Pupils giving their all in many disciplines

Most schools can claim a point of difference, whether that be academically, culturally, environmentally or something in the sports domain. Here are a few from our Otago secondary schools.

Queen’s High School pupils (from left) Sari Ayson, Rewa Morrison, Tessa Gabbott and Bella Burns...
Queen’s High School pupils (from left) Sari Ayson, Rewa Morrison, Tessa Gabbott and Bella Burns prepare to hit the waves. PHOTO: DEREK MORRISON

The Queen’s High School surfing academy started this year and has seven members in the team. In the summer terms, the girls surf before school when the conditions are good. They have two competitive and technique sessions a week after school and also have a strength and conditioning coach who takes them once a week. The team competes in South Island and national competitions and has had some great results to date.

The girls were lucky enough to have professional surfer Paige Hareb come down in the winter holidays and spend a week surfing and sharing her knowledge with them. Such an awesome experience for the team. We are all looking forward to plenty of waves over summer and for the competition season to begin.


The mission for King’s Lions Sport is twofold: to encourage and motivate our young men to continue sport through and after school, and to inspire and educate those young men who seek a career in sport.

Both of these missions require committed and passionate drivers, engaged young men and plenty of resources.

Focusing on these three components is the strategy for the continued growth and excellence of King’s Lions Sport.

Like in all things in life, change occurs, new developments are made and you either adapt or miss out. In 2021, the demand to play the more traditional sports is still alive and well but there is also increased demand for those sports not so ‘‘mainstream’’. Playing sport fashions growth of self-image in our young men, so facilitating those opportunities has been most important.

There has also been progressive change in the high-performance pathway. It is common now for pupils to leave school and enter high-performance and professional sporting environments. The luxury of time has slightly diminished and performance within high school sporting environments has become more scrutinised.

At ‘‘The Den’’, we welcome these new opportunities to improve and compete but remember it is our own identity and DNA which connects us all as Lions, regardless of talent. Thankfully, we are blessed with superb coaches and managers both internal and external who understand and drive this guiding principle.

We thank ‘‘The Pride’’ (our community) for their continued support and look forward to the sporting calendar of 2022.

South Otago High School pupils (from left) Briana Dent, Maia Pryde, Lucy Kella and Isla Hastie on...
South Otago High School pupils (from left) Briana Dent, Maia Pryde, Lucy Kella and Isla Hastie on patrol at Kaka Point. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Often people think pupils at country schools miss out on opportunities, but both these sports below show that living in the country has not held these students back at all.


We have several pupils who are lifeguards at both Kaka Point and Brighton over the summer. Some of our pupils are paid but some do it voluntarily. This is something which we encourage as not only are they helping to keep beachgoers safe, but they are giving back to the lifeguard community which nurtured them through junior surf.

The skills learnt training to be a lifeguard are not just physical. Knowing how to work in a team, reacting quickly and calmly in often stressful scenarios, interacting with the public and being competent first aiders are all important life skills.

Maori rugby

Keely Hill has achieved big time this year as far as rugby goes. Keely has been in the Otago women’s rugby team for two years, which is an awesome achievement for a schoolgirl.

This year Keely was named vice-captain in the New Zealand Nga Mareikura under-18 team. She was honoured to take this role, and we wish her all the success in her rugby.

A note from Keely from her camp:

These camps really showcase how important and special our culture is and have taught me a lot about who I am and my history of where I have come from. They have played a big role in how important my culture is to me and how it impacts my life. I definitely recommend these to any Maori U18 pupils who play rugby, or even if you don’t, just go for the cultural experience which is amazing as the camps are mainly based around tikanga Maori in te ao Maori.


East Otago year 9-10 pupils had a fantastic time at Junior Sports Week. They travelled into Dunedin each day and took part in volleyball, dodgeball, touch, handball, 3x3 basketball, pool, ki o rahi, indoor cricket and renegade hockey. This week was a great opportunity for pupils to try out new sports and have a fun week with their friends.

Some pupils were asked about their favourite sports:

Maia Perry: ‘‘Volleyball, because I got to play with my friends and it is one of my favourite sports.’’

Cassidy Bridger: ‘‘Volleyball, because I got to hang out with my friends and it was lots of fun.’’

Deegan Croucher: ‘‘Renegade hockey, because I have never played hockey before, it was fun and I got to play with my friends.’’

Congratulations to Joshua Walker, who attended the national hip-hop championships in Christchurch recently. He came away with fantastic results including first in crew category with his group Allies, and first in duos with Homeboys. The Homeboys won the most overall points in any category.


Junior tournament week in Dunedin is always a highlight for Cromwell’s year 9-10 pupils. They run this as a sport camp and stay in Dunedin with pupils participating in a variety of sports throughout the week. This year unfortunately saw a restriction on those able to participate but they still had 42 keen young athletes don a Cromwell College uniform and experience everything that this week had to offer.

The week started with a boys handball team that had only ever played one game before but came away as the division 1 winner. The boys were pretty pleased with themselves (rightly so) and it set them up for a great day on Tuesday at the 3v3 basketball, where they placed first and third in B grade.

A second group of 20 volleyballers travelled for the day on Wednesday and had great fun. It was then the turn of the two touch teams to play in the scorching Dunedin sun on the Thursday, rounding off the week with a group of nine pupils staying over to play indoor cricket on the Friday.

The pupils love this experience, and the Cromwell College sports department are grateful that OSSSA provides this opportunity for rural schools to be part of this experience.

Kaikorai Valley College sailors (from left) Grace Shemely, Emma Hedges and Mitchell Fox prepare...
Kaikorai Valley College sailors (from left) Grace Shemely, Emma Hedges and Mitchell Fox prepare to head out. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

KVC is lucky to be able to offer sailing as a sport. The school’s guidance counsellor does the organisation and has contacts at the Vauxhall Yacht Club who kindly give up their time on a Tuesday afternoon to instruct our pupils in the art of sailing. They learn to skipper and crew a boat and also complete a formal Yachting New Zealand Learn to Sail course.

No prior sailing experience is necessary, but pupils do need to be able to swim while wearing a PFD and be comfortable in deep water.

Pupils get to sail a variety of boats including Optimists, Sunbursts, Toppers and Bics. Sailing takes place in the summer months during terms one and four.

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