Intra-school sport plays an important role in creating a school culture and a sense of belonging.
Many schools in Otago have longstanding traditions of whanau houses and groups. In some cases, the value of extracurricular activities is deemed more important and meaningful than any other.
Saint Hilda Collegiate Church
Interhouse competitions are hotly contested at St Hilda’s. The biggest competition is school athletics day. This is held during the first month of the new school year and offers new students a great opportunity to meet their peers and get into the school spirit. The school has four houses: Nelson, Wellington, Havelock and Lawrence. The students dress in their house colors and at the start of each track day there is a cheerleading competition which the 12th graders organize and practice continuously before the big day.
Throughout the year, house points are earned from a number of other events: cross country skiing, swimming sports and house singing to name a few. In the last term, the house trophy – the Mumford Cup – is awarded to winning house captains. The Mr A. Mumford Cup was first presented in 1933 and was won by Wellington House. Over the past 10 years, Havelock has won eight times.
Sports Prefects and St Hilda’s Liaisons also hold lunchtime inter-house competitions to encourage lunchtime physical activity, and have introduced a Courthouse Queen’s Challenge, where the houses can challenge another house in dodgeball. During whanau and physical education classes, many activities involve getting into house groups and playing against each other.
Cheering and supporting your school house is a fantastic way for all levels to interact and compete with each other. It enables a positive spirit at home and at school and creates special memories that students take with them forever.
East Otago High School
House sports are a big part of school life at East Otago High School, with each of the four houses, McKenzie, Clark, School and Muir, vying for points towards the House Shield at the end of the year.
Basketball is the current competition, and it is divided into two sections, junior (7-9 years) and senior (10-13 years). The whole school (staff and students) meet every Friday in the gymnasium in the sixth period to compete, with music, an MC and a great atmosphere. Students dress in the colors of the house to support their teams.
One of the highlights is the staff vs. 13 at the end of each competition, where bragging rights and the staff’s shield against the students are up for grabs.
Various activities are part of the competition throughout the year, with volleyball, dodgeball, multi-sport, hockey, netball, turbo touch, kahoot (an online quiz), quidditch, swimming sports, school athletics, cross -school country, extravagance and many more add up to the points count.
The activities are decided at the beginning of each year by a survey of the pupils. This allows students to express themselves and ensures that the internal competition includes relevant activities.
The house competition has a long history in one form or another at East Otago High School, with the first competition taking place in 1969. Since 2015, the focus has been on engaging weekly competitions.
Blue Mountain College
Friday sport, or hauora time as it is now known, has been played at Blue Mountain College for over 20 years. The name changed during Covid while trying to find a range of sports or activities to engage all students and look after their hauora (wellbeing).
It is one hour per week, last period on a Friday, where students can choose from a list of various activities. It also means that the students mix through the different levels of the year while participating in the activities.
The range of activities includes squash, indoor games, chess, art, quiet activities, touch, table tennis, clay target, indoor games and indoor games. outdoors, e-sports and crafts. Options change from term to term and everything is considered.
It’s a great way to end a week of learning with fun, fresh air and well-being for staff and students.
Bayfield High School
Bayfield High School has five houses. Anderson, Begg, Ross and Somerville are all named after the founding fathers of the district, and Herron after the first director, Jack Herron.
All houses compete for the coveted House Cup, which is awarded at the end of each year after several house activities. Track Day, Cross Country, House Singing, House Day Activities, Octacan Appeal, House Quiz, and Inter-House Sports are a few of the many things that contribute to cut points.
All sports and activities are well contested and inter-house sports always draw large crowds to the gymnasium. The Deans and Tutor Teachers from each House ensure they are on hand to cheer on their team, and at the end of each round the highly anticipated ”Staff vs Year 13” match is played and a smaller one, although equally sought after, trophy is awarded for these games.
A multisport fan favorite was played in the first quarter, with interhouse dodgeball, and interhouse netball kicking off next week. These inter-house sports have been a long-standing tradition for many years and provide students with a great outlet to play additional sports during their week. It also helps foster a great house spirit and provides a great platform for students to showcase their RISE values (Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence).
John McGlashan College
At John McGlashan, there are four houses: Balmacewen, Burns, Gilray and Ross.
Throughout the year, houses compete for the Elvidge Cup. This cup was first won by House Burns in 1946.
The main sports and activities in which the houses compete for points are athletics, cross country, swimming, haka and singing. Minor sports also contribute to points, and these include a range of midday competitions such as touchdown, basketball and other team sports.
After track and field and cross country, Balmacewen leads Burns and Ross by one point with Gilray another point behind. However, with the haka competition fast approaching, these rankings may change.
John McGlashan School prefects also enjoy competing against prefects from other schools and have recently shown a wide range of skills when taking on their counterparts at Otago Girls’ High School in netball. In a close encounter, they eventually lost 23-19. These matches always put on a good show and draw large crowds of fans.