Students Give Virtual Fixtures The Thumbs Up

When you can’t get enough of sport and you’re in lockdown, virtual games will just have to do.

PE teachers from around the world have worked to create a method that will still allow their students to enjoy a scheduled fixture now and again.

Kings’ School Al Barsha students Jenna Shackleton,11, and Jasper Girven,10, are two students who needed the outlet. PE teacher Jessica Ross said both students’ families are heavily involved in sport and have enjoyed the chance to see their children compete online.

“Both of their parents are usually very involved with us and sports. Jenna’s mum works at the school so she’s always pitch side when she finishes work and Jasper’s mum and dad are at every game game so I think for them it’s actually quite nice for them to watch the games as well,” she said.

But what do the students think of competing in challenges on the Home Court application in order to compete?

Shackleton said it is harder than some might expect. Although students only have to submit a one minute video of them completing a fitness or agility challenge, a lot of effort is put into the footage.

“I competed in the basketball (challenge) with Ms Ross and I found them fun but they were also quite challenging. I took so many videos I can’t even count. It took me quite a few tries but I was happy with the result in the end,” she said.

“I felt kind of like myself again but I still didn’t feel right (in comparison to regular sport).”

Girven said he also put in maximum effort.

“(For) the competition that we did I was literally on the Home Court app trying to get my best score from about 10 o’clock to 2, the maximum time,” he said.

That earned Girven a most valuable player award when Kings’ defeated Laude Newton College in Spain.

“I was very pleased because I didn’t know what to expect from a Spanish school because we only compete against schools in Dubai,” Girven said.

“I was quite worried (when I found out we were playing a Spanish school) but I was also quite excited to see how we do against other countries.”

As two under 12 athletes, both have just been given the all clear to return to academy training by the Dubai Sports Council. Jenna will be rushing back to the Elite Player Program at Active Netball when she can, while Jasper’s main focus will be a return to cross country running and rugby.