Portsmouth High School recently celebrated its sporting successes for the year with an evening of celebration.
Guest speaker, former Head Girl and alumna of the school, Dr Emma Gowling, spoke to the girls about the importance of a work life balance and how sport plays a significant role in wellbeing and mental health.
‘Having a work or school life balance is entirely possible. It’s about finding things that help you relax and switch off. Wayne Fields, an author, wrote “the best six doctors anywhere are sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise and diet.” Our society has the tendency to put pressure on people to be a certain type of person. When you are scrolling through social media, it’s really hard not to make comparisons with others. It is important for you to be you and that you are happy with being you.’
Dr Gowling, currently a doctor at Queen Alexandra Hospital, continued:
‘Scientifically we know that exercise releases endorphins and neurotransmitters which boost mood, improve concentration and help you sleep. This was noted as early as Roman times, when Cicero (a Roman politician and lawyer) said, “It is exercise alone that supports the spirits and keeps the mind in vigour”.
‘Having a sport as a way to exercise and switch off from school is brilliant, both for your physical and mental health. Take time out to stop and reflect. Exercise may be all that is needed to tip the balance back in your favour. I would encourage you, even on the busy days at school or work, to think of what makes you ‘the best you’ and seek it out.’
Girls across the senior school received trophies and cups celebrating their achievements in sports ranging from tennis and swimming to athletics, hockey and football.
‘Our sport curriculum is broad and balanced and encourages participation at all levels of expertise,’ said Headmistress, Mrs Jane Prescott. ‘There is also a wide choice of co-curricular sports offering girls the opportunity to try something new and discover new interests and talents.’