High Notes, Vol 18 No 29, September 15 2017

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From the Principal

High Talent

Well done to our Junior Chess team for their win against James Ruse to claim the NSW Junior Chess League Metropolitan Championship. The teams comprised: Dean Nguyen (7S), Harry Wu (8R), Ryan Lee (8E), Jack Keating (7R), Kevin Ton (8M) and Simon Wu (8E). Last Saturday the High Chess team reclaimed the GPS trophy from Sydney Grammar. Congratulations go to: James Snow (12R), Peter Boylan (10R), Henry Chen (10S), Amerthan Thevasathan (10M), Ryan KC (10E), Davis Zeng Yin (10F), Justin Wayne-Lowe (9S) and Harry Wu (8R). Thank you to Rowena Barr as MIC of chess for her management of the teams and to Vlad Feldman, our long standing Chess Coach.

Congratulations to our U15 Boys who overcame their nemesis SGS to claim the inaugural trophy at the Foil School Team Championships for fencing. Twelve teams competed. The members of the successful ‘A’ team were: Nicholas Leong (10M), Kenaz Chan (9E), Lachlan Ho (9T) and Owen Zhang (9R). Our depth was shown in the bronze medal won by our ‘B’ team. Thank you to our Fencing MIC Dat Huynh for managing the team and to Feng Yeng (SHS -2000) our Head Coach.

Congratulations to all the boys who represented High at the CHS state athletics carnival last week. From Year 12 (David Chen, Adam Yang, Connor Fisher, Nicholas Katsilis, John Zhao); from Year 11 (Ryan Ho-Shun); from Year 10 (Eric Holmstrom, Sudaraka Pieris); from Year 9 (Matthew Moloney, Eric Cao); from Year 8 (Dylan Huynh, Rhys Shariff, Rowan Tan); and from Year 7 (Joshua Suto, Jack Yoon).

Congratulations to our CHS table tennis team. Our boys became undefeated champions in the state final. High has held the title since 2015. All our team were Year 9 boys: Adam Masen, Roy Lin, Cedric Sussebach, and Alex Yeung. Thank you to Anthony Cipolla for managing the team and Peter Masen for his coaching advice.

Athletics Importance

At High, we believe in athletics because ability there is fundamental to capacity in other sports. For many years we have run speed and agility sessions on Monday afternoons and more recently a Friday morning Runners Club. We provide these services at no cost because we want to encourage improved health and fitness in our students. Our official GPS athletics season is short (4-5 weeks) and free. Once again, our policy is to provide venues, coaching, training and supervision free of charge, to encourage participation. Our seasonal investment for these services exceeds $50k.

It is an honour to represent your school at any sport but particularly athletics, because anyone can run and jump. Hence, the competition in this sport is truly state wide. High competes in both the CHS carnivals midweek and the GPS carnivals on Saturdays. The best things are that our representatives get to compete as teams, not just as individuals. At CHS boys compete for points as a team for the Kippax Cup and at GPS for the Junior, Intermediate and Senior trophies. I expect all boys who are successful at our school athletics carnival to offer themselves for selection in CHS and GPS representative teams. I call upon all students to develop the athletic gifts they inherited and turn them into talented performances.

House Athletics

This year we revived a past policy of organising a compulsory athletics season for the Junior School. For four weeks, boys in Years 7 – 9 competed in House or Year groups in six disciplines – 100m, 1000m, high jump, long jump and shot put. The season worked very well, thanks to the great organisation of Wayne Baldock and Mick Aldous. The boys participated wholeheartedly for the most part. Still, there were several boys at House Athletics who should have been in the GPS Athletics Squad. I hope that next year they show more pride in themselves and the school and compete at their appropriate level of ability. I want to thank the rotation organisers for their leadership and collaboration – Kerryn Ibbott, Matt Cotton, Michael Gubb, Geoff Stein, Brett Jackson and Richard Gifford.

Athletics Assembly

Our GPS Athletics Assembly was held on Tuesday. Old boy Joshua Tassell was our guest speaker. My address to the assembly is reprinted below.

"Special guest Joshua Tassell (SHS-2010) staff, parents, students, coaches and GPS athletics representatives, good morning and welcome to our annual athletics assembly. 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 elder’s past and present and extend that respect to any Aboriginal people here today. Thank you to our piano players for today: Harrison Li and Nigel Sun. We gather this week to celebrate the end of our short athletics season which culminates in the GPS Carnival at Homebush on Saturday. I appreciate the effort that every one of our students in the GPS athletics team has made to prepare himself for his event or multiple events. Each extra point earned matters on a day when the team performance is what counts in three divisions – Junior, Intermediate and Open. Schools with great depth get good results. For those who have participated but haven’t made the team, GPS reserves and the Development Squad, it is your support that drives better competition for places. Your contributions to the program is what makes it flourish. Keep pushing yourself to win a spot next year.

"On behalf of the extended High community I want to thank Kurt Rich again for his dedicated management of our program as MIC of athletics. He has earned the loyalty of many Old Boy coaches because of the way he interacts with them and models his long-term commitment to the sport at High. We are fortunate that our coaches have remained with our program. For sprints, we have Neil Song (SHS-2015), Joshua Leo (SHS-2014), Bovan Lin (SHS-2016) and previous Head Coach, Joshua Tassell (SHS 2010) returning to lend a hand. Lachlan Youll heads up the long and middle-distance team as usual. Working with him are: James Tinker (SHS-2015), Kenneth Liu (SHS-2015), Elias Hall (SHS-2016), with Luke and Hayden Schofield (SHS-2016). Christian Lozada continues to make a difference to our hurdling performance. This year he has been assisted by Neil and Rick Saha (SHS-2015). Thank you also to Davina Strauss, our coach for long-jump. She has some strong new talent to work with this year. Andrew Walters (SHS-2003) is coaching our shot-put competitors again. Myles Cole-Clark is working with our high jumpers. Jerry Gek (SHS-2016) has the unenviable job of managing results each week. It is great that we have such support for our athletics program. We have a context that allows boys to enlarge their talents and reach a standard to win. Our under 13 team has shown great potential in the invitational carnivals so far this season.

"In sport, having a great routine or training schedule is vital. Sometimes you need to compete against yourself to improve. Doing sprint or distance work or building up core strength in the weights room, are personal ways boys can maintain their fitness all year around. Someone who had to train and compete against himself was the most successful ever athlete at the Australian Championships – Warwick Perrins Selvey. He won a total of 18 Australian Titles in discus and shot put from 1960 to 1973. He represented Australia at the Rome Olympics, qualifying for the final in each event. At the Commonwealth Games in Perth in 1962 he set a Games record on his way to winning the gold medal in the discus. He went to the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo but was unable to qualify for the finals. His PB for discus was 58.9m and for shot put 17.5m. Warwick had to keep focussed on his training all year, despite his dominance in his two field events. His great technique kept him at the top of his sport in Australia for more than a decade. He would have needed much more international competition to see what was necessary to do to be competitive at an Olympics.

"I had an English teacher at school in country NSW called Brian Waters. He represented Australia at the Perth Commonwealth Games. He was a 47.5 runner who virtually trained himself on grass without a marked track and used to get some competition by running against the four fastest school sprinters around the oval, without them having to change a baton. He still won very easily. His perseverance was an inspiration. These days schoolboy athletes specialise in particular events from a young age. They have synthetic tracks, personal coaches, fancy shoes and drink containers with special formulas in them. They have so much going for them. That is why events such as pentathlon and decathlon are still so impressive to watch – the athletes have to perfect so many sporting disciplines. Their dedication to training is awe-inspiring.

"Like academic study, sport is about self-regulation, sticking to training schedules, maintaining a balance and being committed to goals. That’s why training for both is so complementary in philosophy. That is why we believe in the ideal of the scholar-sportsman. It’s all about character. I congratulate all the boys who were selected to represent our school at the prestigious GPS Athletics carnival. I wish you all the best of luck and I hope you all perform PBs in your events."
Dr K A Jaggar

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