From The Principal

On Tuesday the Sports Awards took place and it was a fantastic evening where our young women’s successes and achievements in the sporting arenas were recognised and celebrated.  A huge thank you to our Sports department and their support crew for the organisation and running of the evening.  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.

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 achieved in their sporting fields.  Congratulations to all who have participated and contributed, and to our prize winners this evening.

When we reflect on the sporting achievements of 2023 acknowledged and celebrated this evening, it is somewhat easy to forget that our school year started with all of our college sporting days being cancelled due to weather events which left many of us starting to wonder if 2023 was going to be another one of those disrupted years.  Thankfully the weather cleared, and although during industrial action discussions extra curricular activities were put in the spotlight, that too was resolved.

Regardless of the unsettled start of the year, you, our young women, got out on the sports fields and courts and you have not only enjoyed yourself, but you have represented 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. 

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, Hilary Halpin and Amy O’Neill.  You have led the way, demonstrating not only the value of sport within young women’s lives, but you have been a role model showing resilience and perseverance, a positive work ethic and all round sportsmanship. 

And to our Sports department, Annie Sadlier and Claire Magness, thank you.  We are a small college, but this does not prevent our young women from having opportunities in sport, where they are able to learn and develop skills required to be able to compete at regional and national levels successfully.  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.  As a department/team you keep reflecting and striving to make every experience associated with sports at the college better, and even in moments as recent as today in setting up the hall, there were moments of ‘why’, the why is clear. 

It is all for our students, which includes those not here tonight, but who have participated in the life of sport at Carmel.  It is to offer and provide opportunities that ensure our young women are empowered to challenge and shape their future whilst being women who live by our Mercy values.

It is not always plain sailing, there are more and more demands and opportunities to consider nationally and now internationally, but thank you for all you have and continue to do.

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 keep an eye out on the fantastic social media pages, and when the opportunity arises, come back and coach!

Again, congratulations to our prize winners this evening, and all the best for the sport yet to come this year.


At the time of writing this piece, it is wonderful that our Year 7 and 8 students have had the opportunity to have athletics day today at Onewa Domain.  We look forward to hearing how the day went, the results, and importantly seeing and sharing the stories of our young women being present, participating and giving things a go.