High Notes, Vol 18 No 15, May 26 2017

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to our Stan Jones Cup tennis team. Stephen Young, Mathew O’Sullivan, Andre Putilin and Samuel Yu, for their victory in the Sydney East Region team’s event. They beat Endeavour Sports in the final to qualify for the CHS state finals later in the year. Congratulations to William Choi on his election in the CHS U16s rugby squad.

Student Extended Leave of Absence

Parents are reminded that DoE policy is that students ought not to be granted leave of absence during term time unless for sporting or co-curricular representation. Urgent family circumstances are considered also. Families are asked not to plan family holidays during the school term. For any extended ‘Leave of Absence’, parents must download the appropriate form from the parent portal, fill in the details and submit the form digitally or otherwise, at least four weeks before the commencement date of the leave. Automatic approval of leave of absence applications can no longer be expected. Students who take leave anyway, without approval of the Principal, will have their student attendance record noted as ‘unexplained absence’.

Wall of Gratitude

Thank you to the many parents, (particularly of Year 7 boys), Old Boys and Year 9 students, who have already purchased a brick in the future wall of gratitude to be included in the Governors Centre precinct. It is heartening to see the strong support our campaign has received so far. Next month is important because donations made before June, 30, can be claimed as tax deductions this year. Join the growing group who will be remembered permanently as showing their gratitude for public education by donating a brick in a wall.

Winter Sports Assembly

My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Special guest Mr Danny Weidler (SHS-1986), parents, staff, students, welcome to our Winter Sports Assembly. We gather each year just before the commencement of the official GPS competition season, to introduce our teams and acknowledge the work of our staff, coaches and committees.

"Our Football program at High is flourishing, with 42 teams. We are getting good fixtures for most boys. At the sharp end of the competition other GPS schools have sharpened up their skills and fitness and we will have to stretch our boys in order to reach the new standard. Thank you to MIC Geoff Tesoriero for his work for Football this year. I would like to thank our Football Coaching Coordinator and 1st XI coach Jason Hayhurst; 2nd XI Coach: Finch Twarloh; 3rd XI coach Adilmorad Nadir and all the lower grade coaches. Thank you to our new Football Committee President, Winston Loke, to all 1st and 2nd XI parents for helping with the catering, and to our Football Staff for helping with Saturday supervision: Ms Eggleton, Mrs Manolias, Ms Genias, Mrs Luu, Mrs Rigby, Mr Drivas, Mr Cinquetti and Ms Harcourt.

"I would like to thank Matt Cotton for his efforts as Rugby MIC this year. He provides a good structure within which rugby can flourish…but we always need more players. Thank you in particular to Andrew Walters (SHS 2003) and Sam Gribble (SHS 2006) who have guided the first and second XV and to David Knox for his technical assistance. Mr Cotton wants to thank all coaching staff, SBHS staff and especially the parents who have contributed their time to assist in fund raising and other activities that enrich the program for the boys. Thanks also to those who come to the games and support the boys as they play.

"Cross country is coming off a very successful season last year. Rebecca Dam, as always, has organised the program with calm expertise. Thank you, Rebecca. Thank you again to Head Coach, Dani Andres, for his coordination of the coaching program and to his coaches Kenneth Liu (SHS 2014) and Harry Huang (SHS 2016) for their assistance, particularly with statistics.

"Our Fencing program is really developing in standard due to the energy, efficiency and expertise of MIC Dat Huynh. I thank him for his great effort on behalf of our boys. High is competing strongly in all disciplines thanks to Head Coach - Feng Yeng (SHS-2000), Epée coach – Ted Elliott, Sabre coaches – Tony Watts and Garry Huang (SHS-2016). They’re doing an amazing job and have set a high standard for our boys to achieve their best.

"Thanks to Lynnea Stewart for her enthusiasm, support and assistance with supervision, especially on the Saturdays where competitions can last the whole day. Thanks to the parents for organising and running the fundraising events so that we can maintain and service our equipment armoury. Thanks to John Tian (Year 12) who has selflessly donated much of his time to help coach and train the juniors. His dedication to the school and to his peers should be acknowledged and praised.

"One of the biggest mistakes sportspeople make is to lose focus on the moment and to move their attention to ‘the uncontrollables”. In sporting competition, there are several key things out of your personal control. They include: the outcome of the contest, the behaviour of the officials controlling the game, the other team or particular members of it, the weather, the behaviour of the crowd, the coach’s response, even your parents’ comments about your performance on the way home in the car. Once we are diverted from the next play, shot, stroke or pass, we start to get nervous. Our nervousness tightens our muscles and restricts fluid movement. We start negative thinking – ‘they’re too good for us’, ‘I missed a tackle – everybody blames me’. The next stage is self-doubt, leading to hesitancy, resulting in indecision, producing poor performance. This cycle of repeated poor performance is described as ‘choking’. There are some famous examples of this in tennis, golf and athletics. It appears that the episodes can be triggered by reference to earlier traumatising events in a person’s life that involved sports performance. Successful sports people learn to predict and control the symptoms of approaching ‘choking’. They learn to suppress the memories of past failures and refocus on the moment. We all need a personal mechanism to re-establish our emotional equilibrium, so that we can allow automatic movements and actions to flow. Self-belief and self-efficacy are most important for sports success. Forget the uncontrollable and do the next thing well.

"I congratulate all boys who were successful in gaining selection into our winter GPS teams. You will always remember that you represented your school. It is an hour that is respected in the wider community. Congratulations and good luck to all teams."
Dr K A Jaggar

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