St Dominics Newcastle – transforming sport through innovation

As an independent school revered for its high standard of education and focus on each individual learner, St Dominics Newcastle discusses the necessity and importance of sport and how the school is successfully elevating learners through its offerings.

The Newcastle-based Curro Select school believes sport is an essential ingredient in a learner’s development and education. It helps develop social and problem-solving skills and boosts self-esteem while creating invaluable physical, mental and emotional health opportunities.

‘Well-rounded, healthy young people will be motivated to excel academically and will be less likely to entertain risky behaviour. At St Dominics Newcastle, we are keeping our learners’ spirits positive and have enjoyed the benefits of continuing with sport uninterrupted this year. Because St Dominics Newcastle is a Curro Select school, we receive professional support from Curro Sport and have access to national and international sports players and coaches’, states the school.

We are very excited to say that a professional rugby clinic will be hosted at St Dominics Newcastle in April, with the likes of professional rugby players, Frankie Horne and Philip Snyman training players and coaches who wish to attend the clinic. Head of Sport, Raymond van Niekerk states ‘St Dominics Newcastle cares about the well-being of our learners and will continue to be committed to providing every opportunity available to our learners.’ This can be seen in the steps the school and Curro as a whole take in ensuring its learners’ needs are brought to the forefront. Van Niekerk explains, ‘Curro is an affiliated partner with a scholarship programme named ASM. Some of their ambassadors are Ernie Els, Bryan Habana, Enoch Showunmi and many more. This company ensures that our learners are eligible to obtain scholarships to South African or international universities all over the world.’

‘During the pandemic our sporting programme has not been affected in a negative way at all. In fact, it has enabled us to be more innovative, and I think our learners will benefit from all the new ideas. We are very excited for the 2021 sports season’, says Van Niekerk. Showcasing the school’s resourcefulness, he says, they recently participated in virtual athletics and swimming gala events and learners will be ranked nationally within the Curro group of schools.  Learners will also receive recognition for their efforts. ‘We have also participated in the Curro Online Chess League Tournament, in which two of our under nineteen learners were victorious in the high-school division. Bobby Ding took first place nationally, and Aran Hsu took second place,’ boasts Van Niekerk.

During the first term, St Dominics Newcastle took part in various sports activities and had a full online coaching programme where school coaches and current national sports players trained learners. Additionally, multiple tournaments are currently being scheduled for learners.

While not wanting to give away all the up-and-coming surprises, Van Niekerk explains the school will also have a Super 8s hockey league and an indoor hockey league for their learners, where fun PHL-style rules will apply. According to the school, sport is more than a mere extramural activity. It forms part of the daily timetable, where learners participate in sports lessons and Physical Education on alternating weeks. These lessons include private tennis coaching by professional coaches, soccer, hockey, athletics and physical conditioning. ‘Our first term will be concluding soon, and the second term will bring more exciting sporting opportunities for learners.’

Although St Dominics Newcastle has been working on skills and fitness training with their rugby players, rugby’s official kick-off is at the beginning of the second term. ‘There is a lot of excitement surrounding opportunities that rugby matches and tournaments could possibly be resuming full-scale. At St Dominics, we will be working with under 6 to under 19 rugby players, and have already started organising some of the teams,’ affirms Van Niekerk.

Other sporting activities to look forward to in the second term will be hockey, netball, tennis, chess, Minecraft leagues, golf and outdoor pursuit activities such as cycling, hiking, mountain biking and trail running.

Furthermore, the Grade 10 learners will be travelling to Camp Solomon in April, offering them the opportunity to get out into the fresh air and experience life outside their homes’ confines and comforts.
The camp is aimed at teaching learners’ valuable life lessons, which include:

  • for learners to respect the environment;
  • to be grateful for what they have;
  • to take responsibility for their actions;
  • to learn about themselves and others, and
  • to remove themselves from their dependence on technology.

Mountain bike stage races will take place in May this year, and the school looks forward to the opportunities in this area. St Dominics Newcastle is extremely excited to announce their partnership with Cycle2Ride, an initiative supported by Curro to promote cycling as a medium for family cohesion, relaxation, fun, and possible career choice for those truly interested in becoming professional athletes. The school states, ‘we will be making announcements in the near future on events and workshops for C2R, and this activity will be open to the community for anyone to participate.’

Van Niekerk points out, ‘here at St Dominics we do not limit our sports players, and COVID-19 will not stand in our way. We shall do it the safe way, the healthy way, but will keep our players on the highway. We are going places and the sky is the limit for our learners.’

With the easing of the lockdown restrictions, the school is ecstatic in the fact they can also finally host their annual golf day, which was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. ‘We now feel that it will be safe to host this event under strict safety protocols and look forward to the event and seeing old friends.’

Adding to the excitement, St Dominics Newcastle is also looking forward to the opening of the restaurant and coffee shop, Deja Brew in the Douthwaite Centre (the all-purpose centre), where visitors can enjoy refreshments and get some work done while overlooking the sports fields and the activities. For more information contact our Head of Sport: / 034 312 8316.

This post and content is sponsored and provided by St Dominics Newcastle

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