I have been preaching over the past two years that athletics needs to be revived within schools. Firstly it serves as a major contributor to the conditioning of the majority of all other codes and secondly, if given the opportunity boys will get involved and participate in one of the oldest sporting codes on the planet.
Glenwood’s athletics has a very proud past with athletes representing their province and country on a number of occasions in various capacities. At the peak of athletics in the schools, Glenwood was competitive across the board, winning the final D&D that took place at Kings Park.
Recently, the boys have started to train specifically for track and field and many have made the KZN Schools team as well as the KZN clubs team. This proves what many of us have been saying for some time in that the boys will participate given the opportunity and correct training environment.
Last year, Glenwood managed to get 7 people into the Southern Coastal KZN team to travel to S.A. Schools but unfortunately, due to other sporting commitments, only one boy ended up travelling. Andile Mtshali is to be congratulated for his dedication and persistence.
My goal is to bring back the old rivalry that existed amongst the schools. Many schools have allowed Physical Education to slip by the wayside. I believe this is where the apathy sets in and eventually, the boys start to lose interest and waist their natural talents used in many other sports. It is not a co-incidence that since Physical Education has lost its importance in the education syllabus athletics has nose dived to almost obscurity. We desperately need encourage schools to revive their P.E. programmes and bring back the athletic base that existed for decades, teaching young boys important skills like co-ordination, general athleticism and running fitness. This will invariably rub off onto all the more “prominent” codes and assist the coaches in developing healthy, conditioned athletes.
Glenwood’s vision is to re-instate track and field into the sporting curriculum as part of the mainstream sporting codes. We would like to bring back the Octangular and Pentagular as well as the competitive meets between rival schools. This can only take place if all schools encourage the athletic programme and if all schools, parents and boys finally accept track and field as part of a bigger picture that benefits both them and their school.
2010 is a big year for Glenwood as it is our Centenary year. I would like to see track and field play a bigger role in the celebration programme for next year.