It is our annual Sports Awards Gala this evening at the Kabira Country Club ballroom and I must say I am looking forward to the occasion immensely. It was an excellent evening last year and I am sure it will be even better this year.
I recall last year at about this time, reviewing the sporting year just gone with Senior Management Team. There was plenty to celebrate, as you know, but at the end of the conversation I did, in that irritating way that School Principals often do, ask if we shouldn’t perhaps be winning more sports trophies in the year ahead. Although she responded with considerable grace, I am sure Miss T, our Sports Director, might well have been somewhat irked, after all, sporting success depends so much upon the amount of talent available and she has no control over that.
We have not had a significant influx of students who are very talented at sports and yet we have won more trophies this year.…..how…why?
The answer is in large part down to the excellent leadership of Miss T. in her role as Sports Director. In truth, most of the international schools in Kampala (with the exceptions perhaps of Vienna College and Aga Khan) have a similar size of talent pool to choose from for their sports teams as ourselves. Sure, every now and then each school is blessed with an outstanding athlete who can make a big difference in that school being very successful in a given age group across a range of sports but, by and large, the teams in the various competitions are fairly evenly matched. This means that small margins can actually make a big difference.
Alright, so we can’t really control the breadth or depth of sporting talent we have to choose from….but there are things that are within our control such as:
- The level of enthusiasm students show for being in teams and attending fixtures (even the tough ones that are further away)
- The level of commitment players show in the field of play
- The level of commitment coaches show to their teams and their school
- How well-organised teams are tactically
- How supportive teammates are of each other
- How accurate and timely coaches are in fulfilling ISSAK rubric and paperwork requirements
- The level of leadership that is shown by players in the field of play
- The level of confidence in themselves and their teammates that players show in the field of play
- The amount of support teams get from the school’s parents and students on touchlines and at courtside
- The quality of the practice equipment and facilities that are provided to coaches and their teams
It’s in leading us in these areas that Miss T. has surpassed herself and, as a result, our sports teams have excelled . Miss T’s organizational skills and eye for detail are peerless. All of our coaches and teams have every bit of technical and practical support that they need to prepare and perform as well as possible….no “t” is left uncrossed and no “i” undotted!
However, it is the way in which Miss T. has articulated and driven home her vision for our sporting ethos and values that has so impressed me this year and, I believe, made the big difference. At every opportunity Miss T has reminded us as sportspeople , and as coaches, that we aspire to show:
- Team spirit
The results speak for themselves. The fact that we have, as players and coaches, bought into these values and followed Miss T’s lead explains why:
- There is a swimmer or athlete in every race for KISU at galas and athletics meets while other schools’ lanes are empty
- We take the biggest teams to ISSAK Cross-country Championships
- We have more trophies in or cabinets and more banners on our Sports Hall walls than ever before
But the performances and results aren’t the only ways in which KISU teams have distinguished themselves this year. Their turnout and behaviour has been excellent throughout and we have shown grace and respect whether in victory or defeat and in doing so been a credit to our Sports Director and to our school!