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Rice leader - Tovia Fui
Photo by Brendan Biggs

Rice House - Leader's Report

Brendan Biggs —

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Rice House Leader’s Report

It gives me the greatest pleasure, yet with a touch of sadness to write this report on what has been a challenging year for Rice House. 12 months ago I was appointed the privilege to not only be a College Captain but to also lead Rice house in 2015 – with of course Rice house leader being more important.

2015 saw a year of challenge, after following the impressive back to back victories by previous leaders Daniel Smith and Tama Tukaki, I felt the pressure to take the house to a third straight victory, but with myself being the only Rice member in the Student leadership team the pressure began to creep in. Also with the other three house captains being my close peers it sparked a rivalry between us and made this year’s competition much more fierce and what I believe, the most competitive, brutal and most intense inter-house battle to date. This year with the great Mr Campbell stepping down, we lost a charm but gained another with Mr Coll stepping up as Dean. Our planning and organization began early as we wanted to start the race, stay in touch and finish on top.

The year began with the two competitions swimming and athletics, although we had some very talented and skilled athletes, we unfortunately found ourselves on the bottom of the table for both events. Swimming being the first event, although we didn’t finish where we wanted, we still managed to keep in touch on the score board due to participation points. “Jump in the pool, you’ll get a point” was the motto of the day and which helped us avoid dropping behind early. This was the same for Athletics, we had strong contenders in all events throughout all ages which helped us keep in contention, but it was the participation of the house that keep us close with the other houses. Although the other houses skills out shined our men, the participation and commitment of this house kept us well within the other houses at the end of the day.

End of term we were sitting on 4th places, but it still didn’t mean we were last. Mr Cole and I knew that Swimming and Athletics are only the beginning and we felt that it was time for the strengths and talents of our Rice to be ignited. Rice house has always and always will be an academic house and this was proven in the many Bruce Challenges. Bruce Challenges were key ways for our house to crawl up the ladder week by week as we began to take 1st place in majority of these challenges. Whether it was paper plane challenge, eating challenge, times tables, Rice house will always turn up in numbers and support and would never be a time where we would be short in numbers which some cases won us points by just being there. Rice house was definitely of the rise which came in surprise to the other house creeping up to third and second position.

STC week was the week that we all were looking forward to, full of house events and plenty of house points on offer. This saw Rice house come out firing by taking our Tug of War challenge and also taking the crown in Battle of the Bands, this put us in second place with only 100 points behind first. STC day with Haka and Singing Competition we rose to the challenge knowing this is our change to come from fourth to first place. Singing a mix of New Zealand’s own Six60 and Rap King Kendrick Lamar, it took the crowds favourite yet the judges telling a different story with a result of 3rd equal with Marlow. Hoping to change things around with our Haka, we went out with the game plan of taking the Haka speed low and performed our hearts out; it was still not enough for our judges seeing us come in 3rd place again. Although we were robbed in our great performance that week the Rice boys carried on that passion and competitive attitude throughout the remainder of the year.

During Term 3 was a quiet year as Bruce challenges began to come to an end with other school departments commitments, and as much as we fought to get back up top, time was our enemy and it won in the end. It was with deep sadness that I wasn’t able to carry on the winning streak and finished the year in a solid third place. Although we didn’t get the result we wanted this year, leading Rice house has been a true honour and leading this house has been a great experience and my final way of giving back to the house. I would never choose any other house over Rice.

2015 challenged me to be a great leader for my house, to be an inspiration and lay out a path for the next generation of Rice leaders to follow, although I would now be remembered as the leader who couldn’t carry on the streak, but I by far am the luckiest leader to have the Rice house that had hearts filled with passion pride and made this year a joy to lead. I’d like to thank the Senior Management team for selecting me to be the Rice Leader of 2015, it gave me the opportunity like no other and enabled me to cope under tremendous pressure, I’d like to the thank Mr Cole for his hard work as Dean, as well as all Rice teachers who played roles as mentors and chiselling me into become a better leader as well as a better person. I’d also like to thank my year 13 Rice brothers for being there and supporting, you all were true STC men and I could also count of you for all sort of things. Five year journey with you all has been a pleasure and you have served as fine Rice men. Lastly I’d like to thank the Rice student body, lads you have been amazing to lead, you were all true Rice men who never gave up and loved to have fun, keep up the hard work and retain the cup that belongs with Rice, may you all follow the example of our Name Edmund Rice and grow to inspire many others.

Rice house will always be underdogs and will forever be on the rise, with the leadership of Thomas Dravitzki and the help of Joseph Spijkerman, Jacob Mangels and Ben O’Connell there will no doubt be a year of success. Strive for greatness my Rice brothers and continue to work hard as a brotherhood.

God bless - Tovia Fui