Being A Good Sport
Welcome to an incredibly busy Term Four. Our Year 12 students are currently concluding their final school based assessments and over 40 of our Year 11 students have returned from very successful pilgrimage experiences. All students and staff have a busy term ahead.
There are many formal events conducted at the College over the final term. The first of these occasions was our Sport Awards evening this week. We were delighted that one of our Alumni, Ms Katrina Porter OAM (Class of 2005), an Australian Paralympic swimmer was our guest speaker on the evening. At the 2008 Beijing Games, Katrina competed in five events and won a gold medal in the Women's 100m Backstroke S7 event in a world record, for which she received a Medal of the Order of Australia. Her story was truly inspiring for all our athletes and families in attendance.
I gave the following brief address:
There are lots of good reasons to get involved in sport. For some of the students in the Hall tonight, it is something that you take very seriously and you may even be keen to make a career out of sport. For others, it is about being healthy and having fun with your friends. Both perspectives are equally valid.
Some time ago, I enjoyed reading a story about the English cricket team and the success of its batsmen in a test series against Australia. Alistair Cook, the English opener has often performed superbly in Ashes tests. When he and other young players first came into the team, their batting coach (Graham Gooch) used to go up to them after they had made reasonable scores of 30, 40 or 50. He used to ask them, “Don’t you like batting?” His message was near enough to a good score was not good enough. Taking that philosophy to its fullest extent, Cook now refuses to give up his wicket easily and often makes very big scores.
Some years’ ago I worked at another Catholic school and I recall having a conversation with a Year 12 student. I asked the student what he wanted to do when he left school.
"I want to play AFL, Sir."
"That’s great. But what other options do you have in case things do not work out."
We then discussed some fall-back positions for this student. Deep down I did not think that this young man was quite good enough to make a living out of sport. Fortunately, I kept that opinion to myself as within a few years, Sharrod Wellingham, was a premiership player for Collingwood. He now plays for the West Coast Eagles.
So what is the message? Firstly, I would not be a good talent scout. Secondly keep involved in sport and never let go of your dreams.
Congratulations to all of our winners this evening.