Dragons Today Summer 2014.indd - page 8

sporting Dragons
I s s u e N O . 9
– a lesson in life
As far as educational tools go, few things compare to sport when
it comes to providing opportunities for learning. Sport is real,
sport is tangible, and it teaches many values and virtues that one
will need to cope with life’s twists and turns. Sport replicates
aspects of life that are hard to discover elsewhere, one of which
is the experience of winning and losing.
At the Dragon, children are encouraged
to play as hard as they can to win, but –
more importantly – to always compete
with sportsmanship and fairness. Off the
pitch, Dragons must maintain their dignity
and, as Kipling would have it, treat the
two imposters of victory or defeat just the
same. Inevitably, as a large school, we win
more times than we lose, but it’s often these
defeats that offer the best chance for players
to improve: a defeat provokes reflection
from each individual about their own
performance and that of their teammates,
highlighting limitations and setting a new
benchmark to strive towards. Sadly, losing
is a fact of life and, although we obviously
want our teams to do well, lessons learnt
in defeat help equip individuals with
perspective as well as the skills to deal with
others diplomatically and respectfully.
Individually, there are many personal
qualities fostered through sport: teamwork,
communication, leadership, motivation
and the knowledge of wellbeing to name
just a few. These are characteristics that can
be found in the vast majority of Dragon
children, thanks in no small
part to their involvement
and exposure to sport here at
school. However, before any
of these traits can be instilled,
one fundamental factor has
to be in place: enjoyment!
It is our aim that every child leaves
the Dragon having enjoyed their sport,
something which in turn means they are
much more likely to be physically active
into later life, further developing all of the
skills and qualities and experiencing more
of the life lessons that sport has to offer.
This ethos was recently acknowledged and
praised in the publication of The Week’s
Best of the Best, Independent School Guide,
where the Dragon was voted the best for Prep
School Sport in the country. This is quite
an accolade but, undoubtedly, it is linked to
the fact that, when asked, Dragon children
list “fun”’ as their overriding memory of sport
at the school. As long as sport helps prepare
children for the ups and downs of life, it will
continue to pay a prominent role in every
young Dragon’s upbringing.
“Life isn’t about winning everything, it’s
about having the grace to learn about
yourself and, by putting yourself against
the challenges of sport, you don’t only
learn about sporting techniques, but you
also learn about what sort of person you
are, what kind of character you are.”
Lynn Davis, the Olympic gold medal
winning long jumper
Tim Knapp
Director of Sport
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12
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