On the weekend, our winter sporting seasons commenced with First and Second XVIII football at the Senior School and netball at the Junior School. At the same time, we had around 50 Senior School students and six staff participating in the well-known Generations in Jazz Music Festival and competition at Mount Gambier. I understand that this was, once again, a very successful experience for all concerned, and a more detailed report is included elsewhere in this Ignatian.
Whilst the weather was relatively kind to us on the weekend, we know that ‘winter is coming’! I think that sometimes the winter sporting seasons are a bit more challenging than the summer seasons.
The weather is part of this of course, as it is sometimes difficult to cope with very inclement weather and the effect that this has on players and sports grounds. The physical nature of many winter sports is another factor that can present problems from time to time, especially if we perceive that our children have been engaged with in an aggressive manner outside the laws of the game being played.
I hope most sincerely that none of our students or families have any unhappy experiences in the winter sports this year but I think that, unfortunately, this is rather unlikely. I would urge all of us, though, to adhere to our code of conduct for sport. Essentially this means that we are always supportive of the game being played in good spirit – or the spirit implicit to all sports – regardless of the intentions of our opposition. It is fantastic when all share this approach and challenging when it may appear that others do not, but the perspective of others may be as valid as our own, and I think we should always focus on our own behaviour and response – things we can control – rather than those of others. We strive always to respect the umpires, referees, and officials who enable our sport to be played, and for parents, spectators, and coaches this is very important as we, the adults, act as role models for our players. Our goal of endeavouring to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat should always be our guide.
Many years ago, I played a fair bit of football – not at any great level – and then umpired for both Amateur League and College matches. I have watched more school sport over the past 30 years or so than I can remember, and I think I have experienced many of the good and bad elements of sport. I know that winter team sports may promote courage, resilience, teamwork, relationships, respect, fun, and much more when we make these things as important (or even more so) than just winning or losing. I wish all our teams well in the coming months – go Iggies!
From the Rector
This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day. Our relationship with our family provides a secure attachment that enables us to grow in confidence about our place in the world. Mothers give a great deal to their families, and frequently do so unconditionally. It is a true vocation.
Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb and phonograph, once said: “I did not have my mother long, but she cast over me an influence which has lasted all my life. The good effects of her early training I can never lose. If it had not been for her appreciation and her faith in me at a critical time in my experience, I should never likely have become an inventor. I was always a careless boy, and with a mother of different mental calibre, I should have turned out badly. But her firmness, her sweetness, her goodness were potent powers to keep me in the right path. My mother was the making of me. The memory of her will always be a blessing to me.”
A child becomes the centre of a mother’s life. This starts in utero, and goes through delivery and the broken sleep of infancy. Some mothers speak of how their lives were redefined when their newborn was placed in their arms. This love continues through the reassurances of growing. And a child journeys secure in the fact that their mother’s love is not dependent on always getting things right.
Mothers juggle multiple roles within a family – accountant, nurse, teacher, and psychologist. It can be hard coping with the circumstances that happen, and so often a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.
Mothers listen with patience as we share the highs and lows of our days without making us feel that our troubles or joys are insignificant. They soothe the pain of our illnesses and injuries, often late into the night. They listen to our stories of troubles with our friendship group or a relationship break-up. They stay calm and focus on the positive in a situation, gently and thoughtfully offering a new perspective. They are patient enough to take the long view that things will work out.
Setting limits can be hard but is so necessary to shape resilience and virtue. Mothers have to resist our badgering to get our way and set boundaries to keep us safe. They encourage us to climb back from a low point and do not simply rescue. They give honest advice even when it is not what we want to hear. They learn to carry our problems while seeking solutions to ease distress and helping us take responsibility for our mistakes.
They cope with being taken for granted. In time, it means letting go ‒ trusting all that has been done to lay the firm foundations for character will be enough. They love their children so that, one day, we develop the confidence to leave home and start a new home. They witness to generosity and self-forgetfulness so their children may develop in their capacity to love others.
To our mothers, thank you for the extraordinary contribution you make to the lives of your daughters and sons. We pray for those mothers who are not well and those who care for them. We remember those who have died but still watch over us. We hope our students offer their mothers some appropriate expression of gratitude to convey the depth of love they feel for you, to remember all that has been, and to look forward to all that is to come.
Fr Peter Hosking SJ