Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Well over the last few days winter has well and truly struck, at the moment we still can’t get our cars up the drive. But as a friend of mine who farms in the Maniototo said "this is winter, what do you expect?"

The television, or many of the channels at the moment are being over taken by the Olympics. I always feel very proud of the amazing results that our athletes achieve at the Olympics but also sometimes a little sad because of the immense pressure that gets put on these amazing young people (or in Mark Todd’s case, not so young) by unrealistic public expectation.

There are 206 countries taking part. Over all Olympics, New Zealand has won 101 medals, 100 in the summer Olympics and one in the winter Olympics. (42 Gold, 19 Silver and 38 Bronze).

This given the tiny size of our country is an amazing result. Australia have won 469 Summer Olympic medals).

Over the last few Olympics New Zealand has enjoyed a lot of success (6 Golds in London, 3 in Beijing and 3 in Athens). But historically we have only won a handful of medals in any Olympics (in Sydney 2000 we only won four medals in total). I think that as we watch the Olympics and discuss the results with our children we need to reinforce the important aspects of sport.

Train hard—if you don’t train hard you won’t win. Play to the rules (cheats always get caught) and respect your adversaries. Winning is important, it’s why people play sport. But winning should be done with honour. I watched my daughter play a hockey match the other day against the second ranked girls school team in the country. They were leading 1-0, but the other team came back and eventually won 1-2.

However, when a team ranked 24 nationally gets that close to a team ranked 2, that is also a victory.

All of her team realised how far they as a team and as people have come.

So when you watch the Olympics with your children don’t just look at the winners or the super stars but also look at the effort made, the skills on show and the Olympic spirit being shown.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan

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