RP during COVID-19: Sporting highlights
January 20, 2021

Sporting highlights and what is to come at Rydal Penrhos.

It has been an unprecedented time of change for everyone at Rydal Penrhos in recent months. The coronavirus pandemic continues to not only have a significant impact on the way we live and learn, but also the way we focus on fitness and wellbeing under current Welsh Government restrictions.

Staff have worked tirelessly to promote the benefits of maintaining physical health both during the Autumn term whilst in school and now during the second educational lockdown.

Each pupil in Years 7-12 was able to continue with their usual Physical Education provision during their time on-site, which was made possible by following every necessary precaution and everybody abiding by the COVID-19 rules effectively.

This included Cricket nets in the Sports Hall, Hockey coaching, health-related fitness sessions to enhance overall conditioning and cross-country around Rydal Penrhos’ picturesque campus.

Former professional rugby player Rob O’Donnell also put pupils through their paces during his visits to Rydal Penrhos, working on improving conditioning and vital ball skills that will stand our aspiring players in good stead when they are permitted to resume competitive fixtures in the future.

The school also benefits from having a short game golf area within its grounds, which enables youngsters to boost chipping, putting, bunker play and driving (in nets) under the watchful eye of programme coordinator Ian Richardson and other experienced staff.

This is a relatively new provision at Rydal Penrhos – with Llandudno professional Amy Boulden opening the facility in 2015.

Year 11 also got the chance to develop their footballing ability with Darren Baker, who has enjoyed a standout playing career across the region and is currently coaching at the Bangor City Academy that is run in partnership with Inter Milan.

In addition to the usual Physical Education provision, pupils took part in a wide range of sporting activities during their extra-curricular time, including football, badminton, fives, and swimming, with the pool permitted to re-open after meeting all the necessary requirements.

Despite the second educational lockdown making things even more difficult, staff have adjusted exceptionally well to the latest changes to boost the school’s overall provision from a health and wellbeing perspective.

This includes a daily online session that pupils and staff can participate in via Microsoft Teams, and teacher Nicky Head detailed some exciting plans both in the coming weeks during whilst lockdown is still in effect and once pupils are able to make their return to Rydal Penrhos.

She said: “This term, we were hoping to cover rugby, swimming, netball, badminton and table tennis as part of our provision.

“Once pupils return, we are also aiming to hold our inter-house cross-country, netball, hockey and touch rugby competitions if it is safe to do so.

“We have introduced a whole school health and wellbeing team, where we are holding live sessions after school to hopefully encourage everyone to stay physically active during the lockdown.

“We will also look to introduce some whole school challenges over the extended lockdown period.”