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There is little doubt that co-curricular activities are an important part of a boys' school. As a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice Tradition, we aspire to offering our young men a holistic education. To be able to do this well, we offer our young men many opportunities and programs to develop and learn alongside the work that is done within the classroom. What is important to us is that the delivery of these programs is aligned to the values and expectations that we have as an EREA school.

Last week, we had the good fortune of having Steve Biddulph deliver some very clear messages to members of our community around the raising and development of young men. One such message was in regard to having good role models with the appropriate and right values for the young men. He spoke of older men who not only talked the talk but also walked the walk in the regard to messages that they gave young men.

On Monday, I was perusing the Catholic Leader (May 24) and found an interesting article entitled Pope gives coaches a game plan for life lessons. I am sure that many people do not realise that the Catholic Church actually has a position of sport and its place in our daily lives and within our societies. The recent international seminar on the role of coaches and trainers as educators of human and Christian values was held in the Vatican on May 14-16 and was sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Laity's Church and Sport office. During the seminar, Pope Francis called upon coaches to show integrity, fairness, patience, joy and kindness, especially towards those who are struggling. He went on to acclaim that like any good educator, a good coach or trainer was extremely important in helping young people develop into mature, well-rounded adults instilled with solid values and Christian faith. He also acknowledged that good teachers and coaches are vital for children and young adults because they were developing and were looking for role models and approval from others. He told the gathering of coaches and trainers that their influence "depended more on who they are as people and how they live more than on what they say". He went on to elaborate our faith "makes us overcome the temptation of a rivalry that's too heated and aggressive; it makes us understand the dignity of every person, even those less gifted and at a disadvantage".

As a College, we are very proud of our sporting accomplishments and the work that our coaching staff do. We are also conscious that our coaches understand their role in the formation of our (and your) young men. It has always been our intention to ensure that our daily values espoused at school are also those that are reinforced within co-curricular activities. Pope Francis' message was not about competing in competitions to win, but more about how we compete and the respect that we show towards our opponent. On some occasions, over aggression in sport leads to unnecessary violence. This is not accepted in our daily interactions and neither should it be on a sporting field. As adults on the sidelines of games where young men are playing, it is our responsibility to role model that this behaviour is unacceptable. If not, then the unfortunate possibility is that some young men will develop into men that consider aggression and power to be an acceptable way to deal with other people.

The past week has been a significant week for the Indigenous communities across Australia. There have been three significant celebrations including National Sorry Day, National Reconciliation Week and the anniversary of the Mabo Court decision made on 3 June 1992. St. Patrick's College has always been proud of its Indigenous history and the students and staff participated in a number of simple ceremonies and rituals to recognize this important week. I would like to thank Mr Paul Corfield, Mr Luke Royes and the many students who assisted with these celebrations. I believe that it is most important that our young men understand their own country's cultural history and the stories about our Indigenous people as they are the future of our country. What has happened in the past may not be abe to be changed, but it can certainly assist with looking forward into the future.

On Monday and Tuesday morning, all of our Year 10 students completed a series of activities under the guidance of Business Improvement Australia (BIA). The activities were a part of our new subject selection process for the students entering into their senior years of schooling. The information gained from these programs and further assisted career counselling will assist the students in being able to make informed decisions when completing their SET Plans.

Last Saturday we hosted another fellow EREA school, St Laurence's College, during our "Back to Shorncliffe Day". I felt great pride when I moved around Curlew Park watching so many of our young men compete and enjoy themselves in Rugby and Football. It was also so wonderful to see so many of the older boys come along and watch their "little brothers" play. I was also particularly impressed by the spirit and sportsmanship in which each of our teams competed. I would also like to thank the St. Patrick's Old Boys' Association for their support and presence at this important occasion for the College and for their presentation of medallions to the players in our First XI Football and First XV Rugby teams. I would also like to make special mention of Mr Murray Schultz and the groundsmen at Curlew Park as the grounds and facilities were in great shape. Mr Doug Locke (Head of Sport), Mr Ryan Schultz (Rugby Coordinator) and Mr Jonathan Hall (Football Coordinator) organised a very full day ensuring that all of the teams could play at the same venue and I am sure that everyone would agree with me that it was a very smooth operation and the atmosphere around Curlew Park throughout the day was very enjoyable. It was a fitting way for our Year 12 students to compete for the last time at Curlew Park.

Mr Chris Mayes - College Principal