From the Principal
Dear Mary MacKillop community
This week, members of the Senior school community have competed in the preliminary finals of the Darling Downs 7s Rugby competition. We are really fortunate to have such talent in the College community and I am really thankful for their contribution.
I have been involved in a bit of a 7s Rugby journey myself over the past 6 weeks – albeit a virtual one. The former team-mate of mine who came to assist in the coaching of our 7s squad, Cassidy Holland, was recently appointed Coach of the Solomon Islands 7s Rugby Programme. Rather than have a month completely alone on Honiara Cass decided to develop a bit of an online community to urge his players on – and about 100 of his former clubmates, from different continents and states, regularly logged in to watch videos of sessions, interviews with players, coach/player feedback and so on.
It was about fifteen days ago that I checked myself – I realised that I was looking forward to getting home so I could check on how Cass’s squad was developing. I had begun to recognise some of the players and celebrate their improvement. It was kind of like a reality TV show but no one was being exploited, everyone seemed to be really focussed on one goal and – most importantly – everyone was learning.
The event they were training for – the Oceania Sevens – was the weekend just gone. As you may know, 7s rugby has always been quite a big deal in places like Fiji and Samoa with the Solomon Islands very much viewed as minnows in that pond. They had often finished last. This event carried with it hopes for qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, so stakes were not inconsiderable.
I am not embarrassed to say that I was invested enough to cling to the live stream during their games. They had improved enough to finish 3rd in their pool. New Zealand’s defeat by Fiji and Japan meant that the amateurs from the Solomons played the New Zealand 7s side to see who finished 7th in the competition. Cass’s boys lost – but they had vastly improved on all of the previous Oceania comps, laid the foundation for future Olympic and Commonwealth Games attempts and played against a number of professional sides.
It is not only my connection to Cass that drew me to be so interested in this. This was a College in microcosm – a constant cycle of test, analyse, add-value and test again. Watching Cass and his players set themselves goals and push each other to achieve them – but do so in a way that was clearly so enjoyable – really chimed with me.
With goals in mind, thank you to the parents who have responded to the recent podcast with a desire to attend the expanded P and F meeting next week. The goal here, as I said, is to set our collective, community driven and data-defined goals, that will establish our route map for the next 5 years. All are welcome!
Many thanks as ever for your support.