How would you define your greatest achievement? Can you pinpoint a single moment in life thus far or is it a compilation of moments thrown together and what does it mean to you?
In the US Open Mens' Final over the weekend, we witnessed one of the greatest sporting stars of our time Rafael Nadal completely swept with emotion upon victory of this 19th Grand Slam title. Tears flowing freely, Nadal was seemingly overcome with a whole range of emotions, joy and relief clearly playing their part. Was number 19 so special, inching his way closer to the best of all time? Or was it the fact that during the announcing period a review of all his grand slam final victories we run over the big screen in front of his eyes, showcasing a career on court of hard fought victories and triumphs spanning over a decade? Maybe a reminder of all the countless hours and numerous losses he has endured to grow as a player towards the current moment.
Regardless of his reasons, the raw emotion of the moment was real and whether the single moment or accumulation of moments are more significant is only for Rafa to know. What is for certain is this isn’t the first time we have seen him sharing his passion, determination, elation or disappointment on top of the podium in wins and losses.
From my own reflections on our winter Intercol, we as a community got to see some amazing sporting moments, full of emotion for our athletes. Whether it be the underdog struggle of our Badminton teams to snatch an upset victory or our soccer team just holding on for the duration, our Basketball team showing courage under pressure for an outstanding finish or our firsts football team giving their all but going down to a better side on the day. The emotions, the wins, and the losses are all embedded in our athletes minds. They are part of their journey through sport and how we frame our experiences is as much of an essential skill as any technical part of the game.
Whether we are an exceptional player or not, most people will lose more games than they win over their sporting careers, that’s what makes the hours of training worth it and the victories all the sweeter. We take what we can from our losses knowing that if we are willing to examine ourselves, a loss is the opportunity to really grow both our game and as people.
So with knockouts almost coming to a close over the week, some experiencing great success and others not, the question might be, what did we learn through this experience? How much of myself did I invest in the process? Did I give my all regardless of my skill level and challenge myself to grow or was I complacent or maybe hesitant to go all in and if so why?
By asking and answering the tough questions we make the most of our sporting experiences and can take the lessons learnt with us both on and off the court.
Incase you missed one of the truly fantastic sporting moments of Intercol 2019, in front of a cheering Westminster crowd, Joel Dyer shot his team from behind to victory on the buzzer and the whole stadium erupted . Coach Al Green could be heard yelling “that’s what you do!“ and indeed he was right. Joel has been the teams captain and an outstanding player on court for the entire season, ever humble but consistently exceptional none the less.
We send our congratulations to Joel as he is awarded for his efforts throughout the entire season being named MVP in the division at the SASSA basketball/soccer presentation night.
In other sporting news the Year 10 Boys' KO Basketball team managed to defeat Brighton, but Sacred Heart was a little bit too big and too good on the day for us. We stuck with them for a half, playing a frenetic pace, but the fatigue of playing back-to-back games finally hit the boys and we went down in the end.
Westminster hosted all of the IGSSA Netball Finals. The school had 9A, 10A, Open B and Open A competing. Open A won the shield for the first time in seven years. The game was tight early on, but the girls were too much for Scotch in the end. In front of a large, noisy crowd on the outdoor courts, the 9As played a thriller, trading goals with Scotch the entire game. The score was even with two minutes to play. The girls were steely eyed and clean under huge pressure and came away with the win. Open B fought hard against Scotch, clawing themselves back from a double-figure deficit. Westminster had the momentum and the fitness on our side in the fourth quarter, but time ran out. The 10A team also had a close game with Seymour. In the end Seymour was just a little better, winning by six goals.
Our Badminton girls played St Peters in the IGSSA Badminton final which was a rematch of last season. St Peters were out for revenge and their one and two singles were really good out of the gate. Both of them are state team players and they proved a bit too good for our girls this year. St Peters won the match 4-2 sets.
Lastly for our Year 6, 7, 8 and 9 Girls and Year 8 Boys interested in football, for the next few weeks only Sally Riley will be continuing her football academy. As her time at Westminster inches towards a close, we thank her for her passion and contribution to sport at the school and wish her all the best for her next adventure and season ahead.
Yours in High Performance,
Head of Sport Development and High Performance