This has been Summer Tournament week and a number of teams have been competing against other schools in their respective sports at venues around the country.
I have just returned from two days at Lake Karapiro where Maadi Cup, the national secondary schools’ rowing regatta is held every second year, and two days in Palmerston North with the A and B Volleyball teams at the National Secondary Schools’ Volleyball tournament. Our senior water polo team have been competing in the South Island Secondary Schools’ Water-polo event and today marks the first day of competition at the South Island Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships.
It is a real pleasure spending time with the students, their coaches and their parents during such events. An enormous amount of planning, preparation, fundraising and effort goes into each trip that goes away, with each trip a valuable learning experience for all involved. I was very proud of the girls I spent time with and the way they all represented the school, their families and themselves. The bonds formed on tournaments and trips like these are unbreakable and the skills learned, on and off the court/pool/course, contribute so much in supporting girls to become independent young women. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the volunteer coaches, managers and parents who accompany these teams and without whom these trips would not be possible. I know that many have taken time off work to attend and we really appreciate your commitment.
We are now two weeks on from the terror attack in Christchurch and our school continues to support members of our Muslim community. Like all other New Zealanders we are striving to make sense of what happened and to ensure that, through our actions, we contribute to making this country a more inclusive place all the time, not just at times like this. As I write this the National Remembrance Service being held in Hagley Park, Christchurch is being live streamed in the hall for those who wish to watch it. Earlier this week a number of our students were delighted to meet Jacinda Ardern as she visited the Dunedin Mosque. The outpouring of love and support in the wake of the tragedy has been wonderful to witness. As a school we must now ensure that we continue to celebrate diversity and welcome and embrace everyone in our community, regardless of their race, religion or background. We must also speak out against racist, sexist or divisive language or actions of any kind.
Next week our Year 12 students will be out of the school at the Geography and Biology camp at Borland Lodge, Fiordland or on work experience. I wish all concerned well for the week ahead.