Comment: How London 2012 Olympics legacy can inspire now generation of Bromley sportswomen (From News Shopper)
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Comment: How London 2012 Olympics legacy can inspire now generation of Bromley sportswomen
10:42am Friday 7th September 2012 in Bromley
HEAD of Bromley High School Louise Simpson comments on the benefits of sport in schools and how she hopes the Olympics will be an inspiration to girls.
Wow! How fantastic it has been to be so close to the Olympic action this summer. With many of us having personal links with Games-makers, athletes, officials and those who have worked on the Olympic site, it really has been a privilege to be in London in 2012.
I was not surprised to see the first medal going to a woman, neither was I surprised to see so many women winning, nor so many of them coming from independent school backgrounds but I was delighted nonetheless.
The impact that women's sport has made over this Olympics has been fantastic and, I hope, an inspiration to all the youngsters in our schools, but particularly the girls.
There is huge social pressure for girls to conform to norms both at school and in other areas of life; they need to look fantastic, work hard, be high achievers in the workplace, and, unfortunately, to be able to do this well they need to out-compete the boys and men around them.
One thing that has shone through from the sportswomen in the Olympics is their enormous confidence in themselves and in their ability to fulfil their dreams.
They have shown that hard work and commitment pays off and, where there have been disappointments, they have learnt to take those knocks and spills, pick themselves up and head for the next challenge. There are so many parallels in other areas of life and work, and I believe that this begins at school.
Sport is an integral part of an excellent education and underpins many other facets of success. Pupils who compete in sport at a high level are often high achievers elsewhere too.
They have confidence to push themselves, they learn teamwork, resilience, determination, self-discipline and the need to commit themselves and many of these are transferable into their academic work and their careers beyond.
It is a great shame that the state system has not supported school sport in the same way that independent schools have; with fewer facilities available to them and, crucially, less dedicated curriculum time for sport and fewer well qualified teachers, particularly in primary and junior schools.
This is when the talent is first identified and when enthusiasm can be harnessed and nurtured, ready for a glittering career perhaps, and certainly a love of sport and the associated health benefits.
At Bromley High School we are lucky to have 23 acres of grounds, an astro-turf, swimming pool, sports hall and all the associated hard courts for a wide range of games and activities. We are lucky too to be able to foster a love of sport in our girls from an early age and to be able to support that with our excellent teachers.
With a national level fencer, rounders player and runner in the school at present, and a large number who represent the county and region in a variety of sports, we are very happy to be able to watch their progress and we hope that, perhaps in future Olympic Games, we will see them winning medals. I certainly hope so.