Sports Day in Japan was first held to recognize the opening of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Now, the national holiday encourages people to take part in all kinds of sports and lead more active lifestyles. While this is important for adults, sports may be even more crucial for children in their development. They don’t just allow children to develop their physical fitness, they also teach character, togetherness, and a willingness to push their limits. And all these qualities were on display during some activities held at Malvern College Tokyo (MCT) campus last fall.
Malvern College has a long tradition of using sports to instill positive qualities in its students, and this is being continued at the newly opened campus. As Ewan McCallum, Deputy Head & Head of Senior at MCT, explained, “Our mothership school in the UK has a rich, historic sporting heritage, and this is central to the Malvern experience. Malvern values sport and all that it has to offer for the young people in our care. It gives them even more opportunities to build resilience, teamwork, and take measured risks. As Malvern College Tokyo finds its roots in the city and becomes established in Tokyo, sport will be at the core of who we are and what we do.”
To add some invigorating activities to a parent-teacher conference day and celebrate the opening of the school’s multipurpose astro pitch, MCT students and their families took part in a wide range of sporting experiences, which included everything from tennis, football and basketball to cardio-based high-intensity interval training and classic functional strength-building circuits. McCallum said the campus community was deeply impressed by the team spirit shown by the children and their families. “It was overwhelming to see the collaboration between our pupils and their parents as they worked together, getting involved and encouraging one another as they took part in these great experiences.”
Dedicated Facilities and Dedicated Instructors
MCT offers its students a rich variety of ways to take part in sports throughout the year, beginning with its facilities. This includes an indoor multipurpose room that serves as a flexible space for sporting endeavors and a “Big Hall,” a huge indoor sports hall that features dedicated changing and classroom spaces. Both allow for students to stay active even during bad weather. For outdoor spaces, there are the newly refurbished astro pitch and the school’s Sakura Garden, along with many locations around campus. Many sports will be on offer at the school, but the central activities will be soccer, rugby, swimming, basketball and volleyball.
Having excellent spaces for sports also requires teachers who are dedicated to inspiring students to do their best on them, and MCT is staffed by a pair of experienced PE teachers. The first is Junny Lee, a former professional rugby player who taught at Malvern College Hong Kong for four years. As he explains, he knows deeply the ways that sports fit into the larger academic picture within the Malvern community. “I have seen and experienced the success of what the Malvern Qualities teach young people and how they focus on developing kind and honest people. I believe in developing the whole child and the IB curriculum is centered around giving young people a safe and holistic environment for them to enjoy their life in school.” As well as creating an environment where all students can enjoy sports, he also looks forward to supporting those student-athletes who can compete at an elite level.
Meanwhile, William Murphy, a native of Surrey, England, comes to MCT after five years of teaching in China and Cambodia. An active athlete, he enjoys soccer, tennis and skiing. For him, sports are a means to strengthen ties with his students and a way for students to feel like a part of something bigger than themselves. “There is great value in connecting with my students inside the classroom, teaching my students and getting involved in school clubs. Encouraging students to connect with their school by being involved in sports teams and co-curricular activities not only creates a healthy relationship in which I can get to know my students but also gives them an opportunity to be a part of the school community.”
With its impressive facilities and a teaching staff dedicated to helping their students develop physically, emotionally, and intellectually, MCT is a school that shares learning through sports—not just on Sports Day, but every day.
Discover more about Malvern College Tokyo at www.malverncollegetokyo.jp