What are your plans for the next year? Where do you see Halcyon’s Sports Programme going?
My primary goal is to grow Halcyon’s Sports Programme through a multifaceted approach, mainly focused on equality and well-being. Firstly, I want to raise the level of student participation, striving for the ideal scenario where all students participate in some form of sporting activity during their time at Halcyon. Simultaneously, we also want to nurture our current athletes and develop the talents of our basketball, football and volleyball teams. Furthermore, we are determined to empower young people to use sports as a tool to support their wellbeing and personal development. Bearing this in mind, our overarching goal is to take Halcyon’s Sports Programme to the next level. This year, we have been invited to many basketball games and had great student engagement. Our goal for next year is to professionalise it further. We want to have fixed tenures for all sports and improve our participation and ranking for all sports.
You’ve successfully raised equality with events such as ‘Let Girls Play’. Why do you think it is important for girls to play sports?
Unfortunately, inequalities have traditionally existed in sports for all kinds of players, especially female athletes. This pushback and stereotyping have stopped girls from playing sports even in a recreational setting. My focus as Halcyon’s Sports Coordinator is to provide sports opportunities for all students, regardless of their gender or level. As an institution, we are paving the way for sports equality. For example, we participate in all disciplines with female and male teams and next year we are looking to offer more recreational sports for mixed-gender teams. These teams will be focused on well-being and having fun, not on performance or competition. Additionally, we believe in equality, so every child should have the opportunity to decide which team they want to play for. Our primary goal is to create a culture of well-being that translates into healthy habits and a sense of community.
How do you see sports as part of your well-being?
Sports have always been a constant in my life and well-being. For me, sports are a way to ground yourself, even at your most distressing time. When I’m on the court, time stops and I focus on the present. I started practising sports at the age of five, when, I began learning Judo. When I was eight, an American basketball coach encouraged me to join the local team. Since there were no girls in the area, I had to play with the boys’ team until the age of 13, when I was scouted to play for the regional team, The Thames Valley Tigers. I was lucky enough to have my parents’ support. They would drive 90 minutes every day just to take me to practice. When I turned 17, I joined the National League Women’s Team and played National League Division 2 Basketball up until the age of 25. For the last ten years, I have focused on coaching and providing opportunities for young people to have access to sports. Last year, I started my Post Graduate Certificate in International Sports Management. I am confident that this degree will help me develop the strategic skills needed for my new role.
You lead a busy life as an Individuals and Societies Teacher and Sports Coordinator; how do you fit these competing responsibilities into your working life? Do you have any tips on time management?
I have always liked a challenge! I like balancing between Sports Coordinator and classroom teacher because each allows me to perform a different role within the same institution. Efficiency has been my key to success in every teaching and managerial position I’ve held and it continues to be true here at Halcyon. For example, every day I make sure to have a manageable to-do list with clear priorities. I also block out periods of my day to organise everything sports-related. During these periods, I am super focussed on the tasks at hand and I get things done. Then, I turn back into a history teacher and focus only on tasks related to it. This approach allows me enough time to not only organise all the sports fixtures but also to support my Individuals and Societies' students.