As we reach the end of another academic year, a time where we celebrate the achievements and accolades of our students, I am presented with the perfect opportunity to reflect on and celebrate our student’s achievements in sport and enrichment. This has been a very different year for our sporting community and around the world: Olympics postponed; World Cups cancelled…but sport lives on at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi.
Throughout the year, over 110 CCA activities have been offered across 4 phases of the College with more than 75% of the student population participating. In addition to CCA activities, we have also had Mustang’s football, swimming, netball and gymnastics training on Saturday mornings to compete and prepare for events and competitions next academic year.
This year, the Flying Mustangs gymnastics squad entertained us at Founder’s Day, opening the show with a bang! The team members have continued to train hard on both Tuesday and Saturdays to create a new and exciting performance for our end of year assembly. New Flying Mustang members will be welcomed next term by trial only. This will consist of an open trial, where all students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their skills as they apply to become a Flying Mustang.
Whilst others in Shanghai are having restful Saturday mornings, our Mustangs have been kicking up a storm at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi, training in Terms 1 and 3 to keep their skills sharp and ready for competitions next year. With over 30 students attending Saturday training each week, we cannot wait to see what our Under 11 and Under 9 teams can do next season.
To end our Saturday training sessions, Mr McGilly led the Junior House Football Tournament, hosted by the Mustangs: a 2-hour event that ended with Song House being victorious!
Fixtures will be played by students from Year 3 to Year 11 next year – GO MUSTANGS!
Being able to boast that they are only sport to have competed outside the College this year, the Mustang swim squad have entered six virtual gala events. Competing with schools across Shanghai - as well and internationally within our Dulwich College family of schools - students have battled to exceed their personal bests and post records for the Mustang team both individually and as a team. Over the course of the year, some students have shaved as much as 5 seconds off their personal bests! Incredible!
Let’s not forget our Nemo squad: the Year 1 and 2 students who train hard to develop their skills, preparing them to enter the Mustang Junior Team to compete with other schools.
With five teams training every week throughout the year, our netball students certainly show the Mustang Spirit. The netball community at Dulwich College is strong and allows students to opportunity to develop their skills and play games both socially and competitively. It is a joy to see our students work together to grow as a team, from learning to play in Year 3, to elite level Year 11 players playing netball for IGCSE.
Next year we are on track to join the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS) and Shanghai International Schools Activities Conference (SISAC) for sporting competitions, adding to the current British Schools League (BSL), Shanghai Swim League (SSL) and China International School Sports Association (CISSA) in which the Mustangs currently participate. These new leagues will allow for a higher level of competition against more schools, in more sports. We will be introducing volleyball as a core sport for Senior School to enable competitions within Shanghai as we join SISAC.
For our Junior School students, we have confirmed our entry into the annual Suzhou tournament – a big day for football where teams from around China visit and compete. This tournament has previously seen our under-9 football team in the plate finals with a nail-biting penalty shootout. In addition to the football and netball tournaments, we will also be attending the Dulwich Games, hosted by Dulwich College Suzhou, in March. This will involve a full weekend event of athletics, football, basketball, and swimming against our family of schools.
Inside the College, we aim to foster a spirit of sporting excellence based on our Mustang values of pride, passion, desire and belief. It is always great to see our students extending these values to their lives outside of school. Throughout each year many of our students participate in sport outside school and achieve their own accolades. On such example is our Year 8 national level fencer, who has achieved gold medals at national tournaments. I would like to congratulate and celebrate our students for their participation and achievements across dance, fencing, tennis, badminton, Brazilian jujitsu, judo, swimming, basketball, floorball, gymnastics, football and so many more.
Next academic year our sporting programme will be further enhanced with the addition of our first ever Sports Scholar. The scholarship programme, successfully launched this year, sought candidates who are high level athletes with a strong desire to compete and immerse themselves into the sporting culture of the College. We are excited about the imminent announcement of the successful Scholar, and look forward to working with this student, leveraging their passion and talent to take our sports to the next level.
As we emerge from COVID-19 and are able to travel more freely throughout China and potentially abroad, I cannot wait to see how our Mustangs will continue to develop and compete at a high level.