In terms of whanau captains, I consider myself to be the “black sheep” for this year. A runner up, the second option, last resort if you will. Of course, coming out of 2017 prize giving with nothing to show for it was admittedly disappointing but after having a redemption period the end of term 2 I can’t say that I wasn’t grateful for the scholarsh… I mean leadership opportunities.
Ultimately I could explain how the year for Grey went in the cliche “Yeah we did well in this,” and “Yeah not so great in that” but I wanted to create more of an unofficial totally unprofessional “guide” from the most experienced whanau captain this year. But before we get underway I thought I’d just add in a table that summarises the events so far and Grey’s placings for those who aren’t here for the yarns. (Probably the same people that are going to Otago)
Right-e-o let’s get going and make this bearable. The first 2 major events you’ll face is swimming sports and athletics. These will be vital, as it’s not necessarily about the “champions” – they’ll sort themselves out – but what I like to call “mass participation,” essentially it’s about getting as many as humanly possible involved. Swimming sports is generally harder to get people involved in but boys do like their bribes. Chocolate, soft drinks and protein bars for the gym boys go down a treat but make sure you’ve got them when selecting people in the Brunker gym – it’s much easier. You’ll also need to keep an eye on the lists for prelim swimmers in non-champion races, not necessarily for your own sake of losing points but to bring down the cheaters in other whanau. It’s not too big of a deal if we’ve got champion swimmers in those races, just slip a tenner to Mr Smith and you’ll be fine. Just joking. Much like swimming sports, athletics has a lot of spaces in races to be filled, the big ones being the 100m and 200m sprints. I found when trying to round up the cheeky year 9s that reverse psychology worked well. “You won’t do it” was a sure-fire go to the line that worked wonders. However, if you’re still having trouble, call either Mr Anderson or Mr Brits over, they’re big men with big voices, who can do the ‘encouraging’ for you. If that doesn’t work, you’ve definitely got a disguised Carruthian, nothing much you can do apart from start shouting out physics formulas and hope they get scared and run away.
Cross country is a bit of pot luck, for every whanau. Either students show up, or they don’t. It’s not the most favoured competition and points are only awarded to the first 100 placings in each of the groups (junior, intermediate and senior). However, most of the time there’s not even 100 students that show up so back to the method of “mass participation”
The quiz is a good chance to earn easy points if you know how to create good teams. Every whanau class has a team that is entered for the quiz, and the categories are divided into 4 each with 20 questions (I think). One on general knowledge of WBHS, one on academic subjects, one on sports and one on entertainment. The key to winning this has a student who is strong in each one of the categories. So, a team of 5 Mr Kumar impersonators isn’t necessarily going win – something to keep in mind. The first question is always who won the quiz the previous year (it was M2 in 2018) followed by frequently asked questions such as what is the driveway running down to the field called? (it’s Memorial Drive), or who drives the totally uneconomical Skoda (of course it’s Dr Elliot). If you’re having trouble finding people willing to do the quiz just offer food and say it’s a way to get out of English period 4 – everyone will be wanting to join in.
Touch, basketball, badminton, volleyball, and football are all events that sort themselves out. Mr Smith will give you a list of names who represent WBHS in their respective sports and all you have to do is go and find them. Simple.
Speech is a competition that Grey do well in due to the train of outstanding speakers breezing through, year after year and I’ll tell you exactly who you want in each year group in 2019 at least. Year 13 you’ll need Mason Kennedy, doesn’t really matter who he goes with, 49/50 and 50/50 in the last 2 years speak for themselves getting the highest score out of everyone (unlucky Richard) this year. The same can be said for Shi-on Ko, although his heart is with level 3 calculus he can still pull through with a solid English performance next year as a year 11. Brock Longworth came second in year 11 and should slide in comfortably next year having the experience under his belt. Finally, Brandon Pol and last-minute replacement Peyton Amosa also came a strong second in the year 9s who will also I believe, thrive coming into year 10 possibly with a bit more time to prepare. Let’s just hope the incoming year 8s add another good carriage to the train.
As a relatively small Pakeha boy, the haka competition proved to be a bit of a challenge to get people to listen especially within an echoing place such as the gym. But, thank God Grey blessed us with Eslie Fono, Walton Edwards, Tane Mackie, and Toi Munroe. Honestly can’t thank these guys enough for their efforts to control the testosterone filled boys who made one hell of a noise when we weren’t practicing, then seemed to go quiet when we needed to hype up. I found that the haka is a difficult one to get everyone to 100% volume, which is why I was counting on Eslie especially to get the boys going with his signature “CHAHOOs.”
Finally, is academic. My only advice for the boys going into year 13, is do subjects that Nathaniel Singleton, isn’t doing. Stay well clear of the Maths and Sciences as getting places is unlikely and Nathaniel will probably end up getting 1st, 2nd and 3rd – just in one subject alone. I can’t say too much for the year 12s next year because I’m not too sure who’s at the top, so just keep a note at prize giving and see who is cleaning up the placings. Year 11s next year (Shi-on Ko) I’m expecting a big haul especially in Maths, would be ideal if you could also get first in year 12 Maths, but I won’t put too much pressure on you – even though it’s a piece of cake.
If you’ve reached this far I’d like to say “you’re welcome” the advice given above is in a league of its own and with the knowledge you now have, Grey should be able to win the next 5 consecutive years – at least. I hope that this piece (along with my other 3 write-ups – English, Maths and lawn bowls) are cherished for years to come as some of the most entertaining segments to come out of the Boys’ High magazine.
Grey Whanau Captain