RAY COLLINS: 20 Years of Sporting Pathway

This year marks twenty years since the establishment of representative pathways for students in Catholic schools that have enabled them to gain access to state and national representative level sport.

Prior to 1995 such opportunities were limited to a very small number of sports such as Rugby League where the strength of Catholic school students in those sports could not be ignored.

Today Catholic Primary and Secondary school students have access to the highest levels of representation. They proceed from their school carnivals through regional and diocesan trials to NSW Catholic Primary School and NSW Combined Catholic Colleges' selection processes to NSW PSSA and NSW All Schools' representation respectively.

From there, participation in School Sport Australia as NSW representatives is available in most sports. In some cases Australian teams are selected to compete internationally.

This year alone, 29 students from our Catholic Secondary Schools were chosen in Australian teams whilst 247 students were able to represent NSW All Schools at national level.

None of this can occur without the dedication and commitment of the teachers and support staff in our schools who generously take on the task of organising school based sporting events and then regional, diocesan and state wide opportunities for students from all schools. The teachers who are willing to embrace the challenge and time required to act as sports convenors for this wide variety of sports are deserving of the highest praise.

Last Monday night those students who have achieved at the highest level were acknowledged at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Sporting Blues Awards in Sydney.

Four students from our diocese were presented with Blues Awards; they were:

  • Myles Cherry - St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton for Basketball
  • Brock Lamb - All Saints College, St Mary’s Campus, Maitland for Rugby League
  • Matthew Pender - All Saints College, St Mary’s Campus, Maitland for Swimming
  • Jake Robinson - All Saints College, St Mary’s Campus, Maitland for Water Polo

Our congratulations go to each of these students for their outstanding achievements in their respective sports and for the way they have represented their schools and their diocese.

Again, the support they have from their teachers at school, the diocesan sports coordinators and the state convenors for their sports have greatly assisted in enabling these pathways to be available to them so that their abundant talent can be demonstrated at the highest level.

To all involved I extend my sincerest congratulations for all that is achieved.

Ray Collins Image
Ray Collins

Ray Collins is the Director of Schools within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. He is an authority on education issues.

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