Switzerland has the ideal environment for all kinds of year-round sports. The mountains and lakes are perfect for summer hiking, climbing, cycling, and swimming and in the winter Switzerland is famous for its skiing, skating and other outdoor snow sports. If you send your child to boarding school in Switzerland these are some of the incredible outdoor activities that await them! However, sports at boarding school are not limited to the offerings of the surrounding area. Each school has its own unique fitness programme that builds important skills for students as they go through adolescence and develop into adulthood.
Brillantmont International School offers a large variety of options for its students including all the team sports that are played in Switzerland such as football, basketball and volleyball. Other core sporting activities throughout the year at the boarding school include badminton, tennis, swimming, and general fitness at the gym.
Mr. Tim Rouge, the Sports Co-ordinator, explains that “In the fitness classes we are quite flexible with our programme and often go out to the lake for swimming, or organise larger badminton tournaments in the badminton park, or go to the stadium to run or play football, or go skating in town. This spring we are also organizing a cycling tour!” As part of the extra-curricular activities at the school, the students also take a lot of excursions into the mountains to ski or snowboard. These field trips are supported by staff and each student can develop their skills whether or not they have ever been on the mountain before, let alone seen snow! “Depending on their skiing skill level, students can ski in a group which takes off some of the pressure. They can ski at their own level and progress with support.”
Creating confidence through sports
Mr. Rouge believes that sport activities for young people at school not only keep them healthy and fit physically, but it also has a lot of other benefits. “Through sports students can learn respect for others, respect for themselves, and respect for rules - all values of Brillantmont.” It can also develop their social skills. If someone is shy, but they are good at sports, they can share this with others and it can positively affect their character. Mr. Rouge goes on to say that “some students can find they are struggling with academics, but then they realise they are good at sports, it really helps them out. Ultimately, the confidence sports build can help them with other subjects. Sports can motivate students.”
How to motivate the less sports-oriented
There are always those students who do not like sports or are reluctant to try a new one. Especially with young teenagers, it can sometimes be difficult to get them motivated. Mr. Rouge tackles this by trying to focus more on enjoyment. He also spends additional time encouraging and pointing out to them that what can be gained in terms of fitness, nervous system strength, and muscle development between ages 14 and 18 that stays with you into adulthood. Mr. Rouge says, “I encourage the less enthusiastic participants to be proud of what they do accomplish and to work towards something so that they can be proud of themselves for it.” Support from other friends in group sports can be very encouraging for students as well and builds the important skill of teamwork.
Sports in a Swiss Boarding School and beyond
By introducing students to sports at our Swiss boarding school, some students continue doing sports at university. When this is the case, it can help students make friends and connections more quickly in college where there are thousands of more students than at Brillantmont. The sports programme at Brillantmont therefore tries to introduce a wide range of activities to children, both team and individual sports, to give them the opportunity to find a passion for something physical and social that they can continue later in life.