Posted on August 18, 2020 / Matters
The Duke of Edinburgh Award during COVID 19 Restrictions
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is an internationally recognised award that invites young people aged 14-25 to realise their ambitions and to change their world. Young people challenge themselves by choosing activities that spark their interest in the three sections of physical, skill and service and then set their own goals. The Duke of Ed is about individual choice; young people tailor their award and develop their career aspirations as they forge skills that go beyond academic success.
A Duke of Ed student must have self-motivation and independence, and their organisational skills develop significantly throughout the pursuit of the award. COVID 19 has created many challenges for students to continue their activities, but it is precisely these challenges for which the Award journey prepares. Many of our students coach junior sporting teams or teach junior dance classes and they have had to reinvent their contribution and offer support and tuition via zoom meetings. Most of our students choose team sports for their physical activities and have had to turn to home fitness programs to maintain the fitness levels and skill sets of their chosen sports, ready for when training and matches resume.
2020 sees Tintern Grammar with some 50 Year 9 students enrolled in the Bronze Award program and this is the largest number of students ever enrolled at this level. Max Lalor and Bailey Hanna have both just completed their awards, a wonderful achievement during these challenging times. Please enjoy what both of these boys have had to say about their Bronze Award journeys:
Bailey Hanna (Year 9)
I participated in the Duke of Ed Bronze Award in 2020. This was definitely a highlight to the year. The Duke of Ed has always been something that I was always keen to accomplish from Year 7. When I saw people in assembly getting medals for it, I always wanted to do it. So as soon as I was able to start the award, I threw myself at it. I completed my service in February. For this activity, I coached the under 12’s team at my cricket club, which involved me coaching games from 4.00-8.00pm every Friday night and running trainings from 5.00-7.00pm on other nights. It was a big commitment. I then finished my physical, which was my 26-week activity, in May. My physical was cricket during summer. I played games all Saturday and trained on Wednesdays and Thursday, so overall it was 12-14 hours a week. Once cricket finished, I went down to the cricket nets for an hour a week to finish the 26 weeks. Finally, for my skill I took part in the Junior School Reading Buddies program and I read with a Year 2 student for an hour a week for 13 weeks. I finished the award last week and am keen to start and complete the Silver Award program.
Max Lalor (Year 9)
This year, I undertook the Bronze Duke of Ed Award through the school. I chose to volunteer at Maroondah Toy Library for my service, use the competitive basketball I play as my physical activity, and challenge myself by cooking dumplings as my skill. I had hoped to improve my skills in basketball and cooking, and my employability by volunteering in a small not-for-profit organisation such as the toy library.
Luckily for me, COVID didn’t disrupt my award much. By about May, when the first lockdown was announced and the toy library had to close, I had already completed my 13 hours of service, which was mainly counting and labelling toys, and staffing the loans desk. Fortunately, I could still cook at home during the lockdown, so I was able to finish my dumpling cooking not long after. I had chosen basketball as my main activity and so had to complete 26 hours of it but, unfortunately, the season was suspended after 5 matches, or 5 hours that I could log. For the rest of this component, I had to use shooting practice that I did after school or on weekends and, slowly but surely, the hours added up and I completed the component.
I feel that it is advantageous to have competed this award, as it has helped me improve in these areas. The award is widely recognised and achieving this may help me in future when I am looking for a part time job.