The sports pitches may be quiet at Oakham School, but the Sports Department are still incredibly busy during lockdown – today having launched the School’s new ‘Sport and Wellbeing Course’ for the Spring Term.
“There is a strong symbiotic relationship between exercise, wellbeing, happiness and academic performance,” says Oakham’s Director of Sport, Iain Simpson. “So our new ‘Sport and Wellbeing Course’ will equip pupils with the tools and motivation to take ownership of their own wellbeing during this lockdown.”
The course was launched to all pupils today, during their first ‘Sport and Wellbeing’ session in the School’s new Distance Learning timetable. Pupils were talked through how the course works, and introduced to their new ‘Sport and Wellbeing group’, which will meet twice a week via an interactive MS Teams session. The groups are made up of 25 pupils with a dedicated member of staff who will provide motivational support and guidance.
Iain continues, “there is significant evidence, empirically and anecdotally, that the confinement of lockdown and its associated screen time has a negative impact on wellbeing; and that this can be alleviated by physical exercise and a variety of recreation and relaxation activities. Given that Oakhamians are now all spending their school day on screens, due to our Distance Learning provision, our new ‘Sport and Wellbeing Course’ will support pupils to find the best ways to support their own wellbeing during lockdown.”
All pupils will be encouraged to start a journal that plans out and then records and reflects on their sport and wellbeing goals. “Being mindful of important aspects such as sleep patterns and exercise routines, the journals will enable pupils to ‘own’ and develop their wellbeing, at a time when they may feel they have little control,” adds Iain. Pupils across the School will be given age appropriate advice, support and sporting activities in which they can take part. One session will focus on wellbeing (covering areas such as yoga, healthy snacking, hydration etc.), and the other will be exercise based – with different levels of activities offered (light, medium and heavy).
“At Oakham we always focus on sport for all of our pupils, which includes wellbeing, along with sports performance” concludes Iain. “This new course provides support and encouragement for every Oakhamian to look after their wellbeing during the weeks ahead. It also gives opportunities to those pupils who are more competitive or performance driven to challenge themselves in a way that meets their specific sporting needs too.”
As the weeks progress, the pupils’ Sport and Wellbeing activities will be shared online via Twitter (@OakhamSport and @Oakhamsch), as well as on Instagram – to further encourage our whole school community to look after their wellbeing during this time.