04/07/2022 - 00:00

Go, Penrhos Dragons!

04/07/2022 - 00:00


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Go, Penrhos Dragons!

So, you want your daughter to build resilience and self-esteem? You want her to be happy and confident in an environment where she can be herself – free of stereotyping and harassment. Supporters of co-education often argue the ‘real world’ is mixed gender and therefore education should be mixed gender too. However, the ‘real world’ is also one in which women and girls still aren’t equal – therefore, girls’ schools argue that educating students in a safe and supporting single-sex environment empowers girls to grow, to aspire to become strong women who will demand inclusion, stand up for equality and believe that anything is possible.

Girls’ schools offer learning environments and experiences that shape girls’ self-knowledge and confidence – from leadership positions and wellbeing programs, to physical education and sporting activities, girls’ schools are focused on building confidence, resilience and self-esteem. Building on its already outstanding co-curricular offer, Penrhos College in Como is very excited to have recently introduced two new sporting programs to further challenge and grow its students.

The new Penrhos Athlete Development Program (ADP) is designed to identify and develop potential and aspiring athletes; to positively challenge, stretch and stimulate each individual, and to provide students with personalised sporting journeys and opportunities to achieve personal excellence. It focuses on students’ achievements and aspirations, with support infrastructure including education and training in life habits, working with assigned mentors and establishing connections in sporting partnerships.

Students complete modules in a range of associated areas such as Training Principles, Injury Management & Prevention and Sports Psychology. Fitness, strength, training, conditioning and recovery all form vital components of the program - just as athletes are encouraged to physically ready themselves, mental strength is also recognised as a significant component in the preparation of training for athletic success.

“The ADP program is different to anything else because it empowers students to grow their mental toughness – to strengthen their performance in heart, body, spirit and mind in pursuit of their personal bests,” says Principal, Kalea Haran. “The philosophy of our ADP is to cater for individuals through personalised programs that are uniquely tailored to their specific training needs. Specialist teams will help students to focus on their strengths, to set life goals and to strive for personal excellence.”

The ADP program runs parallel to Penrhos’ existing Physical Education program, providing exceptional opportunities for students to explore what personal excellence means in the sporting realm; to grow their sense of pride and passion around sporting performance; and to explore the holistic development of an athlete - including character, sportsmanship and emerging leadership - for improved athletic performance.

Penrhos’ Head of Physical Education, Brad Ramsay says the program is “quite a unique opportunity for girls to focus on their individual development across a range of sport specific modules.”

Penrhos has also recently launched its brand-new AFL-facilitated program with Perth Football Club Inc (PFC), in an association which marks a new era in AFL for both the College and PFC.

As part of the exclusive new partnership, Penrhos secondary students have the opportunity to participate in PFC-coached training sessions under the coordination of Brady Grey, former Fremantle Dockers player and current West Coast AFLW assistant coach.

Almost 100 Year 6–11 Penrhos students attended Mineral Resources Park, home of both Perth Football Club and the West Coast Eagles, for the first intro event with PFC. Paul McCarthy, Penrhos’ Dean of Co-curricular, says he is also “very keen to progress the idea of hosting broader community AFL clinics, to further establish Penrhos as a destination for all girls in the area with a passion for footy.”

The partnership with PFC was formally announced at the Perth Football Club Presidents Luncheon at the final game of the 2021 WAFL season. Club President Bob Shields announced that “Perth Football Club sees this as the first exciting step into its Women’s Football project with the target of entering a Rogers Cup (under 17s) team into the AFLW competition in 2023. We very much hope to see some of the Penrhos girls in that inaugural team.”

Penrhos Principal, Kalea Haran, explains, “International research progressively shows a significant majority of girls to strongly prefer all-female physical education and sporting activities, in which they can be less self-conscious of their body image; where they do not have to take part in competitive mixed-gender activities which reinforce social stereotypes and undermine their enjoyment of the physical exercise which is so important to their long term physical health and mental wellbeing”. 

“It is widely recognised that students who play competitive sports develop confidence, character, leadership, commitment and self-respect - they become skilled at setting goals and managing their time. Our girls’ success in sport is due to their incredible commitment – now, through the Penrhos Athlete Development Program and the Perth Football Club facilitated AFL program, our students are presented with still more opportunities to access the highest level of coaching, training, conditioning and support, to help position them for success both on and off the field”.


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