Fitness Challenge Track
WGJS, co-funded by the National Lotteries Commission, is proud to present our new Fitness Challenge Course, which has been a dream in the making for many years. Our grass fields have now been graced with the presence of a solid set of fitness apparatus, set on concrete bases and covered with world-class astroturf for our learners to use and enjoy.
Each grade is challenged with completing the fitness courses set by the Sports Department which are age-appropriate and which change from challenge to challenge. Our girls are becoming aware that fitness is an important part of their lives and that practice and hard work to become fit and healthy bring with them the rewards of new energy, speed, agility and increased muscle tone, as well as that all-important element which is vital in the lives of each and every one of our WGJS learners – the element of fun!
The challenge is now a permanent part of the week for each of our WGJS girls.
Your daughter will need a black swimming costume and a yellow cap for training, as well as a pair of goggles to protect her eyes from the chlorinated water, if she is sensitive to it. Boards, pull buoys etc. are supplied by the school for the use of the swimmers. If your daughter is selected for the school swimming team, she will be required to wear a school swimming costume and cap. Both of these are available at the School Shop. It is advised that squad swimmers purchase a pair of swimming fins.
How can my daughter improve her swimming?
Doing more swimming is the best way to improve your strokes, but basic fitness is also important. Running, sit ups, push ups and strong core muscles all contribute to a stronger swimmer.
All girls from Grades 4-7 are eligible to attend waterpolo trials and be selected for the teams which play matches every Thursday.
The girls need to be competent swimmers before starting waterpolo, as it is a physically demanding sport. Good hand-ball coordination is another asset. Training sessions happen twice a week, with each session ending with a mini match. We also provide training sessions during the holidays in order to give our girls longer pool time and more time to develop their skills so as to ensure that our teams are strong enough to participate in the league matches.
This sport allows our girls who do not participate in ball sports the opportunity to maintain an overall level of fitness. The lessons are structured to let them enjoy movement to music, develop coordination and improve muscle tone at the same time. The lessons are split between junior and senior girls, each having one lesson a week. There are different themes to the Aerobics lessons and these themes are changed from time to time. The Girls will learn a variety of different dance genres such as African Dance, Zumba, Hip Hop, Line Dancing, and Ballroom. Girls wear white gym shorts, white gym shirt and white socks and takkies.
We introduce Ball Skills from Grade 1 as it is essential to start cultivating hand-eye coordination from a young age. This equips our girls to be ready to excel in all avenues when they are age appropriate to start sports. Ball Skills is made up of fun activities to practise and develop catching and throwing abilities as well as learning through play. Grade 1 and 2 have one Ball Skills lesson per week. Various equipment is used to make exciting activities and challenges for the girls – hula-hoops, cones, tennis balls, netballs, hockey sticks, bean bags, ‘step-and-catch’ flippers and hoops.
Cross Country teaches the girls the value of endurance and perseverance. Some girls show enormous potential for being great athletes and we strive to encourage these natural gifts and help them to sharpen their skills and fitness levels to be able to compete at the next level. We have two practices a week, with a Cross Country event each Friday in winter. These events are held at various locations and schools around Cape Town. The girls run a distance between 1km and 4km depending on their age groups.
We offer an extensive hockey programme which is played on our astro fields as often as we can in order to get our girls accustomed to this superior surface. We are lucky to have our own indoor-sized astro field in our middle quad. The girls start in Grade 1 with basics and skills training. All Grade 1s are expected to play hockey and to have their own hockey stick.
Hockey sticks (wooden or graphite). We advise on the cheaper wooden option for the younger girls. When purchasing a hockey stick, the most important aspect is the length – the end of the stick should reach your daughter’s hip bone. The shop assistant should be able to help you.
Sticks and balls for Grade 1 girls are available from the Bursar’s Office. Gum guards and shin pads are essential items of the hockey uniform / kit.
How can my daughter improve her game?
Encourage her to do a minute of stick work every day – dribbling the ball or pulling it from side to side, and bouncing the ball on the stick as many times as possible without letting it fall. Practice the same skills with a golf ball to improve hand-eye coordination and control.
Fitness is essential in order to maintain consistency throughout any hockey practice or match. Encourage your daughter to get running fit (endurance). Start off slowly and gradually increase distance and time.
How are teams selected?
A number of aspects are considered when selecting players for the hockey teams.
- Skills level
- Dedication / commitment
- Good distributor of the ball / team player
Teams are not cast in stone and girls may be moved to different teams according to skill, ability and commitment. This is the coach’s decision.
Our girls start with learning netball skills in Grade 1 during their Ball Skills lessons. They then progress onto team training, where the skills we focus on are fitness, basic attack and defense, co-ordination, accurate passing and positional play. We play in Circuit 12 against Reddam, Herschel, Springfield, Bergvliet, Zwanswyk, Kroenendal, Sweet Valley, Simon van der Stel, and Kirstenhof. The highlight of our netball calendar is the much anticipated PGSGU Interschools tournament in September, in which WGJS competes against seven other girls’ schools. This is an exciting tournament with some challenging matches, and it is a wonderful way to end off the netball season.
What equipment does my daughter need?
If you would like to purchase a netball ball you can find them at a sports supply store ranging from R100-R200. The size 5 netball ball is the correct ball to buy. If your daughter is set on becoming WGJS’ next star shooter, there are also netball posts and hoops available starting from R300.
How are teams selected?
There are a number of aspects we consider when selecting a player for a WGJS team. These, amongst others, are: Enthusiastic participants Accurate passing ability Understanding of the technical aspects of the game Good sportsmanship Fitness Skilled in both attack and defense
“I learn new things every time I play chess. Chess uses a lot of concentration and hard work. I enjoy the feeling of winning, losing or drawing. I enjoy telling my friends how or why I lost if I do, this way we learn from each other. I love chess and you should try it out next term.” Chesley-Ann Smith (7B)
“I enjoy chess very much. I have many friends in the chess club. I lose, win and draw. I think very carefully when playing. When I lose my matches, I learn from my mistakes. I have to concentrate a lot. I make new friends when playing chess. I love chess. You should try it too.” Chloë Leah Kröhnert (7A)