This term has seen records tumbling across many sports at BSB with fantastic results in several disciplines and events making it one of the most successful seasons in the school’s history.
Running from January 31 to February 28, BSB partnered with the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) to lead the 2022 global Virtual Games competition. The Virtual Games were an exciting opportunity for Secondary students to compete against their international peers through a virtual Swimming and Cross-Country Meet. Twenty of the best British International Schools in the world hosted their own meets and submitted their students’ scores for ranking.
In the cross-country competition, the standard was extremely high in all age groups and our high school boys did a tremendous job to come third in their category. But it was in the swimming competition where BSB made COBIS history by coming top in all four categories – middle school boys and girls, and high school boys and girls. Such an achievement is unprecedented, and our proud students and staff celebrated achieving such a feat.
Our swimmers again excelled a few weeks later when BSB hosted the International School Sport Tournaments (ISST) Regional Hub weekend. Again, four categories were available, and again – unbelievably – four championship titles were won by BSB! In total, the swim team entered eight of the most competitive events of the year and won every single one of them. To say it was exceptional is an understatement – success at this level is the reward for four years of extremely hard work from staff and students.
Alongside this, basketball brought home their first ever ISST championship trophy, a wonderful achievement when we think the programme started only five years ago. The successful Junior Varsity Boys team can now also be added to the record books.
And finally – to keep up the momentum of past rugby glories – ISST launched their first ever 7’s tournament, so it was only fitting that BSB should claim this title to add to the many rugby achievements over previous years.
Such phenomenal results do not happen by chance. So, why is BSB such a top performing school in the global sporting arena?
These results and the many other successes that BSB have enjoyed over the last months and years can be traced back to the refocusing of the school’s sports philosophy in 2016.
With the opening of the state-of-the-art Jacques Rogge Sport Centre that year, it was only fitting that a new, clear mission for sports should be developed at the same time. That mission, to be ‘A Global Beacon for Sport,’ would be presented to the Board of Governors at the end of 2017 in the form of the 20/20 Vision: Sport Strategy.
This strategy included five Whole School commitments: Every BSB student would be given the platform to become the best swimmer they could be; the whole school, from Reception to Year 13, would receive two hours of specialist PE per week; Enrichment would invest in three Tier One sports that run year round, whilst also expanding recreational opportunities through further investment in external specialist coaches; PE provision would improve through recruitment, curriculum content, initial teacher training and academic provision, and students would have the choice to find ‘their’ sport and continue with lifelong healthy activity.
These commitments were ambitious and required a collective faculty effort to achieve. The adaptation of existing structures, fantastic recruitment and a school commitment to support and investment have ultimately led to BSB hitting all the above targets.
In addition to that, BSB has gone far beyond what was originally planned.
In our bid to become a Global Beacon for Sport, BSB is now the only British School in Europe to still be part of ISST, and in recent years has become one of the most successful, claiming over 20 titles in less than two years. We have also become the only British School to gain membership to the Sport Council of International Schools (SCIS), the premier middle school conference, and the only International School to be part of Independent Schools Gymnastics Association UK (ISGA), and consistently finishing top nationally in the top ten.
We have delivered on our swimming promise too. A swim programme with over six hundred students has been created, which has led to BSB becoming the leading international school in Europe for swimming – as our recent winning of all four categories at the COBIS Games and ISST events has proven.
Football has been established as a Tier 1 year-round sport in partnership with English Premiership club West Ham United, who have placed one of their Academy Coaches at the school to spearhead the programme. This has led to BSB being accepted into the ISFA – the Independent Schools Football Association UK.
BSB has also built on its commitment to bring the best staff possible to the school by recruiting world class teachers and coaches. In the last five years we have secured a GB Olympic swimmer, a GB Commonwealth Games swimmer, a Belgian National Footballer, a Belgian National Gymnastics Coach and a Belgian National Rugby player to name but a few. As outstanding as these appointments have been, the most important ingredient all these staff possess is their commitment to the values of BSB – our Guiding Statements. They fit our culture. We now have a team of fifty plus professionals working hard with our students to achieve our sporting goals.
Additionally, BSB has created a partnership with TES to become one of the few International Schools to run an internal teacher training programme which culminates in two newly qualified teachers graduating in Sports from BSB every year. On top of this the school invests considerably resources in the professional learning of all staff new and longer standing and this has resulted in a consistently high performing and highly motivated team of practitioners.
As well as the coaching and the facilities which have helped to increase our sporting success, BSB has also invested in the minutiae behind our winning culture. The introduction of physio support, nutritional advice and an on-site strength and conditioning coach has helped professionalise our elite athlete programmes and give our students the extra edge they need to compete and succeed at the highest level.
Of course, nothing could be achieved without the dedicated students we have here at BSB. Incredibly, our Sports programmes consistently boast a 90% sign up for students across the school who want to be involved in sport. And this high sign-up percentage is repeated year on year.
Our students want to improve and achieve great things but more importantly, they sign up for sports to enjoy themselves! A recent survey across the school asked what it is that students enjoyed most about sport at BSB, and the resounding answer, which is more important than anything else we can offer, was ‘FUN.’
And behind all the glory, investment, achievements and success, if students are not having fun, none of this success would be possible.
Interested in sports at BSB? Take a look at our sports page