Crofton House Junior School welcomes Robyn Pendleton as their new Program Coordinator, Athletics. Her talent in field hockey landed her a spot on the Canadian national women's field hockey team from 2009-2011. But her passion for mental, physical, and social wellbeing through teaching and sport has taken her around the world.
In her early career, Robyn played field hockey for UBC as a high-performance athlete before moving to France to play for a French club. Her extensive qualifications and experience made Robyn a great fit for educational roles like teacher, coach, and school counselor as she traveled and worked in multiple countries, including Pakistan and Bulgaria. We sat down with Robyn to discuss what she brings to Crofton House and developing skills to enable young girls to stay active for life.
Robyn highlights the guiding principles she applies to the role of supporting the School, students, and coaches. Whether it’s overall management of the programs, coordinating logistics, or when she is directly engaging with the students, “it needs to be fun, it needs to be inclusive so they feel like they belong. It also needs to be developmentally appropriate.”
“Students need to feel they’re in a safe space, both physically and mentally when they come here. The program needs to be purposeful - so the girls see why we’re doing the activities, to see some kind of purpose behind it. We want to give them as much opportunity to move as possible to be active.”
Creating a great experience, she explains, “is being aware that we’re trying to make students feel like they can have the skills to be active for life. Some kids instantly love sports, but it’s important to know not all kids automatically feel that way, so we want to provide the structure and programming to suit this awareness.” She concludes, “It’s more of supporting a type of mindset in all of our learners beyond just competing to win a championship.”
Beyond the feelings that come with winning, Robyn explains how engaging in sport imparts personal strengths that can stay with the students for life. The experience instills the confidence to manage relationships and the adaptability to handle less than ideal situations. “With around 77% of girls participating in some form of athletics in the Junior School last year, which is huge, the biggest thing for me is to see how we can continue to build and grow. Getting more kids to experience the benefits of what sports can do for their life.”