Football is played towards the end of the first term and into the second term. Providing football skills begins with our boys in Grade R. Here our up-and-coming stars are taught ball skills and the beginnings of football. As the boys progress to Grade 1 and 2 they are taught further skills which they apply in mini football games against other schools. From Grade 3, the boys are trained in field positions and play proper matches against other schools in the area. As the boys move up in the senior school we attend Saturday tournaments. The boys that qualify are given the opportunity to try out for the Easterns team through a series of trials. The boys end the season with the inter –house games. Our football team is coached and guided by two enthusiastic young coaches, Mr Nyawo and Mr Mbalane, with the help of Mr Mokoena . Their dedication has helped our football boys grow from strength to strength.
Cricket is a very popular summer sport amongst our boys. It is played in the first and third term. In Grade R, the basics of mini cricket is taught with skills on how to hold a bat, how to bowl and how to field. From Grade 1 to 2 the boys play mini cricket where they have the opportunity to try out all the positions, i.e. bowling, fielding, batting and wicket –keeping. Grade 3 and up, the boys play hard ball cricket. Here the positions are more specific and the boys are trained in the specific aspects of cricket. We also have some enthusiastic senior school girls who are taught how to score the cricket game and they accompany the boys to their matches to score the games. In the third term as the year ends the boys play their inter-house games. Our coaches train the boys to play their best and to go to each game with confidence. Mr Nyawo and Mr Mbalane,, our coaches, both Eastern Gauteng Players, bring their knowledge and enthusiasm to each practice and game.
Our boys and girls are catered for at all levels. Grade 1 players begin with basic skills, focussing on ball –racquet– hand –eye co-ordination. They play in the first and third term, giving them time to alternate tennis with a winter sport. In Grade 2 and 3 the children are put into smaller groups and are able to practise the skills learnt in Grade 1. Here they are also taught the rules of the game and scoring. In Grades 4 to 7, whilst coaching is still provided, the children begin to hone their skills and to challenge one another to try out for the squad. Squad players play against each other regularly and move up and down the ladder. They are challenged by the intermediate players who can then move up if they prove themselves. These boys and girls make up the St Columba’s team that goes out and plays matches against other schools. We have a professional coach, Ken Smith, who comes in and works with the squad and the Wednesday players. Championships and Inter-house games are played towards the end of the year.
Netball is a winter sport that our girls thoroughly enjoy and wait in anticipation for each year. It is played towards the end of the first term and the whole of the second term. Competent coaches prepare and teach the girls from Grade 1 to 7. Grade 1 is where the girls learn the basics of ball handling and foot skills. The Grade 2 girls participate in a few friendly matches and friendly tournaments in order for them to practise their skills and learn to play on a team. From Grade 3 upwards the girls are divided into their age groups and they are entered into the ISASA friendly league, along with about seven other private schools. We enter the annual Inter-Dominican tournament where the girls strive to be the best and bring home the trophy for their team. Our season ends with inter-house matches and a fun match where the open girls play the teachers—which is always a highlight of the netball season.
Swimming is offered both as an extra-mural and as part of the P.E. lesson during school hours. This is handled by our sports-coordinator as well as dedicated swimming coaches brought in specifically to train the children. During lessons the children are divided into 3 groups: beginners, intermediate and advanced. Each group is taken by a different coach and trained and guided at their own level. In the first term our annual Swimathon Fundraiser is held. This is a fun morning in which all children from Grade 00 to Grade 7 participate. Each child swims up to 10 lengths and is sponsored for their swim. This is held on a Saturday morning and much fun is had by the children, staff and parents. Our annual Inter-House gala is also held in the first term on a school morning and here the Grade 1 to 7 children get to swim in a safe but competitive environment as each house does their best to come out at the top.
Those children who qualify, become part of the team and they train twice a week. These are the children that represent to school at the various gala’s through the swimming season.
This is a new addition to our sporting activities. It was started in 2005, but really took off in 2006 with many of our children participating with great enthusiasm. Practise is every Friday afternoon and Tuesday morning before school and the cross-country meetings are on certain Friday afternoons where all our cross-country runners compete very enthusiastically.