Might I take a moment to reflect on how time is flying. During the week, Dr B and I attended the school sports assembly. It was YoungB’s last such event, which is a somewhat sobering thought. We were delighted that the guest speaker was a rower; an Olympic finalist, what’s more. She spoke about the mental strength required to be an elite athlete. YoungB has yet to reach quite her level of mental strength but he has already proved that he can be focused and that he’s willing to put in a lot of hours to train for high level achievements. Fittingly, his prowess as a rower was recognised with the presentation of a Blue, the school’s highest sporting award.
The criteria are:
- Involvement in, service to and leadership of the sport;
- Commitment to the greater school sporting program;
- General attitude towards the school’s academic program; and
- Attributes as a role model.
We know our son with all his faults and quirky little ways and we know that he well deserved that recognition. His participation in and contribution to the school as a rower and all-round sportsman has been remarkable, especially to us, because when he started at the school, nobody would have picked him as a sporting type. He had a few physical handicaps, albeit minor but certainly drawbacks to sporting achievement, so the discovery of rowing was better than winning the lottery.
He is, as the citation suggested, a much-decorated rower and he has held a number of academic and sporting leadership positions throughout the five years he has been at the school. He is presently coaching junior rowers at a four-day camp, up on the big River. He will continue his association with the school, much as several of the other coaches are doing. When I waved him off and said I hoped he’d have a good time his response was along the lines of, “Four days torturing little kids? Sounds great!” Uh, I’m not entirely certain that that’s in the true spirit of a Blue!