathartic release. I think being part of the team has been really important this year we’ve been able to put teams back into football, basketball and rugby fixtures and that’s out to give the boys a real focus and a real target for them to improve their sporting ability and again to get involved in competition with out with other schools which again is something that was missed really badly with lockdown and it’s also provided that that time to catch up with friends enjoy each other’s company whilst integrating with the teachers.” The second and last question was “What did the impact of not having sport have on the school and the students?” And the response. Was “I think not having school sports had a big impact on students I think it removed the social interaction between people and I think being part of a team creates a culture that is positive for people in general students learn to get on with each other to communicate effectively they improve their interpersonal skills and problem-solving through Sport without that I felt some kids really missed out and their enjoyment of School therefore dropped therefore reduced so they might enjoy being in school which obviously has the effect of raising levels of mental health and depression.I think sport would help and has helped to improve that situation. And on the school I think sport allows our students being all boys have a very important period of relaxing and reducing the stress which then has a knock on effect of me in the when they’re in lessons they’re better behaved they’re ready to learn more focused on the classroom teacher is teaching them it takes away the energy that needs to be burnt off in your voice so I think I done a wider School scale reduction and removal of sport has affected other lessons in fact the students have behaved as well because they were missing such a key vital part of their life which would help given those benefits in relaxation and then be ready to focus on to learn.”

I personally could not agree more with Mr Manley and even last year when there was some sport it was not the same because the matches were just friendlies so therefore there was not as much intent in matches. However this year, with competitions returning the intent as well as the eagerness and determination to win had returned. Personally, it has also introduced new friendships because year 12 combine with the year 13’s for sport fixtures so therefore it helps everyone to get on with others regardless of which year group they are in.