High Notes, Vol 20 No 7, March 15 2019

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Allen Fang (9F) on his selection to compete at the U17 National Badminton Championships. Well done to our GPS cricket teams – both the first XI and second XI had wins against SGS. Justin Yi (7F) won the 13s 50m breaststroke at the GPS carnival last Friday evening. He also teamed up with Brian Ahn (7M), Benjamin Marcellino (7R) and Jasun Xu (7E), to win the 13 years 4x50 medley relay. Great job, boys!

Student Leave Requests

Too many parents are ignoring or pleading ignorance about the school policy on Student Leave of Absence – Extended Leave Travel requests. This applies to leave that is five school days or more in duration. Parents are reminded that as a matter of policy leave will not be processed or approved unless four weeks’ notice has been given. Also, cogent reasons for travelling during school term need to be supplied. The effect of this decision is that all leave requests that involve that last four weeks of term must be lodged with me for approval by the end of week 6, each term. If you are planning to travel during the school term you need to download, complete and submit the form for my approval by the closing date. As it is now week 7, I am going to apply the policy unless the absence is an emergency or unavoidable travel.

The Record

Captains of summer sports teams have a responsibility to prepare a short report about the season their team had. A focus on the positives is appreciated and also highlighting any good individual performances. Reports should be submitted electronically to Ms May. One enduring feature about The Record is the pleasure gained by Old Boys returning after 30 or 50 years who relive moments of their teenage years through the photographs, names and summaries preserved in The Record. Co-curricular activities need to submit reports also. Supporters with good action photographs are asked to email them as attachments to Ms May who might be able to use any interesting ones in The Record. Parents are asked to remind their sons to submit their reports if they captained a team or crew in summer sport.

Invoices for Summer Activities Co-payments

Families in Year 7 and later year enrolments, have had invoices posted for term 1 activities. Despite these charges, most activities are also heavily subsidised from school funds, particularly in direct grants from school funds (voluntary contributions), provision of MICs, teacher supervision, WHS compliance costs and first aid costs (co-curricular supervision levy) and parking allocation support. Co-payments are used primarily for the provision of coaching. In basketball alone, a team of over 50 people delivers the program! We have staff, students, Old Boys, parents and volunteers working to make your son’s school experiences more enjoyable. I would appreciate it if you could make your co-payments promptly for your son’s summer sport and co-curricular activities. The school spends > $750,000 paying coaches for our sports. Thank you for your continued support.

Rowing Assembly 2019

My speech to the rowing assembly is reprinted below.

"Parents, teachers, rowers and students, welcome to our 2019 rowing assembly. We are not gathered at the traditional time – the Friday before the Head of the River, because we are having the floorboards of the Great Hall repaired, sanded and varnished, commencing on Friday. It was an unplanned offer but too good to refuse and we could not control the timing. Nevertheless, if rather early, we assemble today to honour the Head of the River crews as they prepare to put their bodies on the line for their mates, themselves and their school. There is a very strong tradition around celebrating rowing at High. It is our most difficult and most public sport.

"I would to congratulate George Barris (SHS-2001) for his work to boost participation and enjoyment in the sport of rowing. As MIC and Coaching Coordinator, he has attracted the largest number of rowers in the history of the sport at our school. His advanced administrative, liaison and organisational skills have attracted rowers and coaches alike. Thank you to Gareth Deacon (SHS-2010), now in his second season as coach of first VIII. He is inspiring most of the boys to try to reach their potential. Thank you Steve Comninos (SHS-2014) who is backing up for his third year as 2nd VIII coach. Thank you to Daniel Xu (SHS-2016) and Terry Fong (SHS-2014) for their work with the Year 10 VIIIs. Ashley Chan (SHS-2013) is coaching the IVs. Thank you Ashley. Marguerite Pain, a long-term supporter of High coaching, is coordinating our Year 9 quads with the help of: Robert Yuan (2016) and Alex Lowe. We have a big team on the Year 8 quads, including Con Barris, Wesley Zhang (SHS-2016), Matt Whittaker (SHS 2017), Alvis Leung and Kieran Shivakumaaran (SHS-2017). Archie Fox, Gordan Su, Dimas Sanjoy, Brian Herijanto, Ryan Zhang and Lenny Han (SHS-2018) have returned to help out, and are introducing our Year 7-8 boys to rowing. Thank you to the teachers involved in the program this year.

"Thank you to the Rowing Committee for all that they do. In particular, I would like to highlight the work of the executive - Charles and Anneliese Appleton, Fred Shao and Tracy Whittaker.  My special thanks go the school staff, parents and Old Boys who gave up their time to make the High Regatta a success again this year.

"Ten years ago at the Head of the River, Con Barris was completing his 25th year as MIC and the stroke of the VIII was Nelson Ridges with Matthew Ling leading as Captain of Boats. The boys trained five days in every week in season, completing an average of 68kms per week. The year was a memorable one for the second VIII. They edged out Grammar and Scots to place sixth. This was the best place finish for a second VIII since my records began in 1999; and it has not been equalled since. Gareth Deacon was cox on that day and can attest to the fantastic welcome that the crew received from the High spectators when they returned to the pontoon. It could not have been more enthusiastic had they won the race, our High crowd was so proud and pleased. Ten years earlier, the first VIII rowed a terrific race to finish 6th in a very impressive time of 6.02.18. That performance by a first VIII remains unequalled since 1999 by a High first VIII. Following that trend in 2019, which crew will do something special and make High history?

"Despite our significant disadvantages in strength, endurance and physique, compared to our GPS rivals, we must compensate by developing great technique and committing ourselves to suffering more for our fellows. Our goals are realistically modest – we want to beat at least one other crew. A reasonable target for our boys in the 1st VIII is to be within 7.5% longer than the winner’s time. As the 20-year average time for winners is 5.56.05 our 1st VIII boys have to row 6.22.75. I believe that is a realistic stretch target. The big question in competitive sport is ‘how much are you prepared to suffer for your goals’. More pain than ever before? More fatigue than ever before? When you are hurting and feel like putting in less effort, think of Mr Gainford, our rowing stalwart, who is still in hospital after major surgery. I think that will put your pain in perspective. If all eight in the crew lifted their threshold of personal suffering, the target ought to be achieved. We can only be our best if we all survive the test.

"I want to congratulate all the boys who have been selected to compete for High. Such selection is revered with good reason, as a great honour. I hope you are proud of your achievement so far and are looking forward to the big ten days of preparation ahead. To show your respect for all the competing crews who have worked with such integrity for this one event, on this one special day, I ask that as many of you in the audience as possible, make the effort to come to SIRC for the Head of the River on Saturday, March 23, to cheer for them as they pass the 250m mark. With your support they will feel worthy of their suffering."
Dr K A Jaggar
Principal

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