High Notes, Vol 16 No 14, May 15 2015

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From the Principal

High Talent
At the fencing National Schools Team Qualifying Tournament, our sabre team won gold. Our Epée team A won gold and B won silver. These teams have qualified for the national schools competition to be held in Brisbane in June. Well done boys! Congratulations to Sam Musgrove who was selected in the CHS first XV rugby team at No 8 after selection trials in Wagga Wagga last week.

AAGPS Athletics Carnival
The AAGPS carnival was held in warm sunshine at SOPAC last Saturday. Our junior boys were very competitive, finishing just 4 points away from a third placing. The intermediate division placed fifth and we struggled in the senior division finishing only in front of TAS. There were some impressive performances, including: Ben Nguyen – U13 long jump 1st, U13 90m hurdles championship1st, U13 100m championship 2nd; Lucas Wong – U15 200m championship 1st, U15 100m. championship 1st; Kazi Hasan U13 200m division 1st, U13 100m division 1st. Multiple placegetters were: Oliver Gao – U14 long jump 3rd , U14 100m division 2nd; Conor McGrath – U16 800m division 3rd ,U16 1500m championship 3rd; Clinton So – U15 100m championship 3rd, U15 long jump 3rd. Third places were earned by: our relay teams in the 4x400 junior, U13 4x100 and U16 4x100, Anderson Chan U14 400m championship, Desmond Cai U16 100m championship, Luke Schofield Open 3000m championship and Vasco Santos-Dwyer U14 high jump. Jayden Schofield was 2nd in the Open 3000m division. Congratulations to all our successful competitors! Thank you to all staff and students who assisted on the day.

Athletics Assembly
Our guest speaker, Greg Haddrick, linked the pressure of moments in athletic competition where nerves needed to be conquered and good, calm choices made, to his life as a writer and producer of TV and film. He recounted two highly stressful events relating to ‘colourful underworld identities’ where he was forced to think on his feet under great stress and come up with a course of action to allow the projects to proceed. He outlined his life lessons from sport at school and how they have helped him in his professional career. My speech to the assembly follows:

"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
Year 12 boys should have their reports. If not, please ask your son to complete his Clearance Form and make an appointment to discuss his report with me. One week from this Friday (ie 22/5/15) is the last occasion for boys to make an appointment. Thereafter, I will make personal contact with the families of the boys with uncollected reports.
Dr K A Jaggar

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