The UEFA Euro 2016 tournament recently drew to a thrilling conclusion. While Wales went through to the semi-finals, England bowed out early on in the championship. Fifty years ago, in the FIFA World Cup, it was a different story. This time, on 30th July 1966, England beat West Germany 4-2 to win the Final.
Of course, it’s not always about scoring the most goals, running the fastest or jumping the highest. Most people have heard of the phrase, “it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts”, an ethos that was much trumpeted at the 2012 London Olympics.
Sport has many other rewards. From an early age, play is crucial in supporting and extending learning by helping children to practise and develop language, social and intellectual skills – among others.
In school, sport plays a vital role in student development, either as part of the curriculum, or beyond the classroom. It’s a great way of making new friends, building confidence and self-esteem, encouraging teamwork and promoting hard work, determination and self-discipline.
As such, we help many of the schools we work with to celebrate the achievements of their young people through a variety of media, from termly news magazines and prospectuses to environmental design and branding.
Inter-House events encourage healthy competition and help to create a sense of belonging, while initiatives such as the Sports Leaders award scheme equip students with the skills to organise and lead sporting activities in the wider community.
Sport is also a great leveller, giving people from different backgrounds and walks of life the opportunity to rise to the highest level in their chosen field. Who doesn’t dream of becoming the next David Beckham, Jessica Ennis-Hill or Andy Murray?
Fundraising activities, from Race for Life to Sport Relief, also bring people together, helping to raise money and awareness for a huge number of good causes. And if you’re training for a charity event, or new to exercise, sport is often a great motivator to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Whether you’re 8 or 80 years old, a busy mum who goes running after work, the captain of your school rugby team, or tennis fan who enjoys watching Wimbledon from the comfort of your own home, sport plays an important part in all of our lives.
What’s your favourite sport, or sporting moment? Tweet us @EducationWandP