What Does Our Sports Framework Mean?

15 February 2024

St Andrew's College four male rowers out on lake

Written by Director of Sports Strategy, John Haggart

In 2024, St Andrew’s College is officially introducing the 'Balance is Better' approach across its sporting programmes, spanning from the Preparatory School and throughout the Secondary School. This philosophy prioritises students' well-being and aims to maximize participation, while fostering skill development in an enjoyable environment.

Some of the key principles of the Balance is Better approach:

  1. Participant-Centric Philosophy

    • the approach places the participant first, emphasising their holistic growth and enjoyment;

    • it seeks to strike a balance between competition and personal development.

  2. Maximising Participation

    • while maintaining a competitive attitude, the focus is on inclusive participation;

    • students are encouraged to explore their potential and develop skills at their own pace.

  3. Sense of Belonging and Connection

    • by nurturing a sense of belonging, students feel connected to their sports community;

    • this connection extends beyond the boundaries of St Andrew's, encouraging lifelong engagement with sports.

The StAC Thistle

Our sporting symbol, deeply rooted in the spirit of St Andrew's College, embodies the values, behaviours and actions we aspire to within our sporting.

We are acknowledging the different parts (cornerstones) of the thistle being articulated, each representing essential aspects for growth and success in sport:

  1. Deep Roots (Whanaungatanga)

    • like the sturdy roots of the thistle, we learn to grow and show respect in sports;

    • it can manifest in various ways, whether it's acknowledging opponents, appreciating coaches, or respecting who has gone before us, most teams will identify their own definition;

    • an inspiring example comes from the Australian Tennis Open, where winner Jannik Sinner attributed his success to his parents’ unwavering encouragement and freedom. Their understanding and lack of pressure allowed him to pursue professional tennis. In his acceptance speech, Sinner expressed, “I wish that everyone could have my parents because they always let me choose whatever I want to do.” Their support shaped his path to success.

  2. Strong Stem (Rangatiratanga)

    • for the thistle to flourish, the stem must be robust. The stem represents taking responsibility for individual actions;

    • by fostering a sense of responsibility, we create an environment where everyone thrives.

  3. Mighty Thorns (Kia Maia)

    • thorns symbolize courage in sports;

    • whether facing tough opponents or having courageous conversations, we honour bravery;

    • trusting the College and coaches also requires courage – a shared commitment to doing what’s right.

  4. Vibrant Flowers (Whai Wahi)

    • a well-watered thistle blooms with engagement and allows people to flourish;

    • creating an inclusive, enjoyable sports environment where people love what they do benefits everyone.

St Andrew's College Sports Framework, symbolized by the thistle

This sports philosophy complements our College mission: Together, Building Better People, for Life.

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