Hero photograph
Football was the winner on the day
Photo by Patricia Hopcroft

STAC Exchange a raging success!

Miss P Hopcroft —

Columba College hosted the annual winter STAC Sports Exchange with St. Andrew's College (Christchurch) and John McGlashan College (Dunedin). Hockey, football, netball, basketball and debating were played in the spirit of keen competition and friendly rivalry.

With the STAC exchange being cancelled last year due to Covid 19, the fact that we were able to hold one this winter took on extra importance. The girls were eager to get some games under their belt and to get an insight into the competition they will be facing later on in the year during winter tournament week.

St Andrew's College arrived in the early afternoon on Sunday 23rd May and we kicked off the exchange with basketball and netball. All other codes, football, hockey and debating, were to be played on Monday, 24th May. With the exchange taking place over two days this required STAC students to be billeted out among our Columba families. This was an awesome opportunity for Columba girls to make new friends and create relationships. This experience is always very memorable and girls often will request to have the same billets back again the following year. The generosity of the host families is always duly noted. We would also like to thank the Columba hostel for offering to host a big group of STAC students!


Both games pulled good crowds. Due to being struck with injuries and multiple members of the team away due to other sporting commitments, STAC was able to pull away early in the first game on Sunday night to get their first win (68-46). Nevertheless, this didn't dampen Columba's spirits and they fought right to the end; this was a valiant effort by our girls, especially with having no subs during most of the game. The next match on Monday was a real crowd pleaser. With the gym packed at lunchtime, Columba was determined to get on the scoreboard early. Columba gained an early lead and it was a tightly contested match. Unfortunately, they went down in the end by 4 points but it was a close encounter and made it a thrilling game for all spectators. 


Hockey was a very tight tussle between the two schools. Columba worked hard as a team to get the ball down to their goal. It was 3 all with a minute to go when STAC snuck another goal in, ending the game 4-3 to STAC. This made for a nail-biting game to watch and there were plenty of supporters and parents out cheering the girls on. It was a most valiant effort by our Columba First XI team!


On Sunday, the Columba team came straight from their club game as they had a double header the same weekend as the exchange. This made for an awesome warm up and the girls were ready to go when the whistle blew. STAC had numerous girls who were development players and played in the Beko league along with a NZ representative. This was amazing for Columba as they were able to play against some of the best netball players in the country. Columba fought hard in both games; they showed grit and determination while holding their own against their opposition. In the end, STAC claimed victory in both games. Columba is proud of the team culture and effort our Senior A Netball showed during the entirety of the exchange. 


Columba College claimed two extraordinary wins on Monday when they came up against both the STAC and JMC debating teams. 

The two moots debated were: 

  1. the house would prioritise efforts to adapt to climate change rather than prevent it 
  2. there is a book that exists which includes everything that will happen in your life; this house would read the book. 

This was an amazing result and we would like to congratulate the following students on their success: Sophie Davis, Sophie Bowmar and Jody Syme


Football was the first game to get underway early morning on Monday. Teams headed down to the artificial turf at Logan Park where the game was to begin at 9:15am. Our first XI savoured the chance to battle against one of Canterbury’s top-ranked secondary school football teams, with a key aim of getting stuck in and maintaining a never-give-up attitude. The girls did just this and, although they went down 6-1, they continued to have smiles on their faces. It was a delight to see the camaraderie between all team members.

We would like to thank all our athletes who represented Columba with pride during this annual exchange, and our Columba families who so willingly took billets to enable the exchange to go ahead. To our teachers, coaches, managers, referees, parents and supporters who came to watch the games and offer their services voluntarily, we also thank you. 

It is great to see two schools competing at such a high level, with amazing sportswomanship that continues to be commented on by staff and supporters. The STAC exchange is always a favourite in our school sport diary and we are already looking forward to 2022!