At­ti­tude a win­ner for col­lege teams

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - JARED NI­COLL

‘‘It felt like a fam­ily, ev­ery­one turn­ing up for each other on time at train­ings.’’

Sport­ing suc­cess at Porirua Col­lege saw nine Year 13 First XV play­ers ask to re­turn to school for an ex­tra year.

Though col­lege staff were work­ing with them to move on be­cause they had com­pleted their aca­demic study, their de­sire to re­turn for an ex­tra year of school high­lighted a pos­i­tive change in cul­ture where pre­vi­ously the First XV failed to even com­plete a sea­son.

Over the past cou­ple of years, the col­lege’s new head of sport aimed to change neg­a­tive per­cep­tions of the way peo­ple thought of the Can­nons Creek school by in­still­ing more pride in its stu­dents to sup­port each other as a team.

Fin­ish­ing Year 13 stu­dent and rugby first XV cap­tain Eli Moata’a, 17, said all of the team’s Year 13s in­clud­ing him­self wanted to re­turn for an ex­tra year af­ter win­ning the top WelTec coed rugby pre­mier­ship grade along with the Beard Tro­phy.

‘‘Our school’s not looked at as one of the flash­est by other schools so this year’s just been an uplift for us.

‘‘It felt like a fam­ily, ev­ery­one turn­ing up for each other on time at train­ings. And sup­port from our par­ents at ev­ery game.

‘‘Just hav­ing some­thing to play for in­stead of just go­ing out and play­ing rugby for the sake of play­ing.’’

It was a big change from a team that pre­vi­ously failed to com­plete the sea­son be­cause of a lack of com­mit­ment.

‘‘This year ev­ery­one was on the same buzz. It didn’t mat­ter how old you were or what cul­ture you are ev­ery­one was like broth­ers this year.’’

Moata’a planned to play with the Norths Rugby Club next year.

Head of sport Dan Squire said the school’s coaches, man­agers and vol­un­teers were in­te­gral to the stu­dents’ suc­cess.

‘‘Whereas three, four, five years ago I’d be stand­ing there watch­ing and I’d be like ... even a bit em­bar­rassed my­self: ‘oh, I wish that stu­dent hadn’t done that or said that’.

‘‘But it’s just com­pletely turned around, and it’s a pos­i­tive place to be now when stu­dents are rep­re­sent­ing our school.’’

Girls rugby cap­tain and head girl Christina Lafaele, 17, said the so­cial me­dia hash­tag used by stu­dents, #ilove­myschool, came from the heart.

‘‘We al­ways get put down for our aca­demics and sport as well. And for this year we’ve been carv­ing in most of our sports and they’ve seen the pos­i­tive side of us.’’

Foot­baller Ja­cob Stout, 17, said this year the team had plenty of play­ers, in­clud­ing refugees, and won their di­vi­sion.

‘‘There’s com­mit­ment and pas­sion from the play­ers. There’s a few lan­guage bar­ri­ers. If some­one doesn’t know how to com­mu­ni­cate with us we make up a cer­tain word.’’

Prin­ci­pal Ragne Maxwell said Squire and his team of PE teach­ers and coaches led a change where what was val­ued was play­ing to­gether as a team, not win­ning.

‘‘This new cul­ture has been pro­moted be­cause they be­lieve that is what makes great sports peo­ple and great hu­man be­ings.

‘‘The irony is, that it has led to our teams win­ning more than be­fore.’’

JARED NI­COLL

Porirua Col­lege stu­dents, from left, first XI foot­baller Ja­cob Stout, se­nior girls rugby cap­tain and head girl Christina Lafaele, and rugby first XV cap­tain Eli Moata’a with head of sport Dan Squire.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.