We at CAS Trips have always believed that a balance between health, wellbeing and education are crucial. As a former teacher, CAS Trips Director Simon Armstrong, always understood the pressure students experience before graduating high school. With grades, friends, social commitments, college or university applications, there really is a lot going on. Therefore, a balance between sports, health and mental wellbeing has always been a priority in Simon’s educational philosophy.
One of the core principles of the International Baccalaureate is the practice of Creativity, Activity and Service. It therefore came as no surprise when the IB World Schools announced that student-athletes would be supported in their dual career aspirations, allowing them to balance sport and education concurrently.
The World Academy of Sport (WAoS) had been working together with 22 IB World Schools on a pilot project to accreditate them as WAoS Athlete Friendly Education Centres. IB World Schools offering the IB Diploma Programme (DP) that are accredited by the WAoS, can now apply for an extended three-year DP for those students who wish to follow an athletics pathway alongside their DP studies.
This will showcase great change for those students who are eager to pursue a career in sports. As part of the pilot program, the IB and WAoS put together a study, which highlights that 73% of students said it was helpful that the IB was offering an extended study time for those interested in an athletic career.
In addition, the study shows that students enrolled in the extended athletic program were getting an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per night, compared to 5-6 hours of sleep for the students completing the IB diploma in two years. Considering that Sleep Foundation suggests an average of 8-10 hours, this is an amazing improvement for students!
We at CAS Trips believe that sports is vital for the development of young adults, no matter if you are pursuing it as a career or just for fun. We believe that sports is vital in education and is the reason why we have included physical exercise and activities as part of our trip itineraries – no matter the destination.
Some schools have physical education as part of their curriculum until high-school. At that point, students need to choose what classes they take, especially those students taking the IB. For IB students, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to go to classes, study, write papers and opt in for P.E.
However, participating in a sport teaches teenagers many valuable life skills including leadership, the value of teamwork, and cooperation. In addition, athletic teens learn how to handle stress and pressure, set goals, and work hard towards that goal. Partaking in a sport is also a great social activity, as it allows teenagers to build relationships with their coaches and teammates.
These are all skills that are also needed during their higher education and future careers.
We integrate at least one form of activity during each of our CAS Trip – from white water rafting in Medellin to kayaking down the East River in New York. We’ve seen that a balance between mind, body and soul ensures happy students, happy teachers, and happy parents!