Bledisloe Whanau Captains Report for 2021
By Kaden Donaldson and Josh Smith
We felt really privileged to have been selected as the Bledisloe whānau captains for 2021. At the time of writing this, we are currently only half a point behind Grey in 1st place and it is anyone’s game. This year, the Bledisloe Whānau have demonstrated our full potential, with visibly strong performances throughout our inter- whānau competitions. We have fought ‘tooth and nail’ to dominate the whānau points table throughout the first three quarters of the year in competitions such as cross-country and swimming sports.
Bledisloe is far from being renowned for winning the annual whanau competition. History has placed us last in 2017, then 4th place in 2018, 2019 and 2020. However, this never sat right with us, and we knew a change needed to be made. After the Prefects were announced in late 2020 as Year 12’s, we saw the number of prefects in each whānau and knew that our comeback would have to be as the underdogs, as we were the whānau with the least number of prefects. As whānau captains, we knew how to bring our passionate energy and spread it to the rest of the whānau, and as a team we knew we needed to work harder than any other whānau.
Swimming was the first event to come across our calendar, only two weeks into the school year. It’s safe to say we dominated this event, beating the second-place team by over 100 points. We had no trouble getting everyone in Bledisloe involved and diving straight into the pool, the atmosphere was electric and confidence was built for the rest of the year to come.
Second up was athletics day, where a strong performance by the boys in yellow gave us a third-place finish, disappointing following our previous win but good nonetheless as we were still comfortably sitting on the top of the table. To follow athletics day, was touch rugby where we comfortably came 2nd losing to Hobson after a very tight game. However, sticking to the 1st, 2nds and 3rds, seemed to be working pretty well for us… as we stayed on top.
However, the next two events were all over the show and unfortunately, we did not stick to our top 3 only strategy with a 5th place from our junior basketball team. Fortunately, we were able to make up for this a little bit after our senior basketball team placed 2nd later on in the year, losing the tournament by one point. We are still yet to see if this one result could play a vital role in our close competition with the Grey Whanau. On the bright side, we picked up our 2nd win of the year in cross country with an amazing turnout from the Bledisloe whānau, who were not afraid to get a little wet and dirty.
The next three inter- whānau competitions were a blast and set us up for a promising position, our whānau came in strong with workday giving us yet another first place. The Bledisloe badminton players dominated the badminton competition, claiming a very comfortable win. The inter- whānau quiz is a hotly contested challenge and after staying in third place for most of the rounds we managed to sneak in the win on the last round claiming yet another victory for Bledisloe.
The inter- whānau football and the creative challenges are the most recent competitions at the time of writing this. Unfortunately, after our promising winning streak, we fell behind Grey by half a point, with two 4th places back to back. We tried our best in football and put up a fight but couldn’t pull off any better than 4th. We know we will need to sprint down this last stretch before the finish to secure this win!
Unfortunately, in Term 3, COVID-19 started to affect our schooling and inter- whānau competitions, making us unable to compete in speech and volleyball. The speech competition could have gone to any whānau and we believe Bledisloe had a good chance. Also, Bledisloe players make up half of the 1st school volleyball team….so we felt we had a great opportunity to take out the competition with a win in this event, only for it to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
To round off the year, we still have our academics, values awards and possibly the inter whānau haka competition to look forward to, although this depends on the circumstances we are under during COVID. These three competitions have the potential to completely change the order of the top 3 houses, Bledisloe, Grey and Hobson.
It’s been a year of great highs and pleasingly fewer lows with Bledisloe boys really coming together to show strong whānau spirit. As whānau captains we have found strength in working as a team and enjoyed the opportunity to lead from the front.
Finally, we would like to wish good luck to the future Bledisloe whānau captains and prefects in next year’s competitions with the new school. We hope you can carry on this upwards trend of winning and success and show the other whānau what Bledisloe is really made of!
Lastly, a special thanks to the other Bledisloe prefects, Jimmy Mack, Solomone Ahio, Dominic Mills and Riley Pepperell for their participation and help with the whānau activities this year.