Hero photograph
Sports Dinner 2015
Photo by Brendan Biggs

Sports Dinner 2015

Brendan Biggs —


Good evening, as Sports Leader I would like to welcome esteemed guests, in particular Hamish Bennett, parents, teachers, friends and students of the college to the 2015 Sports Awards Dinner. Tonight, we recognize the success that St Thomas’ has had in the sporting arena. Firstly, on behalf of my peers I would like to say thank you to the coaches, managers, teachers and parents for all of your support. The time and effort that you put in is priceless. So again thank you.

Looking back over the year that was, all I can say is what a year it has been for Sport at St Thomas! Personally, I feel that 2015 may be one of the best overall sporting years St Thomas’ has seen. We have had great performances across all codes. I feel each code has been able to harness the achievements made by other codes in the school, building a great culture within. This success started from the senior teams in the school, with the 1st XV finishing in the Top 8 of the UC Championship, the 1st XI Football team finishing as one of the top 18 secondary school teams in New Zealand, the 1st V winning the Div 2 Basketball League, the 1st XI cricket team poised to get back into the top division, the senior rugby league team making it to the final of the New Zealand Developing Schools Tournament and lastly Rowing gaining notable results at South Island Champs and Maadi Cup including South Island gold for Alex Coulthard and Jakob Mangels, and Isaac Robertson gained 5th place in the single skulls A final at the Maadi Cup.

As well as these team based achievements there are endless individual performances, provincially and nationally that will be recognized tonight. St Thomas’ is relatively small in terms of the number of students, but that doesn’t stop us from punching above our weight and competing and succeeding at the top level provincially and nationally. The way in which we as students conduct ourselves on the training field and during competition is reflected in the results that we come away with. Our passion and our pride in the crest on our chest and our strong brotherhood means for great success, and is something to be extremely proud of.

This year has also seen sport at St Thomas’ step forward in terms of the governance and processes as we look to continue to grow and continue to achieve consistently at the top level. As sports leader I have been working on constructing a sport code of conduct which will be introduced at the start of 2016. This code of conduct aims to provide a standard that students must show in terms of attitude and commitment. I believe this will aid our sportsmen in improving their level of performance in trainings and throughout competition, resulting in greater achievements. My vision is to see the attitude; commitment and pride that we show continue to grow throughout all sporting codes at St Thomas’.

So let’s remember why we play sport. We play for the enjoyment, we play for the comradery, and we play for the pride in wearing the St Thomas crest on our chest. It all begins for each of us when we step into the sporting arena. We know that this is what we love to do as Sport holds a special place in our hearts. We put in the work and the time to get better because we want to. This is what sport teaches us - to give it your all. It's that feeling of knowing that you've given everything you have in you that makes it worth it. But it doesn't just apply in an athletic sense. That determination and perseverance that you learn is going to stay with you all your life. You're a competitor, so use it to your advantage. Throughout my seven years at St Thomas’ I have been involved in many sporting teams and have thoroughly enjoyed every moment. Through all the high and lows, it has always been evident that STC men don’t ever give up. This “do or die” attitude needs to be engrained in each and every one of us if we are to continue to compete at the top level on the sporting stage.

Too often in the past STC teams have been seen as the underdogs, however in recent years and in particular this year, I have seen this trend change and we are now respected and deemed formidable opponents. For this to continue we need to have self-belief in all that we do and front each sporting challenge like true STC men.

Tonight we recognize the achievements of a number of individuals in the room, but I want to say congratulations to everyone. To my fellow year 13’s, it's been a great 7 years and good luck in your future endeavors. For those of you who have more time here, I urge you to remember why you play. Play for yourself, play for your teammates. And make sure to cherish every season, every game, every practice; it'll be over a lot sooner than you realize.

I look forward to hearing about more success next year…

Thank you for your time and have a great evening… Ryan Adamson

Staff Comment

This year the 10th Annual sports dinner was held at the Hornby Working Men’s Club. 250 Students, parents and staff were in attendance in what was an excellent night celebrating the successful sportsmen at St Thomas of Canterbury College. The theme of this year’s sports dinner was failure and having the courage to aim high and be prepared to fail and learn from our failures. The other important theme that was bought through the dinner was that of character and our ability as human beings to overcome challenges when we are faced with them, how we learn how to deal with what life might throw at us through the experiences we gain in sport. We were delighted to have Black Cap Hamish Bennett as our guest speaker; he spoke about the resilience and hard work that is required to play professional sport. Hamish was able to articulate his challenges throughout his journey as a top level sportsman, having to deal with injuries, fluctuations in form and changes in coaching regimes.

During the evening I shared some statistics with the audience, 90% of our boys play sport and 70% of our staff coach our teams, STC is in an excellent position thanks to the on-going involvement of our staff and parent community that continue to support our young men to strife for excellence.

A big thank you goes out to our sports co-ordinators Jacob Allen and Ben Rapson for organising an outstanding event. We were fortunate once again to have the services of staff member Keri Campbell as MC. We look forward to 2016 with optimism as we once again are able to strengthen our coaching stocks which will translate to more successful sportsmen and sports teams at St Thomas.

Steve Hart