By the time you read this, winter Intercol season will be finished. It really is an exciting time of the year and the passion and pride the boys have for their school is clearly evident over this period. Each sport seems to have its own unique feel and associated atmosphere. From the gladiatorial-like atmosphere and noise of the basketball to the intense, quiet concentration of the chess, there is something for everyone.
At St Peter’s College, we spend a lot of time talking about ‘winning with humility and losing with grace’ and I’m pleased to say that we largely got that right this year. There is such a fine line between expressions of joy and happiness in victory and displays of gauche triumphalism, so it is something that we as a community must be vigilant about to ensure that we place the winning and losing of a sporting contest in context. As Paul Sheahan, the Second Master at Saints in the 80s said to me, “It’s the most important thing in the world when you’re competing, but the least important as soon as it’s over.”
I’d like to congratulate everyone who participated in the Intercol games this winter. We’ve had some stunning wins including basketball, table tennis, hockey and debating. We did exceptionally well in table tennis, defeating PAC 17 – 7. We’ve also had some defeats with PAC winning the soccer, rugby, chess and football matches. Congratulations to all involved and thank you to all the coaches, teachers and parents who work so hard to help and support the students.
Moving away from sporting matters, last week Saints participated in the much-loved and anticipated Book Week. I was delighted to attend the annual ‘Read Around with Dad’ event in the Junior School. This important event showcases the importance of fathers playing an active role in their sons’ education and it was heart-warming to see so many dads in attendance. I speak honestly as a parent and can say that since my youngest has been at Saints, his love of reading has changed dramatically. Now he is happy sitting by himself and reading a book which is something he never used to do. As an avid reader and a believer in the power of the written word, I feel grateful that my son is also starting to engage in this world and I’d like to thank the dedicated staff and praise the innovative programs that have encouraged this change.
Next Friday the Senior School will host its second Father-Son Breakfast, and I hope to see many of you there. Timed to closely follow Fathers’ Day on Sunday 3 September, the breakfast is the perfect opportunity for fathers and sons to celebrate their relationship.