Preparatory Sport - Winter and Summer | Somerset
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Sport

At Somerset College we have a compulsory sports programme which plays a very important role in the development of the whole child.


SUMMER SPORTS OFFERED
Grade 1 to 7 children participate in the following sports:

Boys: Swimming, Cricket (U10 - U13 hardball), Mini-Cricket (Grades 1 to 3), Athletics (Grades 4 to 7) Tennis, Water Polo (Grade 6 and 7), Chess, Kinetics (Grade 1)
Girls: Swimming, Cricket (U10 - U13 hardball), Mini-Cricket (Grades 1 to 3), Athletics (Grades 4 to 7) Tennis, Water Polo (Grade 6 and 7), Chess, Kinetics (Grade 1)

Athletics trials are held in the third term and these culminate in our Inter-House Athletics Meet at the end of the third term. Once we have run this, we select our best athletes to participate in our Inter-Schools Triangular against Bridge House and Somerset House. We hold voluntary and compulsory athletics squad sessions in which we get experienced coaches to develop our athletes so that they can produce their best performances in these athletics meetings. Commitment to these squad sessions is crucial.

We enter boys and girls Grade 6 and Grade 7 hockey teams into the Indoor Hockey League hosted by Somerset College and Somerset House in the first term. League matches take place on Monday evenings and run from 16:30 to 21:00. Indoor Hockey is not a main summer sport and, as a result, practices are fitted into slots where most of the children are available. These times are then communicated to the parents once they have been established.

We participate in the Helderberg Cricket League. Although we have cricket matches on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, at times we participate in Saturday matches. In practice sessions, our programme ensures that all of our teams are rotated through our facilities so that everyone has the opportunity to use the turf nets, artificial nets, fields and Indoor Centre. This provides a solid basis for building the skills involved in batting, bowling and fielding.

We offer Mini-Cricket to both girls and boys. This is one of the best sports to help kids with their hand-eye-coordination because any position they are in, it builds stamina, it encourages teamwork, and every person has a role to play as they will get a chance to bowl and bat. Mini-cricket matches are played on Wednesdays.

Swimming as a sport has two primary objectives; the first is to make all children water confident and the second is to provide an avenue for those children who are talented in swimming to excel in the sport. In addition to the normal swimming slots during school time, we have implemented swimming squad sessions, where the children train after school to develop their potential. Commitment to these squad sessions is crucial. Our swimming team participates in local galas in the Helderberg basin, which are hosted on various days of the week. We also hold an annual Inter-House gala, in which we get as many children as possible involved.  

The heat pumps are only turned on when the temperatures drop. Once we start swimming, the training will be assessed daily and we do not swim when the water temperature drops below 19 degrees. Should that be the case, the children will then do land training. The wind-chill factor is also taken into account when deciding regarding swimming or land training.

Water polo is a new and exciting sport that was introduced to our Sports Programme for Grade 6 and 7 children in 2016. Grade 6 and 7 children who choose to do water polo, must make themselves available to be part of the swimming team. The Head of Swimming will select the children at the beginning of the term.

Class tennis lessons occur during the school day in which an entire grade participates. Typically, coaches have between 8 and 12 players on a court with them, depending on the size of the whole group and the number of coaches available. The playing ability during these sessions is very varied, which results in us splitting the group as best we can to ensure that players are challenged according to ability.

Coaches adapt their lessons as follows:

Beginner players focus on ball skills to develop basic strokes and apply basic tactics.

Intermediate players develop their strokes to be able to keep a rally going and apply basic tactics.

Advanced players play all strokes, do drills and play doubles if court space allows.

Players who are ready for squad tennis will be identified during these lessons and will be invited to attend squad training sessions.

Tennis is a fantastic game for our students to learn, however, not everybody can make it into the school team. Our aim in tennis is two-fold: firstly we would like to get all players to develop their skills sufficiently to be able to keep a rally going; secondly we must challenge the players that show talent and a desire to play matches so that they can represent the school well in these matches.

As part of providing extra coaching to our students, we have a Cricket Academy that offers extra coaching sessions (groups & one-on-one) and offers coaching opportunities to our coaches within the school. The Academy and its functions are placed under Somerset College with the Head of Cricket and the two Pro Coaches driving its functions. The Academy has since opened its doors to the wider community involving non-Somerset College students in its programmes. All Academy programmes are supported by Somerset College. We aim to advance the game of cricket at Somerset College and beyond our gates through sportsmanship, encouragement, team spirit and hard work. Our goal is to provide the opportunity, environment and facilities to learners of all ages and abilities to play cricket. We are particularly focused on promoting youth cricket and encouraging young players to take up the game at an early age. All its programmes carry extra costs and are done after Somerset College sports practices.

Reaching out to communities is part of Somerset College. Somerset College supports The Leading Edge which runs coaching programmes to underprivileged communities. The school opens its facilities and resources free of charge to all children who attend The Leading Edge for training, coaching and matches. This programme is run by voluntary coaches led by Hilton Toro (Head of Cricket) and Wayne Bosch (Head of Grade 7s).

WINTER SPORTS OFFERED
Grade 1 to 7 children participate in the following sports:

Boys: Hockey, Rugby, Cross Country (Grades 4 to 7), Fitness (Grades 4 to 7) and Chess (this is a paid extra-mural)
Girls: Hockey, Netball, Cross Country (Grades 4 to 7) and Chess (this is a paid extra-mural)

Our school actively engages in the competitive Helderberg Zonal League, which brings together schools from Somerset West and its neighbouring areas such as Strand, Gordon's Bay, Macassar, and Stellenbosch. Our primary objective is to ensure maximum participation of our teams in exhilarating matches that take place on Thursday afternoons.

 

While we strive to fulfill this goal, we encounter certain challenges due to variations in team numbers across participating schools. In certain age groups, some schools have fewer teams available compared to our own, resulting in occasional instances where certain teams from our school may not have a match scheduled in a given week.

 

It is important to note that our A teams generally have more consistent participation opportunities compared to the B and C teams, which may occur due to factors such as scheduling and the availability of opponents. However, we continuously work towards providing equitable opportunities for all our teams to participate in the league to the best of our ability.

 

By actively participating in the Helderberg Zonal League and navigating these logistical considerations, we strive to promote competitive spirit, skill development, and sportsmanship among our students while fostering a sense of community among schools in our local area.

Our netball league caters to children ranging from U7 to U13, providing an inclusive platform for their participation and growth. Each week, on Wednesday afternoons, league matches are held, offering an exciting opportunity for our teams to compete and showcase their skills.

 

While we strive to ensure that all of our teams are involved in these weekly matches, it's important to note that not all schools have both an A and a B team available in every age group. Nevertheless, we are committed to providing equal opportunities for all our girls. Those who are not selected to participate in the matches for a particular week engage in regular practice sessions on our courts, ensuring they continue to develop their skills and stay engaged with the sport.

 

By fostering a supportive environment and accommodating various team structures, we aim to promote inclusivity, skill development, and enjoyment for all participants in our netball league.

At our school, we strongly believe in the profound impact of rugby on the physical and psychological growth of our young boys. Recognizing the immense enthusiasm and emotional involvement associated with this sport, we have made a deliberate choice to structure our rugby program in a manner that aligns with our philosophy.

 

One of our key affiliations is with the WP Rugby League, where exciting matches are held on Wednesday afternoons. This league provides an excellent platform for our students to showcase their skills and compete against other talented teams. Additionally, we make it a point to arrange fixtures against teams of comparable strength, fostering healthy competition and growth within our ranks.

 

We actively seek opportunities to engage with touring teams, exposing our boys to diverse playing styles and fostering a spirit of international camaraderie. These encounters not only offer thrilling experiences but also promote valuable lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship, and cultural exchange.

 

By tailoring our approach to rugby, we aim to create an environment that optimizes the benefits of the sport for our students, supporting their holistic development and nurturing their passion for the game.

Cross country is new to the sports programme. At present, the children participate in the Helderberg league, where races are hosted on Friday afternoons. The races are held at various venues around the Somerset West/Helderberg area.

Chess is a wonderful extra mural where your child can develop essential cognitive and practical skills such as logic, collaboration, discipline, attention to detail and analysis. Chess classes are on Monday and Tuesday afternoons and children may choose to attend on either of these days or on both days. In winter, our Monday and Tuesday chess classes continue, as well as our Friday afternoon matches. We register with the WP Chess League, which allows us to play against schools in our area and in surrounding areas.

 

Chess is a remarkable game that is older than any other sport. As such it has existed for hundreds of years. It is partly art and intellect combined with logic whereby the slightest mistake can cost one everything. In essence, it's the only game of no luck, only pure skill and talent. It is a great teaching tool for everyone and its teachings apply to life's lessons. We encourage all students to learn this beautiful art form for the mind and grow as a person.

During our fitness sessions, the children have a chance to play TAG Rugby (every second week), use the indoor centre to row and develop their upper body strength, run in our vineyards, and do circuit training in the Prep Hall to improve their overall fitness. During the term, we test the children for upper body strength, core strength and their performance in a one-kilometre run.