5 June 2020
A squad of international sportswomen have shown their support for pupils at St Margaret’s School in Aberdeen with a series of inspirational messages designed to motivate them as they take part in their first ever virtual sports day.
Olympic swimmer Hannah Miley; ex-Scotland Hockey Team captain Sam Judge; 400m athlete Kelsey Stewart; Scotland’s international football team captain Rachel Corsie; Commonwealth Games judo silver medallist Steph Inglis; Scottish Netball Captain Claire Maxwell and Scottish swimmer Rachel Masson all responded to a request from the school’s PE department for video messages designed to boost the pupils at today’s event.
As with every school, the annual sports day has been cancelled due to the current lockdown, but St Margaret’s has planned a virtual event in which every pupil, from nursery to sixth year, can take part.
A timetable of Sports Day activities – including The Great St Margaret’s Bake Off, the House Crest Challenge and Staff Challenges – will take place throughout the day, culminating in the announcement of the winning House and award ceremony.
Head of PE Karen Norval said: “Last year’s sports day was cancelled altogether because of the terrible weather, and this year we have the pandemic; however, we are not letting this stop us. We wanted to make this sports day as fun and inclusive as possible, so we have designed a programme of activities that everyone can take part in at home, whatever the weather.
“We are also very aware that many parents may be working so, rather than just do everything in one day, the pupils have had the past week to complete their tasks and send their videos in for us to judge. We are kicking off the day with a special video, and there will be an opportunity for girls from each House to perform their chant before activities begin. We will update the scores regularly on the pupil hub so that everyone can see how they are getting on.
“The messages of support we received from all seven sportswomen have been fantastic, with their advice and tips on keeping active in lockdown, motivational hints and tips and good luck wishes. We very much appreciate them taking the time and effort to send them to us and we believe they will provide a real boost for the girls.”
St Margaret’s, which is Aberdeen’s only all-girls school, has embraced a new way of learning online since the outbreak of Covid-19 led to the closure of all schools in March by using Google Classrooms and setting up a pupil hub.
Pupils have continued with their PE by recording themselves performing and uploading their activities to the virtual classroom for assessment by teachers.
“It has been a very different way of learning for the girls and the teachers, and we have had to adapt to using technology to deliver lessons in ways we have never before,” said Karen.
“We have tried to make things as normal as possible for the girls with classes posted first thing in the morning. We have had to make allowances for the fact that everyone is living under different circumstances – not everyone might have the necessary equipment, and many have parents who are working from home.
“The commitment and effort everyone has shown has been fantastic. It has been a difficult time, but we have all come together as a community – the St Margaret’s spirit has shone through.”