Marist Spirit Exemplified on the Sports Field

7 Jun 2021

A message of inspiration from our Old Boys.

Term 1 arrived with much excitement from our boys as on-campus learning was back in full swing. With this came the beginning of in-person sports practices across all grades, which the boys participated in whole- heartedly. The second term brought even more excitement as schools were allowed to compete in contact sports once again, and our young sportsmen could test their prowess in fixtures against other schools. Unfortunately, regulations prohibiting spectators meant that the boys’ joy of playing sport again could not be observed from the field-side by parents and friends, but nevertheless the Marist spirit remained intact and the St David’s gents gave it their all for the few weeks that the season ran, even amidst rescheduling of fixtures at late notice due to the resurfacing of Covid-19 at other schools, and some disruptively unseasonal weather.

College Sport

The College enjoyed the opportunity to once again play hockey and rugby as restrictions on contact sport were lifted. Although the first Saturday fixture of the season came with an unseasonal thunderstorm that saw matches either abandoned or delayed by up to two hours, this did not deter our boys. They maintained positive spirits and 24 of our hockey and rugby teams played against Jeppe on the 15th of May. The excitement across all teams was evident, and the matches were played with great enthusiasm. While there were a couple of one-sided results, most of the matches were keenly contested and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

In addition to Jeppe, the Hockey club participated against St John’s, St Stithians and Northcliff, as well as at the Festival of the Saints, for a total of 44 matches across the club. The Rugby section played a total of 34 matches against St Stithians, St Alban’s, Jeppe, Rand Park, Heronbridge and King Edward VII School.

The winter tennis league had just gotten underway before it was unfortunately cut-off, and the 1st team were only able to play one match against St Stithians. Despite the lack of inter-school fixtures, Luke Oosthuizen in Grade 10 was recently selected for the Gauteng Central u19B tennis team.

The Cross Country club participated in five of the qualifying league events before the restrictions on inter-school sport put a stop to the league shortly before the season’s conclusion. A number of our runners were well on their way to qualifying for the league finals and it is hoped that those finals will take place later this year.

Rock Climbing has grown in popularity at St David’s in recent years, and a group of dedicated climbers and coaches train every week at the St David’s climbing facility. Two of our climbers in Grade 8, Benjamin Smith and Guilio Cianfanelli, did very well at the in the U15 age group at provincial championships held at City Rock over the weekend of the 14th to 15th of May. To make it to this level of competition is amazing and both athletes are to be commended on how they competed, but also on how they supported not only each other, but their fellow athletes in the competition. Both young men are U14, but in climbing, both U14 and U15 athletes compete in the same category. Benjamin Smith competed in the Bouldering Championship and Giulio Cianfanelli competed across all three disciplines, namely Speed, Bouldering and Lead Championships. Giulio Cianfanelli excelled in the competition achieving a 4th overall position. Congratulations to both young gentlemen and we look forward to seeing them continue to achieve in future Rock Climbing events.

The Canoeing club has been very active in the last few months and many of the results have been included in previous articles on the website. Recently, an article published in the Sandton Chronicle made mention of Matthew Maccelari’s selection for the South African Junior team going to compete in the World Sprint Championships in Portugal in September.

We are extremely proud of these sporting achievements across the College, but we would like to commend every one of our boys that participated in sport practices and inter-school fixtures in extremely unprecedented circumstances, and continued to persevere in the face of adversity for the love of the game.

Prep Sport

The Prep also achieved great things on the sporting field in the year so far. The decision was made to swap the football and rugby seasons around and this proved to be a master stroke as the boys played a good soccer season, with fixtures against both The Ridge and Pridwin. The tennis team has gone from strength to strength with multiple fixtures at home and away.

Beyond results, the best part of the sports programme in the Prep is the amount of boys participating. Even in these trying times, the number of young gentlemen choosing to participate in sport, practice with their peers, and challenge themselves physically has grown substantially, and attendance at practices across all grades has been excellent. Our boys' energy and enthusiasm on the sports field has been something to behold over the past 5 weeks. Their ability to adapt to our ever-changing circumstances is admirable. We commend the boys for this and thank the parents for their ongoing support. We all know that sports participation increases confidence, mental alertness, and self-esteem just to mention a few benefits. It is vital for our boys to stay physically active especially in Covid times.

We would like to commend Kai Davis in Grade 6 for taking part in a CGA cross-country race in Dobsonville, running against some of the best U12 cross country athletes from clubs all over Gauteng. Kai finished in an impressive 13th place. We congratulate him on this and more so his preparedness to test himself against the best runners in what is a very challenging sport.

We also extend our congratulations to Rafael da Silva from Grade 3 who participated in the 2020 South African National Bambino Go-Kart Championship as well as the 2020 Gauteng Bambino Go Kart Championship, and placed 3rd in both championships. Well done Rafael!