High Notes, Vol 19 No 7, March 16 2018

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to Samuel Yu (11T), Andre Putilin (11S) and Hikaru Ikegami (10S), who have qualified via selection trials to attend the CHS state team trials in Bathurst, where the NSW team for the Pizzey Cup national schools tournament, will be chosen. Combined GPS basketball teams were announced this week. Sebastian Diaz (12M) and Oscar Dumas (12E) made GPS firsts with Noah Casaclang (11T) selected in 2nds. Congratulations, boys!

Tell Them From Me Survey

The online survey of student opinions about school life has opened. I encourage parents to talk to their sons about the importance of using an opportunity to express their views and influence possible change. The survey gives students a voice in our development of policies and processes. It is very simple to access and easy to complete. This year there are several questions designed specifically for our school. The survey closes on Monday 9 April.

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.

Rowing Assembly 2018

My speech to the rowing assembly is reprinted below:

"Special guest Mr Anthony Blower, CEO of Rowing NSW, parents, teachers, rowers and students, welcome to our 2018 rowing assembly. We are gathered at the traditional time – the Friday before the Head of the River - to honour the Head of the River crews as they prepare to put their bodies on the line for their crews, themselves and their school. There is a very strong tradition around celebrating rowing at High.

"I would like as a starting point to express my profound appreciation for George Barris (SHS2001) for his work on behalf of rowing in his first season as MIC and Coaching Coordinator. He has brought advanced administrative and organisational skills to the roles and has lifted the program to a new level. A visit to the Outterside Centre will confirm how much has changed. Gareth Deacon (SHS2010) has returned to coach the first VIII and is getting some good performances out of the boys. Thank you Gareth. Steve Comninos (SHS-2014) is back in his second year as 2nd VIII coach. Thank you to Michael McCrea and Daniel Xu (SHS2016) for their work with the 1st IV. Wesley Zhang (SHS2016) is managing the 2nd IV. Terry Fong (SHS-2014) has moved up to coach the 1st Year 10 VIII. Working with him is Ashley Chan and the 2nd Year 10 VIII. Thank you for your work, Terry. Robert Yuan (2016) and Oliver Lethbridge (2016) are managing the Year 9 quads. Marguerite Pain is continuing to develop High rowing in her role as Year 8 quads coordinator. Daniel Tran (SHS-2014), Matt Whittaker (SHS 2017) and Kieran Shivakumaaran (SHS2017) are introducing our Year 7 boys to rowing. Thank you to the teachers involved in the program this year, veteran Mark Gainford and in her first season, Joanna Chan. Thank you to the Rowing Committee for all that they do: Charlie and Anneliese Appleton, Michael and Violet Schanzer, Tracy Whittaker, Ron and Pit Trent, Zarir Karanjia, Fred Shao and Carmen Lam. In particular, all the volunteers and officials at the High Regatta do a wonderful job to make the event run smoothly. Thank you to the rowing family for their support of the fundraising for the purchase of the new VIII to give our boys a boost of confidence going into the regatta.Thirty years ago at the Head of the River, Con Barris was MIC and the captain of boats was Cameron Cheetham. In 1988 the High second VIII was the second most successful in High history at that regatta, rowing into fifth place. The first VIII was 6th. In The Record of 1988, C. Karihaloo from the second VIII wrote: ”we were not defeated on the water, we were defeated in our minds”. The strength of self-belief in a crew can drive them faster or slow them down as their conviction and energy levels fall. Cheetham wrote that he hoped future High boys, would not have “to watch High crews row their guts out and lose, simply because they don’t know they can win”. He outlined what it would take to win the Head of the River – determination and the will to win; great style and technique; and considerable size and strength. There were 15 Year 12 rowers in crews at the Head of the River that year. It would be heartening if we could get that number of committed Year 12 student in our crews. Cheetham made a plea to the audience: ‘Don’t let Sydney High become the easy-beats again!’ That’s what we all want. If only it were as easy as just wanting that to happen. Hard work and consistency are the keys to success.

"These days, we suffer significant disadvantages in strength and size compared to our GPS competitors, therefore we must compensate by building on the other two components of victory. Our goals are more modest – we want to beat at least one other crew. I don’t see that ambition as a compromise but as a step forward for the program. We have to learn how to win by winning. Affirmation of effort inspires more effort. Our self-belief will grow if we stick with our nearest competitor. Stay with them at whatever cost for the first 500. A reasonable target for our boys in the 1st VIII is to be within 6% longer than the winner’s time. As the 19-year average time for winners is 5.55.96 our 1st VIII boys have to row 6.17.32. I believe that is doable…you have to believe it, too. Learn how to win in your context. Set appropriate goals and learn how to hurt yourself more to achieve them.

"I want to congratulate all the boys who have been selected to compete for High it has always been seen as a great honour. I hope you are justifiably proud of your achievement so far and are looking forward to the big challenges ahead. On behalf of all competing crews who have worked so hard 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 to cheer them on."
Dr K A Jaggar

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