Our RHS 2nd X1 - doing us proud! by John Webster

2nd XI boys football showing the spirit of “Riccarton Way”

On a warm afternoon in late August, a group of Year 11 students stepped up for one of their biggest challenges of the two Term 2nd XI competition.

The had reached the final of their Division 3 league and were competing for the 1st or 2nd placement position in the league. They were playing against a senior group of students from St Andrews College, at St Andrews grounds - always a daunting task.

Throughout the season this team, which had started as a group of boys who just wanted to play football for fun, had grown into a group of hard-working team players.  For many of our weekly games we only had 10 players yet would be competing against teams with up to 8 substitutes.

Week after week I watched this team develop and grow, and was continually amazed at how they reflected all the key attributes of the 'Riccarton Way', time after time. The showed Excellence by continuing to achieve to the best of their ability on the field, they showed Honesty if they thought the opposition had had a decision go against them. They showed Commitment by turning up every week even when they only had 10 men and finally, they won their games and showed Respect to the opposition, no matter how hard-fought the game was.  There was never a single hint of arrogance or a superior attitude.

This last fact was perfectly highlighted by the way they behaved in the final. The team had played with passion for 80 minutes and under the eyes of some very vocal St Andrew’s supporters. We finished the game victors, winning 7 goals to 2, however, this was not the defining factor that reflected how wonderful this group of young men are. It is what happened at the end of the game.

The RHS team had just won and had shaken hands with the opposition players and referee. They then went further to ask the St Andrews team to join them in the middle of the pitch and started to sing waiata.

The echoes of the voices of the two teams singing 'He Honere' will stay in this authors memory for as long as he lives. The two teams who had fought valiantly for 80 minutes, were as one entity. The Riccarton students had led the Waiata and encouraged the St Andrew’s boys to join in. The picture shown can not portray the feeling of Aroha or the magic of that special moment which took place on that warm August day.

I congratulate the boys on winning but more so I congratulate the boys for how they have grown into wonderful citizens.