Busy start to sports year at all schools

These articles are compiled by the Otago Secondary Schools Sports Association,  which is proudly sponsored by Perpetual Guardian.


Columba College

It has been a busy start to term one, as summer sports got under way. Columba College offers 17 different options to try, so there really is something for everyone. With teams ranging from competitive through to social, they are huge on getting everyone involved and helping pupils find their passion. The school has a huge emphasis on the individual's health and wellbeing. Therefore, classes such as yoga, boxing and elite fitness are offered, to go along with a new Wexer Virtual training programme in the sports facility. These classes help lift the Columba spirit and enjoyment factor in physical activity and exercise.

The annual athletic sports day was held on the first Friday with 500 eager pupils from years 7 to 13 taking to the track to compete for their houses and gain points with the aim of winning the school spirit stick. The day began with a march-past and chant-off followed by a morning of fun and competitive events and then on to finals in the afternoon. They finished with everyone's favourite and long-awaited relay races. First up were house relays run in individual year levels, followed by boarders versus day girls and eventually the highly anticipated staff versus prefects. It was certainly a race of two halves but the staff ultimately proved too strong for the prefects. A great day was had by all and thank you to all those who came and supported.


Kavanagh College

The start of the school year has once again been very busy for pupils at Kavanagh College. The college held its annual athletics sports day last week. The weather cleared around mid-morning as forecast and it was then perfect conditions for some good times on the track. This year, six records were broken. Peter Sewell broke the under-15 100m and 400m records, Sione Tukala the over-16 boys shot put mark, Hena Fonohema the over-16 girls shot put record, Faith Elisara the under-15 shot put record and Troy Kubala the under-13 shot put record.

Term 1 sport is also under way and Kavanagh College has two handball teams, two touch teams, nine futsal teams, two water polo teams, two tennis teams and four volleyball teams participating in Dunedin secondary schools competitions.

The college was also very excited to get its first XI cricket team back on the field when it competed in the First XI Cup against South Otago recently. The team is also off to play St Kevin's in the annual interschool match on March 2.


Otago Boys' High School

Plenty of activity in this term so far.

A perfect day for the athletic sports with great participation and a great experience for the new year 9 boys. Nathan Hill won the 1500m in 4min 1sec to break the long-standing record of W.K. Darling set in 1965. Another notable performer was George Vare, who ran 22.9sec to break the under-16 200m record held by E.J.Thomson since 1958 and 11.1sec in the 100m race to break another record held jointly by P. Cox and J. Dixon.

Interschools started a week later when Timaru Boys' High School visited. The results were: touch, OBHS won 3-0; tennis juniors, OBHS won 4-2; senior tennis, lost 6-0. In the junior cricket Timaru won after making 109 and then bowling out OBHS for 50. Special mention to Sebastian Kyle who took three for 16 bowling and made 27 with the bat. In the first XI cricket, OBHS made 179 with Charlie Marsh contributing 51 not out to beat TBHS 63.

Otago Boys' beat John McGlashan 6-0 at tennis and will now represent the Otago region at the South Island tournament.

At the OSS triathlon in Wanaka, Jack Divers finished eighth in the senior boys individual and James Howard was 16th in the junior boys individual. In the junior teams, the blue team of Connor Feist, Ben Tucker and Cole Gibbons finished second, ahead of the white team of Eddie Wright, James Gardner and Rohan Leckie-Zaharic.

The second interschool for the year was with Waitaki Boys' High School. Unfortunately, both cricket matches were rained off but the tennis went ahead inside at the Edgar Centre. In a very hard-fought battle, OBHS won 5-4.


Mount Aspiring College

Without a doubt, the sporting highlight of the month was Zoi Sadowski-Synnott's Olympic success. She landed a massive switch backside 900 to claim the Winter Olympics bronze medal in the women's big air. The 16-year-old was briefly New Zealand's youngest Olympic medallist, until Nico Porteous won his bronze a few hours later. Zoi was also the first New Zealander to gain a medal at the Winter Olympics in 26 years.

MAC mountain bikers turned out in force at the Oceania MTB champs in Dunedin earlier this month. Competing on a borrowed bike, Phoebe Young claimed the women's under-19 cross-country championship. In the downhill, Anton Cousins navigated a wet and muddy course to finish third in the men's under-19 event, a great result for his first year in that age-group.

Fifty pupils took part in the OSS triathlon as part of the Challenge Wanaka festival. With more than 250 competitors from as far as Invercargill and Christchurch, the MAC team really enjoyed the atmosphere and the level of competition provided. Windy conditions made for a choppy 300m swim, a challenging 15km cycle and a hot 3km run, but there were plenty of smiles at the finish line. Mount Aspiring teams won four of the six team events. Notable performances from individuals included Gregor Findlay and Julius Staufenberg (first and second in Otago, senior boys), Natalie Mitchell (second senior girls) and McKay Watson (second junior boys).


Queen's High School

Queen's annual athletics sports were held on February 14. This was a fantastic day of competitive events and novelty house events. Students were allocated house points for participation in all events and extra points for placing in competitive events. The age-group champions for 2018: under-14, Amber Park; under-15, Jodie Hyatt; under-16, Chaleece Kenealy; over-16, Molly Stephenson.

Ella Montgomery travelled to Cambridge on February 9 to compete in the 2018 New Zealand rowing championships. She made the final for the women's club double, placing her and her partner, ex-Queen's pupil Leah Anderson, in the top 16 in New Zealand.

Other Queen's rowers competed in the OSS regatta in Dunedin February 17. These girls will travel to Twizel to compete in the 2018 NZSS championship in March.

Former student Nicole Kettings is offering introductory martial arts to staff and pupils on Fridays at lunchtime. A stretch yoga class on Wednesday mornings is also run by an ex-student, Stacey Stedman. It is great to have these women contributing back to the school.

Mereana Martin competed in the South Island junior surf life-saving championships in February. She won seven medals in team and individual events and will compete at the junior nationals in Orewa, in March.

The school is excited to have so many teams playing volleyball, touch, futsal, tennis, water polo, softball and petanque this term.


South Otago High School

The school attended the OSS triathlon in Wanaka on February 15. Congratulations to all involved. What a fabulous day everyone had, feeling like professional athletes using the Challenge Wanaka circuit. The senior team of Ella-Rose Lawrence, Frank Hill and Jake Lyders gained third place.

The school held its athletics on February 19. Keely Hill (year 10 pupil) broke a 19-year discus record, throwing 26.7m. The record was previously held by Cindy Morrison with a throw of 26.1m. Keely will compete at the OSS championships in Dunedin on Saturday.

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