15/01/2017

New Year Resolution...

Last Thursday I had the pleasure and privilege of presenting at a conference at the Madejski Stadium alongside 2016 Olympic Hockey Gold Medallist, Alex Danson.

Alex Danson with Derek Peaple

It was a National Association of Able Children in Education (NACE) Conference on how a focus on sport can raise achievement and aspirations across the whole curriculum. Or, as Alex so brilliantly put it, how sport offers a ‘wider language for learning’. I was sharing our own approaches here at school.

Alex has of course long been a wonderful friend of our school. She's twice provided the inspirational welcome to our new Year 7s on their first day....

In 2013...

Alex Danson with Park House students

And again in 2015...

Alex Danson with Park House students

On both of those occasions of course, she was speaking to them as an Olympic Bronze Medalist from London 2012.

Her message was one about a dream... And a journey. A unfinished one; a journey on which hard work had already brought its rewards, but which by holding on to the original dream, the sense of purpose and shared vision as a team could still lead to something even better down the line.

That's why the Women’s Hockey Team's Gold Medal winning performance had a special resonance for me and, not just for reasons of sheer sporting drama and entertainment at its very best, was my absolute highlight of Rio Games...

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/36691147

This was about grit, determination, resilience, resolution. Shared values. Behaviours. The long journey, with no short cuts. No instant gratification.

Which has led me in turn to reflect on idea of the - sometimes missing - joy of the journey raised in author and consultant Simon Sinek's recently viral YouTube observations on the unhappiness of 'The Millenials'...

www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/four-main-reasons-for-gen-ys-unhappiness/news-story/360b4eff77c4f0e4d54a0ca65d73d72f

I'm not sure I necessarily agree with all he has to say (!) but the observations on social media and a culture of instant gratification do strike a chord - with the comments about mobile phones hitting uncomfortably close to home! Those of you that know me well - or have the pleasure of sitting with me regularly in meetings - will understand....

Time perhaps for me to show some new year resolution...!

 

 

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