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Persistent Pursuit for Life-long Fitness

September, 2008
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  Brian Bedford, the new athletics director at Beijing City International School (BCIS), believes the goal of physical education is to make the students healthy and fit for life.

  “We always talk in school about life-long learners. But in PE, it will be nice to have life-long fit people,” said Brian, who comes from Burlington, Canada and joined BCIS this September.

  Half of his 16 years’ teaching experience has been abroad.


  Before BCIS, Brian was the athletics director at the Cebu International School, in Cebu City of the Philippines, for five successful years.

  When Brian got to the Cebu International School, there were about 350 students, and 50 of them were playing sports. Brian helped expand the sports program, which used to only include soccer. Sports conferences were attended, and sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, rock climbing and martial arts were developed. A lot of kids were brought into the program. So, when he left the school, there were all together 450 students, among whom 250 were playing various sports.

  At BCIS, he is hoping to achieve the same goal: to teach kids to enjoy all the sports, not one sport, but many sports. “(When they enter universities), if friends are going to play badminton, they know how to play. If friends are going to play ice-skating, they know how to skate…”

  This year BCIS has become a full member in ISAC (International Schools Athletic Conference) and ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools). That means BCIS students will play with international schools at different levels in basketball, volleyball and football organized by both school organizations.


  In addition, the school will have a large swim program, badminton, handball, as well as enrichment activities like rock climbing and mountain biking.

  Those activities already exist at BCIS, but Brian and his colleagues are stepping up the emphasis on sports and building school spirit, teamwork and a sense of school pride. All the sports teams will be more professional, and the activities will be more formal and serious.

  “Our goal is to make kids appreciate and enjoy sports for life,” said the director.

   As a PE teacher, Brian loves to see the students finally accomplish skills correctly and see the look on their faces when they feel that sense of fulfillment. “PE is a very rewarding subject to teach because the students enjoy it while learning skills and health benefits that they can use for life.”

  In his spare time, Brian goes to all kinds of sporting activities. If there are students playing a football match at another school, he will be there; if there are students going swimming, he will be there, too.

  Brian himself likes to do anything related to sports, like badminton and hockey. His favorite stuff is wave-water rafting, and he was even on the national wave-water rafting team in the Philippines.

  “If there is something going on, I am at it.”

  Watching the Beijing Olympics was so far the best thing he has done in the city. His favorite sport to watch was the women’s softball. Although the Canadian team played well, he was more amazed to see the Japanese team beat the US team whose pitcher was considered the best in the world.

  Apart from sports, Brian’s interest lies in seeing different places around the world and meeting the people there.

  “I like to get things started and rolling and then take new challenge…I am cruising and seeing around,” he said.


By Qin Chuan

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