High Notes, Vol 20 No 30, September 20 2019

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From the Principal

High Talent

Congratulations to our successful GPS chess team that retained the GPS Invitational Chess Cup for team chess competition. The winning team was: Henry Chen (12S), Peter Boylan (12R), Jack Keating (9R), Toby Huey (7S), Justin Wayne-Lowe (11S), Kerwin Ma (10M), Jason Pan (7R), Ryan Lee (10E) and Matthew Ko (10R).  High took out the Terrey Shaw Shield for the NSW Junior chess League competition for senior teams. This is the first time we have won the shield since 1996. Well done to Peter Boylan (12R), Jack Keating (9R) and Kerwin Ma (10M), who comprised the winning team. Congratulations to the winners of events in the GPS athletics carnival four.  Anthony Vlatko (Open 800m), Joshua Johnson (U17 long jump and 400 metres), Jonathan Tran (U17 800 metres), Justin Lee-Nonis U15 100 metres), Peter Zhao (U14 high jump), and Allan Tan (U13 200 metres).

Athletics Assembly 2019

Our special guest, Marina Carrier, described her punishing training schedule in her HSC year and showed how she achieved great success in both sport and in her studies. After graduating she joined Sydney University Athletics Club which she toured to Europe with the team. She recounted the highs and lows of international competition from podium finishes to the crushing inaction of recovery from injury on crutches. Her message was to stay involved in sport while studying and emphasised that she could not have achieved what she has academically were it not for the training discipline and self-regulation she learned as an athlete. My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

“Special guest, Olympic pentathlon competitor Ms Marina Carrier, staff, parents, students, coaches and aspiring 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 elders past and present and extend that respect to any Aboriginal people here today. We gather this week to celebrate our short athletics season, which culminates in the GPS Carnival on next Saturday. I appreciate the effort that every one of our students in the program has made to prepare himself for his event or multiple events. We need to remind each other to cheer on every competitor because each extra point earned matters on a day when the total team performance is what counts. Sometimes the margins between schools are very small at the end of the day. Every result in every race matters to every athlete.

"On behalf of the staff and students, I want to thank Kurt Rich again for his very professional leadership of our program as MIC of Athletics. His team of Old Boy coaches relate well to the boys and inspire them with their passion for athletics. I was very gratified to see that there were large numbers of boys participating in athletics and competing on Saturdays. Your efforts will make you fitter and connect you more to the endeavours of the school. Thank you to Natalie Luu who has helped manage the athletes on Saturdays.

"I am pleased that we have so many dedicated coaches to look after a large and enthusiastic group. Thanks again to Head Coach, Joshua Tassell (SHS 2010) who is still leading our program. For sprints, we have Neil Song (SHS-2015), Bovan Lin (SHS-2016), and Desmond Cai (SHS-2016). For 400 metres Elias Hall (SHS-2016), Archie Fox (SHS-2018) and Ryan Ho-Shon (SHS-2018). Thank you to the long distance team of James Tinker (SHS-2015), Kenneth Liu (SHS-2015), Luke and Hayden Schofield (SHS-2016) and Daniel Ma (SHS-2018).

"Christian Lozada manages our hurdles program, supported by Rick Saha (SHS-2015), Brandon Nguyen (SHS-2018) and Jason Huo (SHS-2017). Thank you also to Davina Strauss, our long-term coach for long jump and Ray Gu (SHS-2017) who assists. Myles Cole-Clark trains our high jumpers. Jerry Gek (SHS-2016), Nigel Zhang (SHS-2017 and Eli Montuno (SHS-2018) guide our shot put squad. Thank you to everybody in the athletics program for working so hard to raise the standard of athletics performance at High.

"Australia has been waiting a very long time for a genuine male track and field star. Our last gold medallist was in 2008 with pole-vaulter Steven Hooker OAM. His personal best of 6.06m was the third best vault of all time. At this year’s national championships, another hope for a medal was uncovered.  Sixteen-year-old Western Australian, Sasha Zhoya has performed as a world-class athlete this year. He started his record-breaking run on day one of the national championships when he set a new benchmark in the Under-18 pole vault, clearing 5.56m. He outclassed the field in the Under-18 110m hurdles in a national and world U-16 record time of 13.05. Zhoya then backed up to win gold in the Under-20 200m. He finished in 21.18, just 0.3 seconds off the national record. Sasha has a French mother and is also eligible to compete for France. Let us hope that we can keep him competing for Australia. Another rising star is middle distance runner Joseph Deng who, at age 20, broke the Australian 800m record in a time of 1.44.21.

"Excellence in athletics is so hard to achieve at international level. It should be very inspirational for young athletes to have such great role models of excellent performance. I hope that everyone chosen to represent the school in the GPS athletics team feels a sense of pride and accomplishment to clear the first hurdle in any career – school representation. Congratulations to you all. I exhort students in the assembly to support their peers and their school on next Saturday at Homebush for the AAGPS carnival."
Dr K A Jaggar

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