This year, 42 students joined the rest of the students at the National School of Sports which offers academic and sports education to our best local talent. Coaches and teachers at this school told Television Malta that a year without any schooling would not only have left a negative impact on the academic aspect, but even the sports development of their students.
This school brings together the best local talent from 19 different sports disciplines including football, basketball, table-tennis and karate. There are 232 students on the school’s campus at Pembroke from Form 1 to Form 5 who are trained both academically as well as in the sports discipline in which they excel.
Karlise Bartolo, a Form 2 student who practices bowling told Television Malta that she could not wait to get back to school and continue both her studies as well as her sport.
“When we used to do online schooling it was more difficult to understand the lesson. I understand better this way and it is better for us because if you stay indoors it is not good. It’s better to go out and be with our friends rather than being at home doing nothing. We need to wear our masks to be safe, and when we bowl we keep our masks on as well and take turns.”
One of the teachers at this school, Pawlu Zammit told Television Malta that he would have been concerned about the development of these promising talents if the school had remained closed.
“These are students who have a career which is a dual path both from their sporting discipline as well as academically, and we wanted to do everything possible for their path to continue as it was.”
He said that apart from the physical aspect he was concerned about the psychological effects because of a lack of physical activity. He added that a lot of work was carried out before school started so that teachers, coaches and their students can adapt to the new reality including the wearing of masks, maintaining social distance and hygiene.
The head of the school, Roberto Magro said that the school was given permission to continue with physical activities under stricter restrictions. Speaking with TVM he explained the various measures which came into effect, including the different times for break and the segregation of students into bubbles.
“We are following the rules of the health department, so you have Form 1 and Form 2 which have their own bubble, and Form 3 and Form 4, have a different bubble and as much as possible they do not mix with one another. They have different routes, different breaks and for their afternoon transport they all have different areas.”
Mr Magro said that the pandemic has also affected the training system for these students as much of their training had to be cancelled including their training camps. However they said that educators intend to continue with their plans so that after Covid is over, the students’ training can continue uninterrupted as in previous years.