Emily Maythers, our 2019 Sport Captain and athlete extraordinaire, spoke at a recent assembly about the importance of sport in her life. Aside from the physical health benefits, she noted that mentally, you will be better prepared to tackle each day while learning valuable life skills along the way. Emily is well recognised in the wider community as an exceptional sportsperson, so she should know! She encouraged the one and all to have a go and find some form of physical activity that suited them as the rewards will be worth it. Her speech is below.

Hey girls, so as you all know by now I’m Emily and I’m your sports captain for this year. Today, I just wanted to take the opportunity to talk to you about what sports means to me and what I hope it will eventually mean to you!

I really believe that sport has the power to change your life and I hope that each of you can find a way to incorporate physical activity in your schedule. In society today, being busy is definitely the norm but sport is a way to even just for an hour, remove yourself and your mind from the panic and focus on something physical. Moving your body helps your mind to relax and it’s much easier to see things clearly after taking a proper break.

Now, I’m sure that you have all heard before that physical activity helps you to maintain a healthy body, helps to reduce the risk of some chronic diseases and can even help mental wellbeing and academia. But I want to step away from those classical statistics for a minute and focus more on what sport can really mean to you. For me, I see sport as a way to see my friends and have fun. I see it as a daily challenge that I can conquer, a way to separate myself from everything else and just focus on the black line at swimming or the beautiful sunrise while I’m paddling out on the water.

Before I go any further, just to clarify, I don’t necessarily think you should all start getting up at 4am to go swimming. I’m also not going to lie and say that I just bounce out of bed in the morning ready to go, in fact that’s far from the truth, it’s a struggle but it’s something that I love doing. It’s an amazing part of my day and I can honestly say I have never regretted going to training.

I encourage you all to experiment with different forms of physical activity, find something that excites you, that challenges you, there is no better feeling than knowing you have done something you have never done before. Start with something small, go for a walk with your dog or take a family bike ride to the cafe rather than driving. It’s these small lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference to your overall well being.

Also, please don’t hold back because you think sport is boring or scary or embarrassing. Doing sport with friends is so important, I wouldn’t make it through all my training without some of mine! It adds so much joy to my week to see all my friends everyday and have good chat in between sets and after training. I have met so many lovely people over the years and I would love for you to be able to experience that same sense of enjoyment and teamwork that I am fortunate enough to experience each day. I know it can be daunting to meet new people but it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of options right here at school to join a team in a familiar environment!

In addition to its other benefits, sport provides you with some of the most valuable life skills. These include leadership, teamwork and of course agility. Each sport has so many pathways available to you and it’s so important to take all these opportunities. For example, you may become a referee for you local club or you might become a captain for one of the many school sports. All of these roles help you to build confidence, time management skills and communication networks.

This year, we are looking at the Danebank SEAL of Approval and while each of those components relate to sport in some way I wanted to bring to your attention “Agile’. While you may associate agility as being able to physically move quickly while playing sport, it’s just as important to be mentally agile and able to adapt to change.

Just like in a game, making quick, firm decisions is key both at school and in life. It’s so important to be able to act in accordance with the world around you and to be willing to accept things as they change overtime. In an ideal world, everything we do would be planned perfectly but in reality things change and it our ability to handle this change and come up with a new way to handle the situation that can make us successful.

Finally, I encourage you all to live an active life, find your own passion, find the sport that you love to hate, the one that drives you crazy but you absolutely couldn’t live without. Do what you can to be healthy, eat breakfast, limit excessive junk food and incorporate sport into your schedule. I promise it will help you in all sorts of ways, not just physically but mentally as well. If you're stuck, come and see me, the PDHPE department or even some of your sporty friends!

I will leave you with one of my favourite sporty quotes...

Emily Maythers, Year 12, 2019



Danebank girls are extremely enthusiastic about playing sports and they have many opportunities. They are encouraged to do their best, to learn new skills and to be good team members, applauding others for their achievements. To read more about the sports on offer go to: www.danebank.nsw.edu.au/sports/

To read more about the benefits of participating in sport at school or locally and why this is just as important as academic subjects, take a look at Healthy Kids website here.