Competitive School Sport Back With Virtual Fixtures

Schools in the Gulf will compete against other students around the world, despite all the travel restrictions due to COVID-19.

With virtual learning continuing until the end of the school year and sport off indefinitely, schools will play fixtures online.

The concept’s functionality was showcased when Kings’ School Al Barsha squared up against Hartland recently. Each school nominated athletes and those individuals filmed themselves completing a reaction challenge.

The videos were then compiled by teachers, the individual results were tallied and an online viewing party allowed students to watch their classmates and competitors’ efforts to find out the victor.

A winner was announced to a captivated audience and Kings’ Director of Sport and fixture organiser James Bedford told eager listeners on a DXBPE webinar about its success.

“One element we were missing in Dubai – where we’ve got a large competitive program– are the fixtures so we thought about how we could approach this,” he said.

“We actually held a virtual training session on Zoom so all of our kids were online at the same time and we provided some activities that they could do in their own time to improve their agility.

“For the actual fixture we set a day and time…we opened up a 12 hour window where kids had to submit their entry. That gave them an opportunity to train before but also kept it quite structured.

“The following week after we collected the videos we held a watch party via Zoom when the kids were able to watch themselves playing the kids from Hartland and see the score.”

Teachers from around the world tuned into the webinar and were thrilled to see an example of how to bring some teamwork and competition back into the school PE program.

Schools from Spain, USA, UK and the Phillipines have all put their name down to take part in a virtual fixture in the coming months and GYS will cover all the results so everyone can enjoy some competitive sport!

Watch a short video about how Kings’ match against Hartland was put into practice: