Students opt to become active
Two-time Olympic swimmer Matt Stanley returned to his former Matamata College to inspire a new generation of sports people.
Stanley competed at the 2012 London Olympics and this year was part of the New Zealand swim team to compete at the Rio Olympics.
Matamata College sports coordinator Kim Lawrence said the school enjoyed hosting Stanley as the guest speaker for its annual sports awards recently.
‘‘Matt was just an outstanding speaker. He spoke about his experience at the competing at the Olympics, both of those events, and was quite an inspiration for everyone.
‘‘Matt is a former student of course and recipient of the Sportsman of the Year Award here, among other trophies.’’
Lawrence said there were many students who had performed well in their chosen code this year and she was reluctant to single out any individuals.
But she explained the college had made an effort to encourage more students to become active in 2016.
‘‘We have just submitted our report to Sport New Zealand about our effort to increase participation.
‘‘One of our goals was to increase the number of females involved in sport to above 50 per cent. We had dropped, but just to 49 per cent, and this year we were up to 54, from our records for the year.’’
Lawrence said the college had focussed on ‘‘quality rather than quantity’’ when it came to offering sports to students.
‘‘There are a number of ways we’ve achieved that. One is to focus on supporting the teachers in charge of sports so they can be more effective in offering that sport to students. The other is delivering targeted sports, such as badminton, lacrosse and golf.’’
The sports awards were held on September 20.