Jack Hood was our captain for the entire tournament and led from the front as always, managing the team, setting an example and keeping team morale high.
It was a blisteringly hot day and the team played 4 games before the lunch break. We developed, learnt and grew throughout each game against tough and experienced opponents, going into the break with a draw against a team we would meet in the afternoon table.
In the afternoon we played a further 3 games. First were our rivals from the morning. They had learnt who our key players were and how to deal with them, unfortunately securing a win. During the next 2 games we learnt from our mistakes and attacked the line. On several occasions the opposition could not deal with our physicality and strength as James, Alex, Emmanuel and Evan were able to break the line and score some unbelievable tries, winning our final 2 games.
Throughout all of this, one thing stood out more than anything else. During every game members of the opposition staff came to congratulate me on such a wonderful set of boys. Every team we played against commented on the sportsmanship, respect and resilience, no matter the result. Because of this at the final presentation our students were awarded the “Fair Play Award”, specifically chosen for a school nominated by staff from each of the attending schools, who had shown incredible respect and sportsmanship throughout the tournament.
This was the highlight of my day, far more important than the results of each game. All I asked of our students was to have fun, enjoy themselves and show the best of themselves. They truly did that! It is behaviour such as we have seen today that resulted in us receiving the John Ahm award, showcasing our diverse and inclusive community for everyone to see, showing that no matter your background you can be respectful to all.
I am incredibly proud to have taken these 11 students to this event. I am even more proud to say that I was once part of their year group and finally I am proud that MSM students have stood up and shown who we are and what our values are. What a team we have! I cannot wait so see what they can achieve in future years.