Our 1st XI cricket team will this term play afternoon cricket on a grass pitch. Playing 40 overs allows our students to bowl longer, bat longer, compete at a higher level and ultimately put our young men in a position for them to improve. This is a team and a group of students who many years ago started in T20 B grade, they then moved up to T20 A grade, before this season going to 40 overs. No doubt this will be a challenge for our 1st XI, however for us to improve in any sport, we need to be playing against the benchmark oppositions, teams who are often more experienced or even better resourced than ourselves. Our Premier sportsmen won't develop if we are to stay in our comfort zone, much like our 1st XV who have worked their way up into Auckland's Premier 1A competition, our 1st XI are putting St Paul's name on the map as an up and coming Premier cricket school. We look forward to a season of home games at St Paul's College on Saturday afternoons, please feel free to join us, enjoy the sunshine and support this hard working team. Thank you to Mr Blanch and Mr Nick Gavigan for their support of this team.
Our Cricket Colts have started their season with a loss to Parnell/Elim, with too many extras coming by way of wides and no balls, this proving the difference against an experienced Club / College combined team. The Colts cricket team is seeing growing popularity and increased competition for spots, fantastic commitment and enthusiasm for the code, which many of our players are new to. We would like to add a third cricket team in 2024, so if your son is looking for a summer sport, encourage him to get along and enjoy Saturdays with his mates from St Paul's. Experience isn't necessary as a Year 9 or 10 - there are many, many years to learn new skills or a new code. Thank you to Ms Lloyd and Mr Nash for their continued support of this team.
At the time of writing, we have over 20 Year 9 and 10 students refereeing over 100 touch games at Cox's Bay, officiating a two day Year 7/8 touch tournament. Representing St Paul's College to the wider intermediate school community - players, parents, teachers and supporters. This is a yearly challenge we offer our up and coming sportsmen. It is always a daunting experience at first, to pick up the whistle and take control of a sports game, but one our students perform with excellent standards every 12 months. This is an opportunity for students to develop confidence, find their voice and step outside their comfort zone. I am always proud of our students in this tournament, they do an excellent job in a thankless task. Well done gentlemen.
Both our junior volleyball teams have made undefeated starts to the season, playing six games each and winning them all. Stand out players from the Maroon team are Billy Faifua and Leonidas Lafaele-Taka whilst Pharrell Hughes and Nemani Dakiragata (all in Year 10) have been consistent performers in the Blue team. 12 players from across both teams are working hard in preparation for Junior Volleyball Champs, held in two weeks time at Bruce Pulman Arena. This is another accomplishment, where 12 months ago we didn't have a junior volleyball team, let alone two undefeated ones preparing for a championship tournament. Thank you to Ms Tagaloa for driving these teams with her passion and enthusiasm. We are all proud of where volleyball is tracking as we continuously look to add more teams, more codes, more options for our young men to play sport at St Paul's.