This year I was privileged and honoured to be given the role of Carruth Whanau Captain for 2018 and have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the job. Carruth has had a very impressive history with winning the whanau competition, and with a not so impressive result last year, I hoped to turn around this downhill trend in performance. I will now recap how this goal came spiraling down and I somehow managed to lead Carruth to its first ever last place finish. As I am writing this, it has not yet been confirmed that we will finish last but there is a very high chance of us doing so.
Early in the year, we had our first whanau event, swimming sports. This is a very prestigious event within our school and Carruth always manages to do well due to the high rates of participation. The mighty boys of Carruth in 2018 were able to pull through with a very convincing win, due to excellent racing from our competitive swimmers followed by many participants in the fun events and whanau relays. The bar was set very high after the first event.
Athletics was the next event and the boys in black were feeling confident going into the second event of the year. Carruth has a reputation for doing well in this event with the help of our usual high participation rate. However, this year seemed to be an exception with quite a low participation rate from our whanau and the number of competitive athletes dwindling. We managed to battle hard to becoming 3rd overall halfway through the day. The whanau relay competition at the end of the day was to remove all hope of getting a half decent placing. Carruth fell to 4th to finish with a disappointing athletics performance in 2018.
Basketball, badminton, cross country, and the inter-whanau quiz all came and went extremely fast with a few mixed results for Carruth. The junior basketball team was outstanding in their performance against the other whanau, cruising through the day undefeated for an outstanding first place. Might have been the bribe of Maccas if they won or the threats if they lost but the team did very well. Jayden Kumitau and Cavan Nikau-Rush performed very well on the day and were a major part in the success of the team. In badminton, it just wasn’t to be for the boys, with the other Whanau fronting very competitive and experienced teams to put us under pressure from the start. With a lack of any Badminton players in both juniors and seniors, we came away with a disappointing 4th. Cross Country saw Carruth place a bitter 4th place once again. This was very disheartening and a little bit discouraging for the boys who ran very hard on the day. Inter-whanau quiz came around pretty quick also, showing off Carruth’s absolute lack of general knowledge. We ended up coming dead last, further adding to our reputation of being a sport orientated Whanau with no brains. At this point in the year, we were coming 4th place overall unsurprisingly and were 5 and a half points behind the leaders, Grey, so our hopes were pretty much diminished to win overall, to say the least. From here on the battle was to not come dead last rather than to win overall.
Volleyball and speeches. These were possibly the worst inter-whanau events for Carruth all year, and saw us place dead last in both. Now at this point in the year, I asked myself “Is it the lack of talent? Or is it the lack of Spirit” that was letting us down. I tried but could not answer the question. The lack of talent or relevant skills that we had to choose from for the events was evident but often can be made up for in enthusiasm and spirit. However, this was not happening this year and I started to really notice this towards the end of the year. Compared to my own Year 9 days, the inter-whanau competition was everything to people and was overly competitive. Now though, the drive to be the best Whanau has been lost and it is very disappointing to see. Football was no different for Carruth as we slumped to yet another humiliating defeat, leaving Leon and me to wonder where it all went wrong, once again.
The Haka competition was a highlight for the boys in Carruth, as we changed it up a bit and decided to try a semi-circle/horseshoe shape around the leaders. The change paid off for us and for the first time we saw some spirit within the boys during what was at the end of the day crowned the best Haka of 2018. A great achievement for the boys and a good reward for the spirit they showed whilst performing.
Overall, my time as Whanau captain has been a fun, enjoyable experience, but probably not one I will be telling my kids. The fact that I have led Carruth to most likely its first ever last place is something that I hope to forget about in the years to come and hopefully, my roles in other leadership positions do not amount to anything anywhere near as humiliating as this low point in my life. Although we have come last, the rivalry has been a good time during my last year here at Boys’ High. To have shared roles with Finn, Marshall, Mika, and Ben have been great and credit to Ben on leading Grey to victory even after only being appointed Whanau Captain halfway through the year.
Carruth Whanau Captain