Principal's Blog: Term 4 Week 3
Friday, 20 October 2023
Kia ora whānau
Sport is part of the Kiwi psyche and has an ability to galvanize the nation. The All Blacks’ gutsy and classy win over a brilliant Irish side at the Rugby World Cup last weekend brought jubilation, at the expense of some fairly frayed nerves and mown down fingernails! The turnaround in the performance of our national team to have beaten the world number one side last weekend has been phenomenal, with the team having to find the courage and fortitude to turn things around. The same is true of the Silver Ferns’ stunning netball win over World Champions Australia on Thursday night. Widely criticised, having underperformed at the recent Netball World Cup, the Ferns were a class act. One can only imagine the psychological shifts required in these settings to see such massive improvements in a relatively short period of time, all whilst under intense public scrutiny. Finding that sweet spot where confidence in self and others is inherent. The talent that high performance athletes demonstrate appears effortless and is a joy to behold, yet it’s not all rainbows and unicorns, with the motivation often having stemmed from a place of deep disappointment.

Our annual Marsden Sports Awards was a stunning evening where we celebrated the achievements of our own talented athletes. Guest speaker, three-time world champion Black Fern Kendra Cocksedge, shared her compelling story of having carved out a sporting career that culminated in the Black Ferns being celebrated as the darlings of the nation earlier this year. Articulate, engaging and honest, Kendra shared the highs and the lows of a 30-year career playing the game she has loved since she was a four-year-old; disrupting stereotypes, constantly having to break through glass ceilings, dealing with disappointment and despair, and building the resilience to overcome challenges and adversity. Her message - it’s totally worth it. Kendra attributes her success to having an unwavering support network, family and friends who keep her grounded and who are there for her through all of life’s ups and downs. There is no doubt that our own Marsden athletes who had their moment to shine on Wednesday night will already have had their share of disappointments and have had to dig deep and learn from dreams being dashed, all the while beginning to build a resiliency bank that will serve them well through life’s inevitable twists and turns. An endearing phrase we’ve heard repeated a number of times these past couple of weeks, reinforced at our awards evening, is that ‘the path to success is never linear’.

The pathway to success for ‘Team Emma’ is the New York Marathon. At this week’s chaplain’s assembly, Georgia Burley and Penny Favel gave a presentation about Penny’s mum’s journey with ovarian cancer. Emma Favel, a Marsden Old Girl, was only 52 when she passed away last year. At her funeral, her family announced their goal to run the New York Marathon in her honour. ‘Team Emma’ would love your support; they want to raise $100,000 to help educate women and GPs on the signs of ovarian cancer. You can do this by visiting their Givealittle page. Every dollar raised will be donated to New Zealand’s Cure Our Ovarian Cancer. Twenty-two runners representing ‘Team Emma’ will stride through New York on 5 November and we wish them all the very best. Godspeed and Kia Kaha.

We offer our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Irene Katsougiannis, whose life was tragically taken in awful circumstances last weekend. Irene had been working with us as an itinerant piano teacher, and I know that her students will be feeling her loss keenly. May she rest in peace.