The Backpage Term 4 Week 6

There is no denying that school sport is becoming increasingly competitive.  In order for boys to compete at the highest levels of GPS and junior sport, the required commitment is substantial. Often, boys are being pulled in multiple directions, with expectations imposed on them from different sources. These expectations, often causing stress as a boy tries to manage all areas of his life. 

As competitiveness increases and the expectations on boys trying to reach the highest levels of their chosen sports increases, the trend that we are seeing is that boys begin to specialise in their chosen sports at a younger and younger age.   Your first thought, maybe that this is what is required to achieve in sport these days and potentially that we are doing the boys a favour by eliminating anything that is unnecessary or viewed as a time waster because it does not contribute to him achieving his goals. This thinking and specialisation often leads to improved results and boys climbing quickly through the ranks, but unfortunately it is often met with very negative consequences.

Few people would know that the majority of conversations that I have with boys is about burnout. Usually these conversations centre around the athlete feeling entirely overwhelmed by the expectations imposed and a lack of “seeing the point” or the “goal” of what they are doing.  It is common for these conversations to take place following an overuse injury, usually caused by overtraining, where an athlete is confronted with having to focus on returning to sport, entering at a lower level than where they had left off.  When I sit with these young athletes and they list their commitments to us as a College and outside organisations, I am often baffled with how some of these boys manage to keep the schedules that they do. The majority of these athletes are highly specialised and training with similar or greater expectations as College athletes or professionals.

At Scots we have a sport policy in place.  The points of this policy may seem very simple, but there as a philosophy that extends behind them.  They are there to teach boys the values of the College and importantly, to keep them safe as they move through their senior years.

Some key points from the Sport Policy are:

All boys (without exception) represent the College in summer sport, winter sport, and athletics and/or swimming if selected.

All boys must priorities College sport commitments if any clash exists with an external sport.

Any boy who is to be absent from Saturday sport for any reason must complete and submit a request for leave from Saturday sport form.

Any boy who is injured for less than four weeks must attend all scheduled Scots training sessions and matches.

Any boy who is injured for greater than four weeks must submit a doctor’s certificate and must attend all Scots rehab sessions. 

For many of our boys, particularly our top sportsmen, school is the last place where they will have the opportunity to compete in anything outside of their chosen sport.  There is endless research showing the negative impacts of sport specialization at too you an age. In the long run, it is important for the wellbeing of our boys to commit to being involved in multiple sports throughout their time at the College.

A huge thank you to everyone involved in running and organizing the Scots Regatta at SIRC on Saturday.  Good luck to all of our boys this Saturday.

Scots to the Fore!

Mr Graham Pattison
Director of Sport

From Mr Ed White, Senior Sportsmaster

Last weekend we played Sydney Grammar School in most fixtures.

In Basketball, well done to our 1sts and 2nds who had tight battles. In the end both winning with scores of 66 - 62  and 35 - 33 respectively. Our other Opens teams all had wins apart from the 10th and a close game for the 9ths, ending in a 24-all draw. Also wins for the 16As, 15Bs, 15Cs and 15E-Hs and in the 14s, wins from the As, Bs, Ds, Es, Gs, and Hs.

It was a tough day of cricket for our boys against Sydney Grammar with the 1st XI, 3rd XI and 4th XI all going down and the 2nd XI drawing their game. The 1st XI were all out for 189, going down by 98 runs.

Well done to the 16Bs, 15As, 15Bs, 15Cs, 14As, 14Bs, 14Ds, 14Es, 14Gs and Hs who all had wins.

We held our Scots Rowing Regatta last weekend at SIRC. The Junior rowers had a great experience out at SIRC and did a professional job keeping time throughout the day. The Junior VIII made great improvements and performed well in their race. In some close and tough races, the 1st and 2nd IVs raced hard and cemented their spot as crews not to be overlooked come March. The 2nd VIII secure a very impressive 2nd place in their first race and were unlucky with some equipment failures in the final. The 1st VIII pushed themselves into the pack, narrowing the gap from 1st place to 3 seconds with plenty of improvement to come.

In Tennis, the 1sts and 2nds continued their winning streak, a draw for the 3rds and wins also for the 4ths - 8ths. Unfortunately we had no other wins in the remaining tennis grades, it was a tough weekend for the boys against Grammar.

Water Polo had wins for the 1st and 2nds as well as 16As and 15s and 14s teams.

Unfortunately the summer “Battle of the Hill” didn’t go Scots way last weekend in Volleyball. Cranbrook School was to strong for all three of our Opens teams.

This weekend we play The King’s School and Sydney High in most fixtures and wish all the boys the best of luck.

From Mr Daniel Markham, Director of The Mind Body Heart Pathway and Head of PDHPE

The new John Solomon gym upgrade is fast approaching and scheduled to occur during camps week. This is an exciting time for the MBH program and will improve the facility allowing better processing capacity for our athletes. During this time not all sessions will be available, however a modified offering will still continue to run allowing all students to continue with their physical progress. Further details will be communicated with students and details will also be available on the MBH schoolbox page.

The final round of MBH testing will be occuring during week 7 and all students are encouraged to try and set their personal bests. A reminder to come prepared for testing with the correct PE kit.

As always we would encourage all students to take advantage of the holiday MBH sessions and continue making progress during this time. It will make a significant difference in performance in term 1 next year. Details regarding holiday training are below:

WHAT: S&C sessions and SPEED sessions

WHEN: Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday 6.30am-8am S&C and 8am-9.30am SPEED

WHERE: John Solomon Gym-S&C and Oval-SPEED

WHO: All students years 7-12

WHAT TO BRING: PE training kit, Towel, Drink bottle.

As always come and get “the STRONG advantage!”

Senior Sports News




Rifle Shooting





Table Tennis


Water Polo

Sports Fishing

Prep News

From Brent Wilsmore, Prep Sportsmaster

This week, I received an email from an opposition school praising our boys behaviour and sportsmanship. It is great to see our culture of playing hard but fairly and within the rules and not at the expense of sportsmanship.  Our boys have invested significantly into their training and as we approach the final round of the season it is great to reflect on the tremendous improvement shown by our teams. This week, in round 12 fixtures we play Cranbrook and Riverview in Cricket; Knox in Basketball; Barker and Grammar in Tennis; and Knox and Waverley in Water Polo.


In round 11 at our home courts of Maccabi we were lucky enough to have a visit from the Senior School 1st and 2nd teams. The boys spoke with our Prep boys prior to their matches and the knowledge they passed on really helped as all of our Prep teams finished the day with great results. Round 12 on Saturday will see the culmination of the Tennis Program for 2018 and here’s hoping that we finish on a positive note.

Mr James Bruce, Preparatory Tennis Coordinator


Another weekend of strong performances across the Prep Cricket Program. Our Summer House Sports Carnival commences this week. It’s always a great lead into the final round with boys representing their houses in Super 8 style matches. Good luck to all boys for the final round of the season!

Mr Greg Clarence,Preparatory Cricket Coordinator


I watched all of the games at Mansion Rd last Saturday for Round 11. The games were played against St Patrick’s, Sydney Grammar (St Ives) and Shore. The boys performed well in all of these fixtures. A particular mention to the Year 3 teams. These Year 3 boys have competed against teams in the division above (Year 4) this year. They have had several very tough games. These games have been great for their development, even though they have endured some losses against some stronger teams. I’m sure these boys will do very well next year when they begin competing against boys in their own division.  I wish all of the boys well for Round 12 and I look forward to seeing many of the boys again for the next season.

Mr James Tracey, Preparatory Basketball Coordinator

Story of the Week - Nathan Zylstra, University of California, Berkeley - Rugby Team

I am beginning a new journey in January 2019, where I will play as part of the University of California, Berkeley, Rugby team as part of their Spring intake.

Rugby Union is the oldest sport at Cal Berkeley beginning in 1882.

The Inter-College Championships began in 1980 and since then Cal Berkeley has won 28 Championships.

Cal Berkeley remains the number 1 Rugby Union College in the USA and has an amazing program, which has been further improved with 7’s now part of the Olympics.

I travelled with my Dad in December of 2016 and met Coach Clarke who is only the 3rd Coach of Cal Rugby since 1938 and this year is his 33rdyear as Coach.

I think he will be an amazing mentor and the Rugby Program is an under 23 Inter-College tournament.

Cal Berkeley is the number 1 State University in the USA and is ranked in the Top 20 in the world.

I am beginning my journey in the Letters and Sciences Faculty, with a view to trying to gain acceptance to the HAAS Business School in year 3 of a 4 year degree.

My motivation to go to Berkeley is a combination of the opportunity to play Rugby in a different country with a diverse playing group and the experience of American College life and meeting different people while being exposed to other experiences.

Here is a short clip on the Berkley Rugby program.

Nathan Zylstra - Head Prefect Year 12 2018, Captain of Waterpolo, member of Rugby 1st XV