From The Principal

Every term in a school year is busy, but during Term 4 the school environment is abuzz.  Students have chosen options for the following year and are excited about new opportunities and students working towards their NCEA qualifications are completing internal assessments, crunching their credit and rank score calculations and preparing for their external examinations.  On top of this, celebrations and acknowledgements are being arranged and are beginning to take place with breakfasts, lunches, assemblies and prize giving all beginning this week.

This week final House assemblies have taken place. These have been really special to see as Atawhai classes farewell their Year 13 peers with individual speeches, cards and a rose for each leaver.  Along with farewelling our leavers, senior students’ service has also been recognised.

The Service programme at Carmel is an integral part of what it means to be a young woman of Mercy.  This programme allows our young women to grow in so many aspects that will set them apart and above others as they live, walk and talk our Mercy values through their contribution of service in the community.  I congratulate all of our senior students who have completed their service this year for their outstanding contribution and encourage those who didn’t quite get there to make this a goal for 2023.

On Tuesday the sports awards took place and it was a fantastic evening where our young women’s success and achievements in the sporting arenas were recognised and celebrated.  Below is what I said during the evening to acknowledge and congratulate not only our young athletes, but to also acknowledge and thank those who have supported them in achieving so highly.

Thank you.  I am very fortunate to be here this evening, and to have been able to present and celebrate the amazing talent of our young women who have strived to gain success and have achievement in their sporting fields.

Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to go out to support some of our athletes and it truly has been an honour to see some of you in action.  It is clear that when our young women are out on the sports fields and courts that you are not only enjoying yourself, but you are representing our College with pride.  Time and time again I have seen our athletes compete fiercely, but fairly, with courage and determination to succeed, yet with compassion and integrity. 

Being active, being committed to your sport, either as an individual or in a team, gives you all so many opportunities to grow and develop as an individual young woman.  The skills you have gained are wide and varied and include being able to make a commitment, developing positive communication skills, being able to work in a team and make new connections and friendships, learning how to balance your time between school work, training, household chores, part time jobs, rest and recreation, and through all of this, you develop and grow your ability to be resilient. 

Thank you for being involved and part of sport at Carmel and congratulations to you for your successes that have been celebrated here tonight.

In order for us to be able to celebrate your sporting success, there is a list of thank you’s. 

To our parents, whanau and supporters. Thank you.  All of you have been involved in sport here at Carmel.  From managing or coaching to supporting, transporting, feeding, supplying and washing uniforms and equipment and much more I am sure. Without your support, guidance and involvement, your daughter’s sporting endeavours and successes that have been celebrated here this evening would not be possible.  Thank you.

To the team here at Carmel.  The sports council who work to engage our students in sport and their work in assisting sport across the college is endless.  Thank you to the sports council, and a very big thank you to our Heads of Sports, Ava and Bridey.  You two have led the way, demonstrating not only the value of sport within young women’s lives, but you have role modelled resilience and perseverance, a positive work ethic and all-round sportsmanship.  Thank you.

And to our sports department, Annie and Claire.  Thank you.  There are three words that form the sports department vision – Engage.  Enjoy.  Excel. 

You work tirelessly for our students to see that across the college, from onsite activities to the sports our athletes here tonight play and represent the college in, that our young women have multiple opportunities to engage.  Once engaged you review the data to determine enjoyment of the opportunities provided, and along the way have developed systems and processes to see that our young women have the opportunity to excel in sport.

It is obvious that we’re a smallish college, yet you two work to ensure that that does not prevent our young women from having opportunities in sport, and that they are able to learn and develop skills required to be able to compete at regional and national levels successfully. 

Thank you.  I am in awe of the hours you put into sport, your commitment and positivity which ensures that sport here at Carmel is successful and as an outsider looking at it, sport at Carmel runs like a well-oiled machine, on the smell of an oily rag. So thank you; it’s not always plain sailing but together you offer and provide so much to ensure our young women are empowered through sport to challenge and shape their future whilst being women who live by our Mercy values

To our leavers.  At the Year 13 breakfast one of the previous heads of sport spoke about how things got a bit tough after leaving school and she struggled to find her people and she lost a bit of purpose in her life.  So she turned back to sport and to coaching.  She found her people in sport and a purpose in giving back.  She explained it was the values she had learnt and developed here at Carmel that she had let go of.  So, to our leavers, good luck for your future, remember who you are and what you stand for and that you will always be part of the Carmel College community – so come back and coach!

As we reflect and celebrate sport in 2022, to our young women here tonight, know that it is in taking part in opportunities at school that you develop the skills and attributes to be equipped and empowered to pursue your personal excellence, and that when you are ready to leave, you will be prepared to challenge and shape the future.

Again, to all those involved with sport in our community, thank you.