Championing Achievements and Growth: Reflecting on Winter Tournament Week and Beyond

22 September 2023

St Andrew's College female hockey players celebrating win on hockey pitch

Written by Director of Sports Strategy, John Haggart

A couple of weeks ago saw the end of a busy Winter Tournament Week. To all of you who were in some way involved in supporting a College sports team during that week, congratulations on stepping up to the challenge. This is also an important time to recognise the pivotal roles you played in the just-ended season.

Transition and Recognition

With the end of this season now here, it’s a great opportunity to take a well-deserved break and look forward to the next.

For most codes, there will be an end of year prizegiving event where both teams and individuals will be acknowledged for their efforts throughout the season.

The Power of Sports Beyond Trophies

Whilst it is customary to applaud individual achievements at such events, it is equally important to thank and support all those who may not receive awards, such as fellow athletes, coaches, managers, parents, and supporters, for their contributions throughout the season.

At St Andrew's, success is not solely measured by the number of wins on the scoreboard but by the way we discuss and behave around sports, and the positive impact the sporting experience has on us.

Winter Tournament Week gave us the opportunity to witness numerous teams in action across the country. Regular result updates from Director of Sport & Co-curricular Activities, Mark Lane, allowed us to unite as one (he waka eke noa) to celebrate those in our community, fostering a true sense of our positive sporting culture within the College.

My time in Auckland, like that of many other coaches throughout New Zealand, offered me the chance to observe how our rangatahi were learning to become better individuals through sports. They had the opportunity to hone their social skills in a controlled environment and improve their teamwork. While not everyone achieved success, some of the most valuable lessons in resilience come from handling failure in a productive way.

Srump and rugby boys sitting at the 2023 Rugby Prizegiving and clapping.Sporting environment can also provide a safe space for students to learn how to handle pressure and develop their understanding of what it takes to succeed, not only in sports but in academics and life skills beyond College.

In conclusion, I'd like to share an incredibly inspirational message from our Sports and Activities Coach, Mike Johnston, also known as Scrump, which he shared with our Year 13 rugby leavers at the recent end-of-season 1st XV dinner. This message directly aligns with our Sports Framework and the ethos of playing for the thistle.

‘May the Deep Roots help you grow and develop as a person.

May the Strong Stem give you the strength to overcome any obstacles

And the Mighty Thorns give you the courage to believe in yourself, to embrace every challenge that comes your way

And may the Vibrant Flower keep you connected and give you a vibrant and fortifying life’.

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