Carruth Whanau Captain report by
Jamie Clinch & Cory Mackay
2021 has been another interesting year for everyone, and while life has been different since the awful year that 2020 was, the inter-whānau competition has still been fought in the same manner that it always has been. We, Jamie Clinch and Cory Mackay have been extremely grateful to lead Carruth in the final year that Whangārei Boys’ High School would stand before being demolished and moved down to the field. Looking at the board at the back of the hall on our first day of High School, Carruth’s dominance throughout history was made clear. But for us, and the rest of our cohort, we were never lucky enough to experience this legacy as Carruth has been at the bottom of the pack ever since. As anyone would, we both jumped at the idea of bringing Carruth back to the top where it belongs in honour of Boys’ High’s finals year before its new beginning. Sorry to all the current and old boys who are a part of the Carruth culture, but with few events left to go in the year we clearly haven’t done this justice.
In term one, we knew the inter-whanau competition would start with a bang when swimming sports were scheduled for the third week of school. Like the rest of the Whānau Captains, we came into it wanting desperately to win, as this would set us up nicely for the rest of the inter- whānau competition, but this was short-lived. While many of the boys got involved, we just didn’t have the swimming stars to compete in the competitive races. Shot to all the boys that gave everything a go, who helped us pull a 4th place finish. Diving into this event made us both realise that herding a whole whanau is not the easiest task, and in order to get to the top we would need to improve on our leadership ability.
Happy to not be in last, but regretting not being higher up the board, we both came into the next event with an even greater desire to take it out. Athletics is arguably the most fiercely competitive inter- whānau event, and we both knew Carruth had a dominant history for huge participation from the boys. There was also the move from the school fields to the Whangārei Athletics Centre, which only made the competition more exciting. We had the most athletes listed for competitive events, and on the day our boys willingly put their names down for all the fun events they could. This strong participation and camaraderie from the boys and the crowd watching from the stands allowed our boys to thrive, with a special shoutout to Athan Thompson for cleaning up all the track races. We dominated the whole day only to lose it by a scratch to Grey, who pulled points out of nowhere to steal 1st place. This would put us 3rd on the points board, and really proved to us that Carruth’s strength as a brotherhood could secure the points we needed.
However, preceding these events, hope was soon lost as things almost instantly started going downhill. Term one finished with Touch which was hard-fought from our boys but still saw us get 4th place and left us in a position neither of us wanted to be in. Coming into term two refreshed and ready to get the first place we needed, we had high hopes for cross-country, which is another event where Carruth’s high participation has also helped us in the past. Yet this didn’t go in our favour either, with another mediocre 4th place. Junior basketball mixed up the downhill trend with a 3rd place finish, but this was soon paired with a 5th place finish from a Work Day which we weren’t even told was a whānau event. At this point we were still clinging onto a small amount of hope, being tied with Hobson in 3rd place.
Because of this, our optimism remained. We felt confident a top three finish may be in the bag. It all started to crumble soon after however, as badminton rolled around. Badminton saw a disheartening 5th place finish. This resulted in Hobson overtaking Carruth putting us in an overall 4th place to end the second term. Marsden also started creeping up behind us, eager to no longer be in 5th.
Starting term three we were still hungry for our first taste of victory after still not winning a single whānau event. Senior basketball was the first competition of term 3 and again Carruth saw themselves in another disappointing 5th place. This result also meant Carruth had fallen into 5th place overall after we were overtaken by Marsden. Speeches then rolled around and we were extremely confident in the team we had. Unfortunately, COVID-19 struck again sending us all into lockdown, cancelling the speech competition. At this point, we began to believe the competition was rigged. After returning back to school, football was immediately upon us. While Carruth assembled a strong team that fought hard, we were no match for the other whānau, seeing an unfortunate 5th place finish. At this point, Carruth had started to fall further behind with more than 13 points between us and 3rd place. Nevertheless, we were still hungry to at least get Carruth a 4th place finish.
Motivated and rested, we returned to school in term 4 to find that volleyball had been cancelled. While this was annoying, we also weren’t too confident heading into the event, afraid of falling even further behind. The creative arts challenge was then announced where Carruth placed 5th, further knocking down our spirit. Now with only haka, values awards, and academic points the only whanau competitions left, we have come to realise that it is again likely Carruth will be seeing another 5th place finish in the whānau competition. At the end of the day, it’s about the marathon not the sprint.
Despite us falling short of our goals, it has still been a great year and a true honour to lead Carruth. We would like to thank all the other Carruth prefects who have contributed greatly to the success of this year. Thank you also to all the teachers and whānau who have provided amazing support and assistance. Thank you to everyone who has participated and supported Carruth in the whānau events this year. Thank you to Mr Smith and Mr Oldridge who have yet again done an amazing job organising the whānau competition. By ourselves, nothing we did this year would have been possible. To the Carruth whanau captains of next year, we wish you all the best. We hope you are able to do what we were unable to: put Carruth back to the top where they belong. Be ambitious but don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Regret is much worse than failure.