Wednesday 6th July 2016

I am not much of a singer, but I am able to appreciate a good performance and so I really enjoyed the

performance of our choir at ‘The Big Sing’ in the Town Hall recently. What I valued most was the level of

participation and it reminded me of the importance of co-curricular experiences in the lives of young men.

First XV captain and deputy head boy Rory Ferguson bolts for his 4th try
First XV captain and deputy head boy Rory Ferguson bolts for his 4th try

The McGlashan Brotherhood communicated their obvious enthusiasm (and a large dose of courage) and were rewarded by the audience with a standing ovation. It was a proud moment.

Our school-wide inter-house singing competition was also met with much gusto when it was held in the Chapel during the final week of the term.  Gilray won out on the day with their performance. It was very encouraging to hear the power of the mass singing of the National Anthem at the culmination of the competition which gives me hope for a more relaxed and enthusiastic attitude towards whole singing at the college in the future. Congratulations to all those who are involved in the performing arts, and to all of our students who are participating in, and contributing to, the college’s very full co-curricular programme.

As a school, we continuously seek to develop positive attributes in all of our young men. So why should kids participate in a co-curricular activity? Personally, I don’t think it matters which activity or sport they do, as long as they find something they enjoy. As part of each experience, they learn some of life’s most valuable lessons:
• how to be tired but not to quit
• how to be disciplined, focused and dedicated
• they learn self-management and independence
• how to work with others and be good teammates, gracious in defeat and humble in success
• how to deal with disappointment and how to give something their best shot
• respect for themselves, their peers, coaches, officials and supporters
• that it takes hours and hours, years and years of hard work and practice to create a championship performance and that success does not happen overnight
• to be proud of small achievements, and to work towards long-term goals
• to make life-long friendships, create memories and be proud of themselves and their team
• that they are better off in the pool, on the field or on the stage instead of in front of a screen
• that the opportunities these activities provide will serve them well throughout their lives.
From my experience as a teacher, and as a parent, I think it is a great investment.

And while I am discussing co-curricular activities, recent survey data from the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Sports Association places John McGlashan College at the top of national participation levels in sport. Boys’ schools are often perceived to be solely focused on sport, but given the sheer numbers of our young men involved, and given the level at which many of them are competing, it is natural that we look to recognise their achievements. I believe that the changes we have made over the last few years to the quality of sporting and coaching experiences of our boys is starting to reap rewards and is reflected in these results. My thanks again to all those teachers and volunteers who inject so much skill, energy and passion into the co-curricular programme at McGlashan. What you do makes a difference to the boys, and to the quality of their experiences. It is what happens outside the classroom that binds us together as a community.

I hope you make time to enjoy the company of your boys over the holidays.

Kind regards
Neil Garry

First XV captain and deputy head boy Rory Ferguson bolts for his 4th try