A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Sport Development and High Performance - Edition 6 - 2019

Hi Westminster families,

I'm writing to you all from Almaty, Kazakhstan, sandwiched between Russia, Uzbekistan and China. I'm not going to lie, when I got the offer to come over here to work with their national team and lead them into the Asian Championships I was a little more then dubious about where I was headed. I have known the individual athletes for a few years on tour, but as they predominantly speak Russian I had very little idea of what to expect out of the Daily Training Environment (DTE) and how much communication limitations might come into play.

It wouldn't be too far fetched to say I had set my expectations pretty low and prepared for worst case scenario.

It's interesting how expectations work. What we expect of a moment or an experience can in itself shape the way the experience plays out. In sport sometimes its how we expect the game "should" or will go that often derails us.

There could have been many reasons why my low expectations might be justified, such as language issues, different culture, food unavailability, jet lag, you name it. But instead of looking for what wasn't there, I took a little leaf out of my almost two year old toddlers' book (who was having the time of his life on the amazing amount of kids outdoor gyms and playgrounds every 50 meters here) and focused on what was - committed athletes, an excellent training facility and gym, and a good cafe next door. What more can you need?

In high performance we can't afford to wait for things to get better or be different from what they are in order to succeed. We need to focus on what is and what we can control, and let go of things like expectations and circumstance, because at the end of the day or the end of the game someone will always win and the other goes home. It is the team who makes the best of their circumstance who come out on top. Sport is not about perfection, it's about excellence. Sometimes it's more about making average plays into magic through sheer effort and determination, sometimes it's about refusing to quit even when it's so tough or you're so far behind on the score board. More often than not, it's about finding a way to gain an advantage out of whatever hand you have been dealt.

So as we kick into winter season at home in Adelaide, and I am off to the heat in southern China for the Asian Championship, the message is the same - make no excuses for circumstance or bad fortune, a quality process produces quality outcomes. The only thing that matters in the moment is being 100% present, performing our role in the team to the best of our ability, both on and off the court, with maximum concentration and effort, and believing that we are capable of success by capitalising on our strengths and exploiting the weaknesses in our opponents game.

Champion Netballer Sarah Sutter Joins Westminster’s Netball program

With the opening of our winter sport season, we are delighted that champion netballer Sarah Sutter has agreed to join our netball program.

Sarah brings an impressive list of achievements to the court, including winning gold at both the Commonwealth Games in 1997 and the World Championships in 1995.

Sarah McKay (nee Sutter) is a parent at Westminster and has come on board in a voluntary capacity to serve as an ambassador for netball across the School as well as assist with specific aspects of training and selection.

Sarah will support her close friend and legendary netball coach Marg Angove, who continues in her role as our Senior Squad Coach. Sarah has also expressed an interest in the development programs for our junior netball teams, from upper primary onwards.

The girls are very excited to have a netball champion of Sarah’s calibre, another highly profiled ‘household’ name in netball circles, join our outstanding netball program at Westminster.

Student Highlights

Student highlights have been coming in thick and fast over the last few weeks which is very exciting news.

Let's start with the fantastic news that our Sailing team has excelled in the State finals recently taking out both divisions. The team will now head to Hobart later this term to challenge the best of the rest of the country at the National Finals.

Congratulations are also due to Sam Blyzno, Tim Blyzno and Nat Drummond who took home a silver medal in the U17 Beach Relay at the National Surf Life Saving Championships held in early April on the Gold Coast. Outstanding effort team!

Another excellent result for Jessica McManus who made it through to the U15 800m final at the National Championships for athletics. Of special note is that Jessica equalled her personal best to qualify for the finals, and also managed a PB in her 1500m race. Well done Jess!

Best of luck to our teams in the upcoming rounds of competition. I'll look forward to landing in Adelaide in a few days' time and seeing you all again soon.

Yours in High Performance,

Lauren Soderberg
Head of Sport Development and High Performance