The Year That Was… in Athletics and the Arts

It’s now time in our “The Year That Was…” series to shine a light on two of the hallmarks of the #ASHexperience - our athletics and arts programs. Throughout our stories on the past school year in our divisions, we have of course covered events and examples from both of these programs, but there were so many amazing things that happened throughout the last year, we thought an extra article was in order. As we have spoken about in previous examples, the school year was one of two halves, with the latter half carried out in a mainly virtual learning environment. This of course challenged our entire school community and in particular these two programs; athletics and the arts. After all most of the activities you associate with these programs are physical, on campus ones. Luckily, we have incredibly creative and resourceful administrators, coaches, tutors and teachers, who along with our amazing families, came together to provide unforgettable #ASHexperiences - no matter the environment.

In our athletics program, the school year began with a flurry of activity, the fall season was quickly underway, with sports sign ups, team allocations, and practices and trainings in full swing for soccer, volleyball and cross country. This also included the launch of our mascot Troy the Trojan’s very own @ashathletics Instagram account. Throughout the school year (even during virtual learning), Troy was busy sharing highlights from our athletes and coaches, making sure to capture these #ASHexperiences. So if you haven’t already make sure to go give Troy a follow and scroll through the Instagram feed for your very own visual highlights reel of the year that was!

In our high school reflection we spoke about the high school musical and what a highlight this production is on our school’s calendar each year. The musical is an integral part of the arts program and for many of our students the opportunity to be involved in a production such as this fosters and develops their creativity, beyond their studies in the classroom.  Every year, the quality and production value is amazing, and this year’s Freaky Friday was no exception. More than 90 of our high school students were involved in the production, both in on-stage roles and in the equally important roles of backstage and production crew. We spoke with some of the students before their performances to get a sneak peek behind the curtain and hear all about what was involved in this year’s musical.

For our ASH athletes, competing in tournaments and having the opportunity to travel to other international schools throughout Europe is an important part of the #ASHexperience, and during the first half of this year this was possible. In November, ASH was proud to host the NECIS U14 Soccer and Volleyball Tournaments and welcome over 300 students from other international schools to compete on-campus. Simultaneously, many of our other ASH athletes in ISST and NECIS teams traveled to places such as Athens, London, Brussels, Hamburg, Luxembourg, Zurich, Amsterdam, and The Hague to compete. Well done to all our athletes on their sportsmanship during these competitions!

In February, our arts program hosted an amazing on-campus event, showcasing student talent and hosting guest artists for the pARTy event of the school year. Students young and older shared and exhibited their artwork as event-goers visited the various art stations dotted around ASH to participate in a range of art activities and workshops, with the event culminating in a student-run fashion show. The student creations that took to the runway focused on recycled and sustainable fashion, honoring this year’s themes of identity, sustainability and culture. We can’t wait for the next school year’s pARTy and hope this is part of the #ASHexperience for a long time to come.

Transitioning to the virtual learning environment (VLE) brought about a great deal of change for everyone in the ASH community, in particular our athletics program and the need to refocus what is usually in person, team training. Our coaches set to work on coming up with ways they could operate virtual trainings for their athletes and ways to engage them beyond their digital devices. In May, our ASH athletes were fortunate to be able to join the first ever LSSA virtual sports festival and compete with 12 other international schools, most from the London area, but some as far away as Thailand, Switzerland and Belgium. The contest had 41 events, 5609 videos or photos submitted to organizers and 25,353 total points awarded, and excitingly, ASH emerged as the winners of this inaugural event. This was an amazing effort not only by our athletics department, coaches and athletes, but also by our families who got involved also - and was a welcome change in the lockdown routine!

These are just a few of the amazing highlights and #ASHexperiences we have had in our athletics and arts programs over the last school year. To read more stories from this past year, please visit our newsroom and we can’t wait for another amazing school year ahead!

#ASHexperience #thejourneymatters