On Wednesday 10th June, we were able to host a special day for some of our students as they took part in the sky sports living for sport program. Ben Pipes, who was the Great Britain Men’s Volleyball captain at the London 2012 Olympics, and has played professional volleyball across Europe, joined us in the academy for the day.
A group of 20 year 8 and 9 students were selected to work with Ben during the morning. These students were chosen based on their excellent work in either PE and BTEC Sport and will now form a newly created leadership group for sport within the academy.
The day began with Ben going through his story, talking to the students about school, where he got into voleeyball through his career as a professional sportsman leading up to the pinnacle for him, which was the Olympic Games in London. The six keys to success (mental toughness, hunger to achieve, people skills, sport/life knowledge, breaking barriersm and planning for success) as outlined in the sky sports program were then discussed.
The second session was a more practical look at team building and people skills. The students were tasked with solving problems for a variety of different activities ranging from ordering themselves alongside a rope through to sporting challenges looking at reactions and travelling in different ways. They really enjoyed this part of the day and worked fantastically well within their groups.
The final part of the morning was then a volleyball session outside led by Ben. They looked at the three main skills (dig, set and spike) before progressing into some small-sided games to practice the skills they had learnt. They also were given then chance after this to reflect on the qualities Ben had as a coach and what it is to be good leader.
The afternoon involved a new group of students working with Ben, as the leadership moved inside to look at organising events and plans for the next steps they will make as a group moving forward. Again the afternoon group were selected to allow them the chance to work on their volleyball skills looking at the key shots, and some of them were able to show some real ability during this with Ben commenting on the fact some of them could be play to a good level if they joined up with a club.
The whole day was a great success, with all students thoroughly enjoying and gaining a lot from working with Ben.
Leah said ‘I enjoyed hearing Ben talk about the way he made his way to the Olympics and learning how to play volleyball.
Harvey added to this ‘He treated us as equals and worked with us like we were his team. We also worked together in fun team building activities that brought us together as a group.’
Ben told us how impressed and pleased he was with how all students worked throughout the day and they were a credit to the academy during their work with him. A great success that we will look to build on for the remainder of this year and into next.
Photos to follow.