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Sports Awards Highlights 2022

The 2022 Sports Awards evening was held last Friday 21st October, and what a fantastic night it was!

Nau mai haere mai, Malo e lelei, Bula Vinaka, Kia orana, Konnichiwa
a warm welcome and good evening.
Firstly, thank you all so much for being here this evening to
celebrate, acknowledge and thank the many young men, coaches,
staff, and volunteers that have made 2022, one of the greats for STC
sport. 

These nights take a huge amount of preparation and organization so
before I go any further, I need to thank those that have made tonight
possible.
Ngaire Lester who always gives so much to turn this event in to a
glitzy and glamours affair – no mean feat at our college Ngaire.
Mr Lange for his time tonight as our master of ceremonies, our band,
our tech crew, and all who have helped in the setting up of the stage
and seating.
Daniel Kahura, Alex Coulthard and Joe Hammond for their
preparation which starts well back in early term 3 for this event to
take place, a particular thank you to DK for his lead in tonight’s
events.
And our very own sports captain Isaac Topham for his help in this
night and his leadership of our student body through a tough and
dynamic year – well done Isaac, thank you for your support.
No doubt I have missed some who have gone about their work
without notice – I apologise and thank you too. 

As I began to get back in the swing of things mid January in
preparation for the school year, I remember catching up with Steve
Hart and Hamish Barclay to map out operations and logistics for
2022. It was clear within the first five minutes of this conversation
and reading through documentation sent from the Ministry of Health
and Ministry of Education that this was going to be year like no
other.
The start of the school year developed in to one of huge disruption
for schools and therefore our summer sports. Vaccine mandates,
covid waves and the onset of large isolation periods meant that
schools from the very get go were placed under huge amounts of
pressure to stay open. We were dealing with an unprecedented time
in our history and were doing everything in our powers to let sports
ensue. Term 1 was very complex to say the least.
It is at this point I wish to acknowledge our summer sports,
predominantly our Rowing, cricket and athletics teams who all faced
huge disappoint in tournaments and games being called off or being
hugely impacted by Covid-19. I noted in a message to our rowing
community, that although they were impacted to the most extreme
of levels, they also held themselves with such high levels of dignity
and have come through huge adversity. I really do respect the way
that Dan Ryan and his squad carried themselves through this time.
I am so excited for our summer sporting codes to get going this year
and showcase their talents and hard work, particularly as we see
strong numbers in cricket and rowing for 2023. 

As winter bite, we realized covid-19 was not a flash in the pan, it was
here to stay with more government information coming through
warning us to batten down the hatches and prepare for more
disappointment through winter. Thankfully in most cases and
although still hugely disruptive we were able to play and perform on
many stages through the winter months.
The staff, coaches and parent volunteers that worked so tirelessly in
pre covid times were now going over and above to make sure our
young men had every opportunity to play their sport each week. To
you all in this room and those who could not attend tonight, I whole
heartedly thank you. It is always easy to say we have the best
supporters, but in this case, I genuinely do not believe there is a
place in this city that would not have the community of coaches,
volunteers and parents that we do. The effort passion and love you
show on a continual basis is unmatched and this year this shone
through. Thank you very much. Men can we show our appreciation
please.
I am so grateful to stand here tonight and reflect on what has
become one of our most successful sporting years, in what will also
be remembered as one of the countries toughest years.
And as I reflect on that statement – I am not surprised. 

The word Manawa, now rings out at every single match of every
single sport when STC is participating. Manawa, the will to drive
oneself to the last beat of the heart, to never give up!
That sums us up, and this attitude that when the going gets tough
the saints get going has stood out so much this year, not just in
results, but the way we have carried ourselves with respect and
compassion.
Ka pai to you all.
I wish to thank a team of staff who drive all things sport at our
college- who have put together strategy, who aim to grow our sports
and maximize participation to give the best experiences possible for
our men. Our director of rugby Johnny Leo’o, Our master of rowing
Dan Ryan, our director of cricket David Hooper and Tim Muir over the
past season, our head of basketball Joe Hammond and our head of
football Blair Scadden, GAS coordinator Mark Hammett and Gas
academic liaison Kathryn Morgan and Kieran Coll and CTC leads
Megan Heather and Brendan Biggs. These men and women apply a
huge amount of their working week to growing our men to be their
best. Alex Coulthard and our sport dept also do a huge amount of
logistics behind the scenes to make sure every sport a young man
wishes to play in this college is made available they do a fantastic job
in this space. Thank you to you all.
Another acknowledgment I want to make is to the highly valued
groups that make up our committees. These committees play and
ever-increasing role in the success of our sports programmes. These
parents who hold busy working lives meet regularly in evenings to
plan and forecast events that are to take place and set about how
these will be achieved with the best possible results. They fundraise,
sponsor, build, plan organize trips among many other roles. These
people are doers, they get their hands dirty every weekend, they
show up, work bloody hard for our college and they do it for the love
of it in order to give the best possible experience for our men.
We understand that to give of your time is a major part of having a
strong hauora. I hope the time you people have put in, has been
rewarding for you and worthwhile. We thank you all so much. 

Again,
can we please show our appreciation for the committees that
operate within our college.
Lastly, I wish to want to thank Steve Hart and our board of trustees.
Steve for his guidance and support of me, I really respect the time
and dedication he has given me at all times of the day or night,
especially when you had multiple things going on – I really do thank
you, and the BOT, who understand the importance of sport and
movement in the lives of young people. We live in a world of instant
gratification – sport counters this, it requires, commitment,
perseverance, and a will to grow and be better as people, the board
knows this and therefore do a great job of supporting it.
With many of the acknowledgements out of the way, I turn to some
participation and results as I finish up. Our participation numbers
continue to trend upwards. We now have 98 cricketers in nine
teams, a year on year strong maadi cup squad, 21 basketball teams,
over 200 hundred rugby players in 10 teams an athletics squad that
is now well respected and competitive on the national stage, 16
national league representatives not to mention a number of sports
on the rise such as badminton, swimming and golf.
On the results side, we have seen records tumble and history
created. Our 1st 11 basketball made their first ever final, our first XV
winning the regular season and therefore making the top 4 and
semifinal for the first time in history, our football team in to top 4
semifinal, our athletics boys grabbing top 3 finishes nationally, I
could go on and on and on, but that’s what tonight is about so let’s
get into it.
So finally,
To our young men, whether acknowledged tonight or not, it really
won’t matter tomorrow, for what will, will be the memories you hold
and have created for others, these are more than any medal or
trophy will ever offer you. Thank you for holding yourselves so well,
thank you for your passion and dedication, but lastly thank you for
being proud, loyal St Thomas men. 

Go forward, Kia Kaha
Let’s have a great night!