Stu­dents opt to be­come ac­tive

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - LAWRENCE GULLERY

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.

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