The Many Benefits of Sports at YCIS Shanghai

Alongside academic excellence in the classroom, sports and exercise form a core component in students’ daily lives at YCIS Shanghai, all year round. From break times and PE classes to Co-Curricular Activities and participating in Secondary athletics divisions like ACAMIS, sports are a huge part of school life at YCIS. Studies have shown that physical activity helps children develop in a whole host of positive ways, from general health to improved academic results.

Led by Experts 

At YCIS, there is a comprehensive system of both Physical Education (PE) Programmes and Co-Curricular Activities, run by exceptional, highly-qualified PE teachers and staff who encourage our students to be their best in both body and mind. 

According to Mr Geoffrey Slade, the Head of PE at YCIS Puxi Secondary, “We have a range of different students with a variety of interests, so we ensure that our Co-Curricular Programme is diverse and broad. This diversity and breadth provide opportunities for all students to be active, grow, and compete in different activities that they may well enjoy into their adult lives.”

Mr Matt Uffindall, Athletics Director at YCIS Pudong, added to this sentiment, saying “Having access to great coaches is a real boon to our department. Our teachers have exemplary sporting backgrounds and have always been highly-committed to sports. We also partner with select organisations who share our ethical beliefs. We’re delighted to be working with Glasgow Rangers over the next year, for example. That partnership stems from having good relationships in Shanghai, such as the work we’ve done with our current athletics partner, Multi-Sport.”


More Than Just Exercise

“Our long-term goal is for all students to lead a healthy and active lifestyle not only throughout their time at YCIS but also throughout their adult lives,” added Mr Slade. While sports are essential for children’s physical development, “participating in different sports allows students to also learn about hard work and perseverance, being respectful, working as part of an effective team, and helps them develop leadership skills that they will use when they graduate from YCIS.” 

Furthermore, Mr Uffindall notes how YCIS tries to encourage a 360-degree approach to sport and health, saying “We are trying to develop an understanding of healthy, active lifestyles and healthy living off the court/pitch. We encourage students to go home and talk with their parents about what a healthy lifestyle is. We also link sports with our well-being programme, addressing athletics from a different angle in terms of diet and nutrition, as well as mental and physical health.”

Getting an Early Start

Beginning in our Kindergarten classes, our children are encouraged to learn the joy of being active and having fun using the school’s indoor and outdoor playgrounds. From Lower Primary, the Physical Education (PE) Programme develops children’s fitness, co-ordination in movement, and co-operation with their classmates. Primary students are also encouraged to get involved in the vast range of Co-Curricular sports activities available at their campuses.


Competing on the International Stage 

A wide range of sports teams are running across YCIS Secondary campuses, and students have the opportunity to compete in leagues against other international schools, both locally and across China. YCIS Shanghai is an active member of the China International Schools Sports Association (CISSA), the Shanghai International Schools Athletic Conference (SISAC), and the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS). Our students achieve individual and team sports awards in their leagues every year.

“Students who are enthusiastic about competing at higher levels will be competing against other schools and in international competitions as part of SISAC and ACAMIS. In the last two years we won trophies in many different sports including swimming, football, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, touch rugby, and badminton”, added Mr Slade.

Beyond Medals and Trophies

YCIS PE staff emphasise that dedication, effort, and co-operation are just as important in sports as the actual performance on the court or field. This view encourages an appreciation of sport without creating hierarchies based on skill or performance. 

At YCIS Shanghai, all students are encouraged to participate in sports, and the aim of the wide-ranging sports, PE, and CCA programmes available is for every student to graduate from YCIS being a better version of themselves, having a better understanding of what sports is and what a healthy and active lifestyle can provide, and possessing all the discipline, determination, and teamwork and leadership skills that only an education at YCIS can provide.

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