Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Sport enriches lives and can make dreams come true. Just ask a Leicester City fan if you can find one prepared to interrupt their celebrations.
Sport is also educational. It teaches us about life – its chances and successes; injustices and setbacks. Ed Smith - writer, broadcaster and former professional cricketer - the guest at my first prize day as Headmaster at Newcastle School for Boys in 2012, has written an excellent book about this called What sport teaches us about life.
Many boys at NSB will tell you that sport is an important part of their school lives. It is also - for some families - a key reason why they chose to send their sons to our school. A supportive and nurturing education that emphasises progress and added value enhanced by excellent sporting provision and opportunity.
Certainly, as a school, we’ve enjoyed plenty of individual and team success in our first ten years and continue to punch well above our weight. Just as importantly, every boy who goes through our juniors or seniors will have had the opportunity to represent his school at sport.
This week sees us launch a unique and innovative programme – the appointment of link sports professionals in each of our three main sports: long serving Premier League goalkeeper Steve Harper; recently retired Australian test cricketer Marcus North; and former England international rugby player now back coaching at Newcastle Falcons, Dave Walder. They are all still involved in the professional game – either as players or coaches or both.
All three have been impressed by what they have seen of the boys’ performances, coaching, set-up and ambition at NSB and have volunteered their services.
Whilst there will continue to be opportunities for these experienced sportsmen to coach the boys first hand, they won’t necessarily be doing so on a daily basis. What they will provide - drawing on their recent and current experiences of their professional games - is expert advice on the continued development of sport at Newcastle School for Boys, coach education and even the prospect of mentoring some of our most promising young players.
All three of our link professionals share our commitment to helping our boys enjoy their sport, play in the right spirit and become as good as they can.
The School is hosting a launch event with Steve Harper, Marcus North and Dave Walder at its Senior School this Thursday 5th May, 4.30pm.