12/11/2019

Sport speaks a language..

SA Win

I know I overdo it sometimes. I hold my hand up now.

However, moments like the recent Rugby World Cup Final really do transcend sport. Have wider and deeper resonance.

In that context, I’m glad South Africa won.

SA World Cup

Until that Saturday it was the above iconic image that captured Nelson Mandela’s famous dictum that...

But, as another Springbok World Cup winning captain John Smit observed, Siya Kolisi lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy took to it to another level altogether. A view shared by many others...

 

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50273587

 

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50233481

 

With Siya’s own words adding new depth and meaning...

 

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/rugby-union/50275114

 

Legacy is already writ large...

Mural

Almost ten years ago now, we had our own small taste of the unifying power of sport in South Africa when I was privileged to accompany a group of Sixth Form students from across West Berkshire schools on a Young Ambassador leadership exchange programme with Sithengile High School in a township community just outside Durban.

Sithengile 

Together, these amazing young people developed the concept of a ‘Living the Values Passport’; a means of sharing and discussing the behaviours and  attitudes that would positively and universally shape social change in our albeit contrasting contexts...

 

The friendships, I know, remain to this day.

Friendship 

The wider values of sport have similarly shaped two of our subsequent, lasting international partnerships.

The first, with School No.79 in Ulan Bator, the capital city of Mongolia emerged from our leading role in the BBC World Olympic Dreams project, a pre-London 2012 initiative which sought to link UK schools with an international partner that had a former Olympian or Paralympian amongst its alumni... in this case 2008 Flyweight Boxing Gold Medalist Bada Uugan:

Badar Uugan

From this external initiative a lasting programme of close cultural exchange and values-themed Skyped and student exchanges has been developed through a mutual commitment to the power of international learning....

Mongolia exchange

 

The second, with Shinagawa School, in the suburbs of Tokyo was born out of a response to this ‘Living the Values’ video sent to a number of schools across the city...

A simply stunning response in fact, in the form of individually grafted ‘Shochu-mimai’, traditional Japanese cards from their students...

Japanese Cards

And the basis for what has rapidly become the most rewarding of sustained relationships, culminating in the incredible welcome shown to our students and staff during our tour to Japan over Half Term...

Japan visit

On reflection. No apology needed. Sport speaks a language...

 

 

 

 

 

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