What a magnificent month in school sport at Westminster! Boy, am I proud to be a Dragon right about now. As the winter sport season draws to a close, we should reflect on the many outstanding achievements of our teams, students, coaches and sports officials.

Prep Distance Running and Athletics

Our junior athletes have been absolutely carving it up on the track. Not only did we win the State 100k Relay in the Junior Division, but we set a new course record! The team covered the 100 km hilly course in a very quick 7:00:22, faster than any other team in the State ever. Our record-breaking team comprised of Jamie Brazier (Year 10 Forder), Caitlin Dyer (Year 8 Fricker), Joel Dyer (Year 10 Fricker), Faith Pearson-McKenzie (Year 10 Jeffries), and Brodie Eckert (Year 10 Carter).

Team Westminster also brought home the South West District Athletics Day Shield after a very long drought. This was a huge effort given we had quite a few late withdrawals through illness/travel/etc. It is likely we could have anywhere between 10-15 of our athletes competing at State Day later in the term.

Big thanks to Jon Dyer and Adam Thompson, their work with the Running Club and High Performance group on a Wednesday morning really was noticeable in the distance events. Also thanks to Athletics Coordinator, Trevor Orman, for allowing the Prep athletes to join the Seniors at training in the lead up to District Day.

Intercol

Where do we even start here? Our winter season has been one of our best ever culminating in the pinnacle sporting event in the school calendar, ‘Wintercol’, formerly known as Winter Intercol. The Westminster Dragons  and traditional rivals, Pembroke Kings duke it out in fixtures over a four day period commencing with Girls Soccer in their traditional Wednesday afternoon match, and culminating in the highest attended event on the docket, the First XVIII Football clash. This year, a record crowd of 1200 turned out to watch the footy, with many more through the gates at our many other fixtures during the day.

Intercol is played by all grades from Years 7 to 12, with the First Team clashes in the six winter sports vying for their respective Shields. The perennial favourites, Westminster Open A Netball kicked off Intercol Saturday with first Centre Pass underway at 7.30 am. There were no signs of sluggishness as the girls powered through a polished display, defeating the Kings by 24, a 23-goal improvement from last year’s nail-biter. We must mention the senior netballers here, 11 of 13 netball teams took the honours, giving netball an 85% winning rate on the day. Meanwhile, at Badminton SA headquarters at Lockleys, our A Badminton girls wiped the Kings 5-1. With the ladies laying down the gauntlet early, the gents responded with a highly skilled and exciting game in A Basketball, running out 53 – 34 winners. Rosie Williamson (Year 12 Dunstan) drained a classy three-pointer to close out the match, proving that girls can mix it with the boys if they work hard at training and take their chances. With the Dragons turning the tables on the Kings in the First XVIII Football clash at Kensington Oval last year, this year’s football match up shaped up to be a cracker. With the vocal Dragons army of supporters making a massive human tunnel for the boys to run through from the change rooms, the atmosphere was electric. When skipper Blake Read (Year 12 Woollacott) lead the team out, the crowd went crazy, and the infamous ‘We Ready’ chant was at full volume. The calm-aggressive Dragons shocked Pembroke, sprinting out of the blocks to have six goals on the board before Pembroke could blink, to set up the most dominant win in Dragons-Kings Intercol history, running out 97 point winners. Crowd favourite James Grimley sporting a Tex Walker style mullet for the event kicked eight goals in a supreme team effort, where Captain Read was awarded match MVP.

Girls' and Boys' Soccer as well as the Table tennis teams fought admirably but these games did not go exactly to plan with the Kings having a clear edge over us, with some work to be done in these sports next year. Thanks to coaches Leigh Matthews, Craig Leith, Gary Davison and Ty Cheesman, and Girls Soccer Manager Diana Pruszkowski.

Congratulations to our winning Intercol First Team Coaches Jess Wu, Spencer Brown, and Jeremy Hay (Badminton), Marg Angove (Netball), Al Green (Basketball), Ian Cox and Tony Ritson ('93) (Football). Congratulations also to the First Team Managers, the ‘glue’ that holds the team together: Sun Kim, Claire Muirhead, John Foreman, and Trevor Orman.

Special Intercol mentions must go to the following Dragons heroes on the day:

  • Second XVIII Footy - last year we didn’t even have a Seconds Team at the start of the year, this year we win Intercol with a great performance;
  • Tony Ritson - Coached the double on the day, Second XVIII Head Coach then straight to the coaching bench of the First XVII to assist Coxy, and another win;
  • First XVIII Footballers Kaine Baldwin who played Intercol as a Year 9, and Hamish McRae who worked so hard to come back and play First XVIII and Intercol after a horrific ankle injury that sidelined him for almost the entire season;
  • The high performance musicians from Big Band 1 who finished on stage winning Gold at the ABODA SA Band Festival at 10.00 pm Intercol Eve, and came out and smashed it on the sports field the next morning;
  • The student-athletes who doubled up on Intercol day, playing in more than one sport for the Dragons, often running from one fixture to the next;
  • The Open C Netballers for the comeback of the day, reeling in a nine goal deficit to win at the final whistle;
  • Darren McLachlan and Andrew Stone (Year 12 Carter) who assembled a team of technicians, Years 12s Daniel Carlin (Forder), Bryce Chung (Woollacott), and IT Trainee Luke Anderson, and coordinated a live stream of the A Netball, A Basketball, and First XVIII matches,  and the entertaining yet knowledgeable commentary team anchored by Mr Thompson and Mr Dyer with student special comments. Their stream had a world-wide audience, with viewers tuning in from Malaysia! You can check this out on YouTube if you haven’t seen it already;
  • Richard Bund ('96) and the Old Scholars for their attendance and support, including Richard’s Year 4/5 ‘Mini-League’ Team who entertained us at half time of the Firsts match;
  • The boarders and day students who turned up at 7.30 am for the start of the As Netball match singing in full voice;
  • The volunteers and coordinators of the food stalls, who gave up viewing time to raise money for Westminster Football and the UK Netball Tour;
  • Our Maintenance staff, including Steve Agar's assistance on the day, for ensuring all of our grounds and playing fields were in top condition;
  • Biggest shout out to our sports department for the many hours in event planning and coordination and their innovations: Mike Martens, Marianne Collier and Gary Davison; and
  • Our 'Green Army' for such inspirational school spirit. Let’s build on this to keep raising the bar in 2018 to continue to build on our great culture.
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Senior School Team Sport

Besides Intercol, there have been some outstanding performances from Westminster teams over the winter season.

Undefeated teams

The following teams went through the season undefeated: 

Badminton: The A and B Badminton girls finished third on their winter season ladder, their highest position ever and have earned the right to play finals.  Badminton has come on in leaps and bounds under the leadership of Sun Kim this season. 

Basketball: Our A Boys Basketball Team took out the premiership last weekend with a close fought 51-48 victory over a well-drilled Pulteney Grammar team.

Netball: Our Open A Netballers made it to finals day at Priceline Stadium again and finished fifth in the State overall, beating Trinity College in their playoff final. Of the five senior IGSSA Netball Shields, Westminster will contest four, having finished top two in Open A, Open B, 10A, and 9A Grades. Good luck to all teams in their grand finals next Saturday at Immanuel College.

Volleyball: Our Year 12 Division 1 Boys as well as our Year 12 Division 1 Girls won Gold medals in their respective SA Volleyball Schools Cup, an outstanding result for Westminster Volleyball, and a credit to the leadership of Angela Cash and her passionate staff. Brodie Eckert (Year 10 Carter) and Bella Triglau-Phillips (Year 11 Clark) won the competition MVP award in their respective divisions.

Football: In 2016 we were struggling to field three senior teams and we are now thriving with five teams who have all performed well in season 2017.

Academies

The introduction of three high performance academies this year has been a very positive step in improving the strength and conditioning of our students. The High Performance Strength and Conditioning Academy (S&C Academy), for First team players in Netball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Sailing, and Cricket as well as National, State, and SASI representatives in any sport have had conditioning sessions tailored to their specific sports and abilities. The S&C Academy, based on the highly successful Westminster Running Club, runs four mornings per week and syncs with students from Reception to Year 12. The fitness scores have improved markedly across the S&C serviced teams, as evidenced by last quarter performance measures. Adam Thompson and Jon Dyer are our S&C coaches who work with our First Team coaches to implement and monitor training. Adam and Jon have trained the successful Prep relay team and athletics runners, and all of the High Performance Sports First Teams. The Marg Angove Netball Academy ran as a pre-season skills academy in Term 1 for talented netballers in Years 8 to 12. Academy netballers Lucy Austin (Year 10 Clark) and Georgia Kraft (Year 11 Kelly) were graduates of the academy who went on to represent SA in the National 17 and Under Championships, winning the title, with Lucy going on to be selected in the Australian 17 and Under Squad and awarded a SASI Netball Scholarship. The Nathan Bassett Football Academy was piloted for Prep Year 6 and 7 footballers with great success. This academy ran in winter season mornings and had great uptake and results with our Prep Year 6/7 Team dominating their opposition most weeks.

Thank you to all of our coaches and managers of our Winter Sports teams. Our students wouldn't have the opportunities they do in sport if it wasn't for you time and dedication.

Jane Woodlands-Thompson
Head of Sport Development and High Performance