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During the last week of Intercol fixtures there have been several highlights. In addition to the highlights of effort, endeavour, courage and commitment on the court, pitch and during the competition, there were a number of very subtle moments where the School, as spectators and participants shone together.

I was very proud of our spectator’s behaviour after each event; particularly when we lost. Groups of boys often get this wrong and, in this instance, they got it right. The basketball, wow, what an intense arm wrestle that was. Following our defeat, seeing the school embrace our team, while at the same time rejoicing in their effort was wonderful. It was a sensitive moment. The same occurred on Saturday afternoon at the football. After the final whistle, deep respect was displayed as the school enveloped the players and celebrated their efforts. This respect continued as the school and players moved as one company toward the presentation area.  It was courteous, respectful and at the same time weirdly powerful, in a gentle way.

This was a moment of high integrity and I was particularly proud.

If there is a lesson for our students through the Intercol it is this – winning does not buy you integrity. Sure, of course we want to win, that is the whole pursuit of the contest. Yet, if we win a fixture, it does not automatically enhance our integrity; integrity is not something you can be awarded. In life, integrity is highly prized, and it is so easy to lose. Integrity must come from within, it cannot be bestowed upon another through achievement alone.

The world tells us that selfishness is highly prized. It is not. The world tells us that conceited self-interest will be rewarded and is highly prized. It is not. The world tells us that flashy attention seeking and hubris is highly prized. It is not. No way. If education at St Peter’s College is worth the paper it is written on, then every act of engagement we as a school has with any member of the community must be underpinned by high integrity. If this annual local derby between our two schools means anything at all, then it must come down to integrity. If a team cannot present itself with respect for fair play, respect for officials, or respect for the opposition, on and off the field, before and after the competition, then all is lost.

This week I spoke to students about recent events and I encourage you to speak to your son and raise the issue of integrity related to Intercol. Proud as I am in our behaviour and presentation, we are not positioned to get on our high horse. We know we have work to do and the progress made this year is encouraging. I am all for playing hard, wearing down the opposition, winning and celebrating, but not at the cost of our integrity. Your commitment in partnership with the school to ensure our students understand how integrity must be valued and protected is appreciated.

Congratulations to 17 of our students who competed in the annual Squash SA State High Schools Squash Championship. I am pleased to announce that St Peter’s College came second overall out of nine competing schools. A special mention to Chuthula Kiripitige (Year 9) who won the Under 15 Boys State Squash Championship – congratulations Chuthula.

Congratulations also to Angus Miller (Year 10) who has been selected to represent South Australia at the Cycling Australia Junior road nationals to be held in Bunbury, Western Australia.

Tim Browning