The Bolles School hosted a PGA Tour-themed Field Day event on Thursday, May 24 at its Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus to give students a chance to play outside and learn about one of the school’s biggest neighbors.
This year's theme was THE PLAYERS Championship, which offered students a chance to study a PGA Tour golfer who participated in the local tournament. Past events have featured the NFL, the Olympics and the TV show "Survivor."
"(Field Day) has a curricular connection which is a real secondary gain for something like this," said Bolles PVB Head of School Peggy Campbell-Rush. "It fuses athletics, whole body, the emotion, the physical, the social and the academic which really makes for a whole child and great child development."
During the Field Day event, students were divided into special golfer-named teams including Spieth, Mickelson, Fowler and Thomas, among others. Students in grades Pre-K through 2 competed in athletic challenges in the morning, while students from grades 3 to 5 took to the green after lunch. Games ranged from relay races in which students ran with a ball on a rubber plunger, to a challenge that saw students jump through hoops.
Coach Melissa Stone, a gym teacher who has been teaching kids fitness for 34 years, helped organize the event and come up with fun games for students to play.
"Our motto here is if you have fun, you won," Stone said. "Even my seniors who are graduating, they all know that motto and it makes all of them feel like they're successful whether they lose a game or not. They tell each other, 'If you had fun, you won,' so they all feel like winners."
Stone asserted that adults can sometimes over-emphasize competition and it's important for children not to feel discouraged because they lost a game.
"Everybody is competitive no matter what we do," she said. "But that's why I use that motto and stress it over and over again and it kind of keeps the level down a bit."
Bolles has a strong connection to THE PLAYERS, Campbell-Rush noted, and the tournament contributed to Field Day 2018 in several ways.
"The 17th Green is just right outside of our fence," she said. "They've been great partners with us and we work very closely together on many different things. Their involvement in this today was very special and very meaningful to us, because we are such good neighbors."
According to Susanna Barton, communications coordinator at Bolles, next year's Field Day will take place in a new gym and multipurpose building at the Ponte Vedra Beach campus, which should be completed this summer.
For more information on the Bolles School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus, call (904) 285-4658 or visit the Bolles website at www.bolles.org.