Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Morning Musings - introspection flowing from schools and Rugby

This morning's muse has been sidetracked by schools and rugby..

My old school TAS (The Armidale School) has decided to go co-educational.There have been girls in the primary section for some time. As an old boy, I was invited to comment prior to the decision. I decided not to. There was nothing useful that I could say. Personally, I would have preferred the school to remain single sex, partly for sentiment, more for reasons that were irrelevant to the primary question.

Thinking of the school as a business entity, I could see the reasons that were driving the decision. My concern lay in the way that it might affect Armidale's two remaining girls boarding schools in an increasingly localised education market place. We have already lost one girl's, one boy's, boarding school.How do you say this makes perfect sense from a business perspective, but I don't want you to do it because of its potential adverse effects on NEGS and PLC? How do you say that I hold that view even though it may add to your problems in developing TAS?

 The draw for the NSW GPS (Greater Public Schools) rugby competition has been released. TAS Firsts are playing in the thirds competition. It is very hard now for the school to compete at the first level because of differences in the number of boys playing at TAS as compared to the Sydney schools. The Thirds competition is a new competition to ensure inclusion of the minnows (Sydney Boys High, Sydney Grammar and TAS) in the competition.

I have attended most games for the last two years and wrote last year's competition report for the Green & Gold Rugby Forum. TAS won the inaugural competition, were equal first last year and should be competitive this year on pre-season form. My feeling is that the school will win, although this is the first time I have said so in public.

I have just entered the match dates in my forward plan. However, I find my enthusiasm down. I have written before about the strangeness I feel on attending matches. It's good sport, I get excited because I do support my old school, but I now have no direct connection.

I think that sport is a shared thing. This is a shot from the last Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Helen (eldest daughter) with Rugby friend. Helen paid so that we could go to watch at least one match together.

Wandering round the sidelines at the GPS matches, I see no-one I know Living in Sydney and with the passage of time, I am too far removed now to know people. Unless I know people or have adopted performance mode, I am also naturally shy. People don't always realise that, for I have learned to perform when I have to.

I exchange some remarks on the sideline, but basically spend the hours alone. Then I come home and try to write up the results. At that point, I get some interaction.

This post has become a little more introspective than I had intended when I started writing. This weekend I need to work out just how I am getting to Europe, again to see some Rugby World Cup games with Helen. The trip itself is another present, but there are all sorts of consequential and cash issues to be resolved. Still, I am looking forward to it.



Anonymous said...

Co-educational rugby? Take my tip - don't offer to take on the Kiwis :)


Jim Belshaw said...

That's a fearsome thought, kvd! Mind you, I could do something at the after=parties if treated gently!

Anonymous said...

I'm not aware of any girls' schools choosing to become co-educational: instead it seems to be all-boys' schools that decide to include girls. Just an observation.

Jim Belshaw said...

That's an interesting comment, rj. I did a little checking. In the country where demographic change has been pronounced and where you had smallish schools with a strong dependence on boarding, a number of girls and boys schools merged - examples include Armidale (St Ursula's and De la Salle to form O'Connor Catholic High School, no boarders), Bathurst (All Saints & Marsden)and Warwick (Scots Warwick and PLC Warwick).