A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Adelaide,
South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Sport Development and High Performance - Edition 16 - 2019

Mental benefits of team sports and physical activity

Following on from my last eNews article, we have had a busy few weeks here at school. With the Year 12s finishing up and everyone starting to prepare for end of year exams, I wanted this week to share a little reminder about the importance of sport and physical activity on our overall health and wellbeing. Sometimes even those of us in high performance can lose sight of the benefits and enjoyment that participation in sport can bring. There are times, and particularly during stressful times, when we are all tempted to abort all outside activities just in order to get whatever task is at hand completed. The problem can become when this sort of behaviour becomes the norm and at every opportunity we abort from one thing that can really assist our physical and emotional wellbeing during challenging times.

Please read below an article dot pointing some of the aspects and benefits that choosing and maintaining your commitments to team sports has and the impact it can have on mental health:

  • The social aspect that comes with being part of a team is fantastic for your wellbeing. Even if you join a team not knowing a soul, sport has a funny way of fast-tracking friendships. Human connection is such an important factor in maintaining good mental health. Being part of a team adds a support network that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
  • Sport is a proven de-stressor. It forces you to apply yourself fully to the task at hand, leaving behind thoughts and worries you may have had beforehand. In their place, sport stimulates the release of endorphins, which are your body’s natural happy chemicals.
  • Playing a sport alongside others teaches us the value of teamwork. Instead of reading about it or being lectured about it, sport forces you to put it into practice. It also helps develop leadership skills that can be applied in all areas of life.
  • Team sports teaches you how to deal with setbacks. No team wins all the time. Dealing with a loss or a poor performance, learning from it and trying again is all part of the journey. Setbacks build resilience and this can be carried over into everyday life, helping you to navigate the tough times and find a way through them.
  • Playing sport helps you get a better night’s sleep. We all know how important sleep is to our overall wellbeing – after training or competing, mind and body are ready for a good night’s rest.

So before you convince yourself I’m too busy or I don’t have time, maybe consider a planning schedule which incorporates physical activity and team sports as an essential component of your calendar. It might just give you the mental break you need to concentrate that little bit harder, or the physical exertion can release feel good endorphins to help you happily sit and study a little longer.

Good luck for all those going into exams in the next few weeks and if you would like to read further on the article mentioned above, please follow the link to beyondblue.org.au - www.beyondblue.org.au/personal-best/pillar/wellbeing/the-mental-health-benefits-of-playing-a-team-sport

Student Highlights

Outstanding news for one of our recent school leavers. Many will remember Joel Dyer from his outstanding performance in 2019 Intercol, however he is on the next challenge now, being selected for the state and representing South Australia next year in the U20 Men’s National Championships held in Canberra in February. Best of luck Joel!

School Sport SA Ekiden Relay Championship

Another excellent sporting effort by the Westminster team at the School Sport SA Ekiden Relay Championship.

The School Sport SA Boys and Girls Ekiden Relays were held on Thursday 17 October at Bonython Park, where our teams of eight completed over 20.6 km and produced two fantastic results.

The girls team consisting of Caitlin Dyer, Ella Simpson, Jess McManus, Ruby Liptak, Bella England, Katie Natt, Rommy Snoad, Oshana Andraweera and Kiera Ross finished in first place in a time of 1:22:37, more than 7 minutes ahead of their nearest competitors. A wonderful team effort.

The boys team finished in third place in a time of 1:15:00. We were represented by George Turnbull, Taj Ward, Brodie Eckert, Josh Smith, Archie Byrne, Harry Snodgrass, Cooper Thomson and Dani Shepherd.

Congratulations to all the team participants!

Yours in High Performance,

Lauren Soderberg
Head of Sport Development and High Performance