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It has been a pleasure to witness the skill, camaraderie and collaboration on display throughout our recent Winter Intercol. It is tempting to think of sporting excellence and academic excellence as distinct – or even competing – concepts. After all, popular culture has long divided students into neat categories of ‘jocks,’ ‘nerds,’ ‘musos’ and other classifications designed to serve the cultural narratives we consume.

It is refreshing, then, to see so many students with vastly different interests and abilities working together on and off the pitch to produce excellence. It is also refreshing to see boys blurring – or obliterating – these outmoded divisions as they compete and support. As a teacher, it is particularly exciting to recognise the student who had seemed so bookish and meek in the classroom tearing through an opposition line like a wild animal, or to spy the fierce-looking footballer enthralled and emotionally invested in his schoolmate’s Chess move.

Beyond this, there exists a meaningful body of research that suggests that students who push themselves to be their very best on the sporting field can transfer the qualities that got them there – like teamwork, discipline and resilience – into academic success. The notion that ambitious students should seek to maximise their grades by shutting themselves away from sporting and co-curricular activities is as outdated as those old divisions of ‘jock’ and ‘nerd.’

Congratulations to all boys who competed in or supported the Winter Intercol. I look forward to seeing all of them – especially our Year 12s sizing up their final weeks of curriculum – plunge themselves with just as much gusto into their studies.

Nick Carter 
Deputy Headmaster (Acting)