A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Marion, South Australia
Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Sport Development and High Performance - Edition 10 - 2019

Finals season is heating up as winter season begins to inch towards a close and intercol is just a step around the corner.

Coaching Influence

Many of our winter sports teams results have been simply outstanding and deserve a special mention. Starting with our Netball program led by the well renowned coaching prowess of Marg Angove. Marg’s professionalism on the sidelines is something that all younger coaches could learn something from. Very calm and collected, Marg’s ability to deliver concise information and strategic influence is impeccable and it is easy to see her composure is rubbing off on our athletes in all the right ways. Our netball teams have been a dominating force to be reckoned with, with our Open As going through the season undefeated and finishing last week’s round with a convincing win over former table leaders Scotch College. The Open Bs are also in the mix and having a great season with only one loss and a wonderful one point victory last weekend, and our 10As, 9As and 8As are all looking good to make finals at home at Westminster on Thursday 29 August.

Keep an ear out for our Open As results at the upcoming Netball knockout against Sacred Heart and Woodcroft on Tuesday 6 August.

Football News

After a contentious draw against Immanuel, our school community is very proud of our Firsts teams efforts and sportsmanlike conduct and holding our standards high in Div 1 against the bigger population schools. While there is a distinct advantage to having a large number of athletes to choose from, our team is going all out to prove that it’s not quantity but quality and teamwork which is the determining factor. A little bit of belief and a whole lot of effort goes a long way to winning football matches, and we must not forget that on the sidelines our coaching staff are doing a magnificent job mentally preparing our teams to bring their best week after week regardless of the opposition.

Week in and week out our Year 10A team has been clocking up some pretty impressive wins under the tutelage of David Wallage. We are all looking forward to watching this team into the finals rounds but also as an indication of where our School is heading into the future of football at Westminster.

One of the best news stories from this week has to be our Year 9 football team posting their first win of the season. After what has been a very tough season it’s so good to see their efforts and a little resilience being rewarded on the scoreboard. The same is true of our Year 8 footy boys who did everything right on the weekend and led for the majority of the game to go down by one goal in the last. Regardless of the outcome, this was the best result for the season for the team, who have previously lost to the same team by a large margin. The boys played a wonderful game and showed huge improvements in many areas. A really good job by Coach Alex who has been supporting the team throughout the season while they found their feet in senior school football.

It is such an important fact that our team take a giant step up in quality when moving from junior to senior school, and teams that have been successful previously are confronted with a new playing style and quality of opposition. First again, we need to learn to play the game at a higher level, then to compete at a higher level, then we learn how to win. This week the Year 8 boys showed that they have learnt how to compete. If we can reproduce this quality of football as the new standard week in and out then I have no doubt that the results on the scoreboard will follow accordingly.

Soccer and Basketball News

Our Boys' Soccer A team is having a blinder of a season as well, going into the last few weeks of competition undefeated and looking sharp for finals. Not to mention our Basketball Open A and Middle A teams led by our veteran Coach Al Green and Jacob Dickson respectively, and thoroughly and comedically supported by Richard Noone whose enthusiastic Basketball match day reports are a highlight for the sports department weekly.

Volleyball

Upcoming this weekend is the South Australian Volleyball Schools Cup, a precursor to the Australian Schools Cup to be held in December this year and is Australia’s largest school sport event.

Our Senior A Boys' and Girls' teams are both entered in the Honours division, and Bs into Division 1. We will competing against some SA schools who are arguably Australia’s best volleyball schools. With our teams going into the competition as underdogs, it is sure to be a fantastic weekend of hotly contested matches. All of our teams have been improving steadily throughout the season and with some grit and determination will have the ability to topple some of the higher ranked teams from their perches.

Our Senior A Boys' team coach Bo Soderberg has been instrumental in lifting the quality of volleyball in our boys side, however with the unexpected illness of his mother he will be returning to Denmark for a few months starting this week.

In his place I have pulled out the big guys and recruited one of Australia’s best ever volleyballers to stand beside and guide our teams in Bo’s absence.

Introducing Chris McHugh

With a Volleyball resume too long to measure, I’ll welcome Chris to our coaching team with a brief overview. As a professional athlete for the past 13 years, Chris has represented Australia at the highest level, being part of the Australian Institute of Sport Volleyball program since he himself was in high school.

Chris is a local SA boy who has represented Australia in Youth, Junior and Senior World Championships. He has been crowned the Australian Champion numerous times and found himself standing on top of the podium at FIVB international volleyball world tour events.

Some people may inadvertently know Chris if you happened to watch the Commonwealth Games last year. Alongside our Term 1 Sports Person in Residence, Damien Schumann, Chris was successful in bringing home a gold medal for Australia in an epic battle on the sands of the Gold Coast.

Please welcome Chris as he fills a crucial role for our team over the next few months in Bo’s absence while preparing for upcoming Olympic Qualification for Tokyo 2020 in November this year.

Yours in High Performance,

Lauren Soderberg
Head of Sport Development and High Performance