High Notes, Vol 16 No 14, May 15 2015
AAGPS Athletics Carnival
"Special guest Greg Haddrick, coaches, parents, Old Boys and GPS competitors, welcome to our athletics assembly for 2015. I acknowledge this morning the Gadigal people of the Eora nation as the custodians of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to any Aboriginal people here today. We have developed higher expectations about our athletics program over the last few years and we expect another strong showing at the GPS carnival tomorrow.
"Athletics MIC, Kurt Rich, has built up a great team of coaches and his efficient administration has made an impact in what is a very short athletics season that had to be kept going during two weeks of holidays. I want to acknowledge the fine job that Kurt has done with the athletics program 2013-15. Kurt and Head Coach Joshua Tassell (SHS 2010) have grown together as a team to give athletics back a pride in itself and instilled in the boys a joy of competition. Joshua and Eugene Lee (SHS 2014) are coaching sprints with Joshua Leo (SHS 2014) as a keen utility coach. Middle distance head coach, Lachlan Youll, ably assisted by long distance guy Adam Booth (SHS 2012) and Ned Anson (SHS 2014), has increased the depth and competitiveness of our distance squad. Christian Lozada, head hurdles coach, has given our jumpers enhanced self-confidence and a much better technique. We are hoping to improve our finishing positions in quite a few hurdling events.
"Andrew Walters (SHS 2003) joined athletics this year to coach shot put. He has put a lot of emphasis in improving our technique. It is too early for much improvement to come through but the future of our shot put contingent looks rosier. Davina Strauss has nurtured a strong long jumping culture over the past two years. Our boys have more self-belief in this discipline. Thank you to our High stalwarts Wayne Baldock, Mark Gainford, Sean Creer and Terry Lancaster (SHS 1963) for their help at carnivals as managers and marshals. You are helping to keep the culture of athletics at High strong.
"When people are immersed in a structure and a culture surprising results can emerge. The great Australian athlete, Cathy Freeman, has a rightful place in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame ‘Great Sporting Moments’ in Australian sport. Her inspirational win in the 400m at the Sydney Olympics in her distinctive full length running suit was a wonderful national moment. However, her effort was no one-off highlight or lucky run. Ten years earlier at age 16 she had won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland in the 4 x100m relay. In 1994 she won gold in the 200m and 400m at the Commonwealth Games at Victoria in Canada. In 1996 she won a silver medal in the 400m at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, followed by world championship 400m gold medals at Athens in 1997 and Seville in 1999. Cathy had a long and very distinguished career, but how was it possible for her to become an international athlete?
"Building up a routine of disciplined training in early life is an effective platform from which to launch a full time career in athletics. Until age 13, Cathy was mentored in her sport by her stepfather, Bruce Barber. He recognised and developed her talent and had the prescience to know when professional coaching would be needed for her to reach her potential. Cathy moved to Kooralbyn International School as a 14-year old to be trained by Romanian Mike Danita who was to become her long-time coach and mentor. Danita designed for her a strict training and lifestyle regime. Three years later she was running for Australia. She had the motivation, physical attributes, psychological capacity and the right opportunities on offer, to convert her natural gifts into performance talent.
"Hard preparation over a sustained period is always a precursor to success in athletics, as it is for most activities performed at an excellent level. The ‘10,000 hours rule’ applies. Given our small population, distance from strong competition and with Southern Hemisphere seasonal issues, it is rare for Australia to produce world class athletes in track and field. Cathy had the talent, the drive and the right people mentoring her and she became a significant international athlete.
"Athletes need to get the right training while at school in order to develop excellence later in their lives. High runs a very good athletics program. We have the people, the program and the facilities. Be inspired to participate by the example of the GPS athletics team to be introduced to you today. As customary, I wish all of the boys selected in events for tomorrow’s carnival a PB performance. I hope many High boys will be there to witness your efforts."
Year 12 Reports
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