Class Act 2019: Blue Mountain College

Liam Criglington and Iris van Baarle are the 2019 Class Act recipients for Blue Mountain College.

Liam Criglington
Liam Criglington
Liam Criglington

Liam Criglington (17) was just 12 when he first discovered that other doors open when one closes.

''I was playing rugby up until about year 8, and then I got a couple of concussions, which meant I couldn't play for quite a while.

''So when the new season came around, I decided to try hockey instead of rugby, and I liked it.

''I love it even more than rugby.

''When one door closes, another one opens.''

Despite only stepping on to a hockey turf for the first time five years ago, the Blue Mountain College deputy head boy has amassed significant success in the sport.

He has been a member of the Eastern Green division 2 men's hockey team since 2018 and is captain of the team this year; he is a member of the Eastern Southland men's hockey team, which won the Ian Smith Trophy this year; and he is also a member of the Eastern United division 1 hockey team this year.

While he is an outstanding player, his reputation as a highly competent hockey umpire is growing after umpiring at the national under-13 hockey tournament and receiving a New Zealand Hockey umpiring junior badge in 2018.

He was recently named Hockey Southland up and coming male umpire for 2019, and is umpiring for Hockey Southland this year.

He has also been a member of Southland representative cricket teams since 2017, and has won many medals at athletics and cross-country events around the region.

Liam plans to continue playing and umpiring hockey while studying for a bachelor of science degree at the University of Otago.

He wants to major in oceanography and geology, and ultimately he would like to work with scientists to help the marine environment.

Achievements: Deputy head boy (2019); NCEA level 1 with excellence, level 2 with merit; top scholar award (2017, 2018); Southland U17 cricket (2017); 1st school U16 cross country (2017), senior boys (2019); 3rd Otago-Southland cross country relay (2017, 2018); 1st school boys U16 swimming (2017); national U13 hockey tournament umpire (2018); Southland U17 cricket (2018); 1st senior boys cross country (2018); Eastern Green Division 2 men’s hockey winners (2018); New Zealand Hockey umpiring junior badge (2018); Hockey Southland up and coming male umpire (2019); 2nd school athletics senior boys (2019); 2nd Otago Athletics 1500m (2019); Hockey Southland umpire (2019); Eastern Southland men’s hockey (2019), Ian Smith Trophy winners (2019); Eastern Green division 2 hockey captain (2019); Eastern United division 1 hockey (2019); Waikoikoi B cricket (2019); Blue Mountain College 1st XI hockey (2019); West Otago Theatre Society supporting role (2016); Otago Southland Theatre Awards nominee for best supporting male (2016); school production supporting role (2017); school production lead role (2019); kapa haka (2019); Outward Bound (2018); sound technician at school and community events (2018-19); all three PB4L badges (2018); Gold Duke of Edinburgh (2019); Global Youth Leadership trip to China (2019); formal committee treasurer (2019); charities committee deputy chairman and treasurer (2019).

Role models: My parents.

Hopes for the future: To study for a bachelor of science degree at the University of Otago.


Iris van Baarle
Iris van Baarle
Iris van Baarle

''Striving towards goals, working hard and persevering will help you get wherever you want to go.''

It's a philosophy that Iris van Baarle lives by, and one that has helped the 17-year-old Blue Mountain College prefect become a high academic achiever.

She won her school's academic general excellence award in 2016; she achieved NCEA levels 1 and 2 with excellence endorsements; she was the school's top scholar in 2018; and she is this year's premier scholar.

Iris is proud of her academic awards, especially because they have not been easy to achieve.

She has mild dyslexia, which has made some everyday tasks more challenging.

''It hasn't always been the smoothest of roads for me, since I do struggle sometimes with my spelling, and comprehending information and putting it down on paper.

''But it isn't a major setback.''

She says if anything, it has made her a better person because she has learnt she can achieve anything if she sets goals, works hard and perseveres until she achieves them.

They are skills that will serve her well in tertiary study.

Next year she hopes to study physiotherapy at the University of Otago, or occupational therapy at Otago Polytechnic.

She says it is difficult to imagine where she will be in 10 years' time, but she hopes it will be in a career helping people recover from physical injuries, including brain injuries.

''I'm interested in learning how you can help people recover from accidents and things like strokes - learning how to walk and talk again. I've been fascinated by it.

''I want to help them with their therapy and recovery - get them back to where they used to be.''

Achievements: Prefect (2019); NCEA levels 1 and 2 with excellence; top scholar (2018); premier scholar (2019); school academic general excellence award (2016); school B netball team (2017-19), co-captain (2019); 1st SISS B grade netball tournament (2017);  Shark Squad advanced swimming (2013-19); school swimming champion (2015-19); school A netball team (2017, 2019); Elwing voyage around Stewart Island (2018); house leader (2019); peer support leader (2019); SADD committee (2019); school production back stage (2019); Duke of Edinburgh silver (2018); working on gold Duke of Edinburgh (2019); 3 PB4L badges (2015-2018); school outdoor education delegate (2019).

Role models: My sisters and my parents.

Hopes for the future: To study physiotherapy at the University of Otago, or occupational therapy at Otago Polytechnic.

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