The Last Word

By Samuel Hewson | Posted: Wednesday April 3, 2019

Over the last few weeks I have struggled to find something to talk about. I’ve moved from idea to idea, but nothing stuck.

But in my hunt for a topic I started thinking about what makes this school one of the best schools in New Zealand. There may only be 800 of us but we continue to more than compete nationally on the field, the stage and academically. But why? What makes us different? Skills wise we are not the best nor probably close to the best, but we have something else that helps us to win. We are OB’s boys. We never give up. When we are losing, we don’t roll over, we stand up and fight right through to the bitter end. We believe when no one else believes. Through sheer grit and tenacity; we get the job done.

Last year my badminton team went up to nationals, albeit second division. We managed to come second against all expectations. Skills wise we were the second-best team in the grade? No, we were probably far from it. If it was done just on skills, we may have just made the top 8. But no, we came second. We dug deep and we never gave up. We believed we could win. When the other teams faced us, they thought they had an easy win. In the quarter final against Westlake Boys', they put their team sheet in for the semis before they started playing because they thought they would walk all over us. But they forgot about something. We had more ticker than them. What we lacked in skills, we made up for with fight. We believed in our ability to win and we just ran, and we ran and never stopped running. The match ended up being 3 all and we won on countback. When we made it to the final, we played our hearts out but we lost. But there was nothing to be disappointed about. We played the game of our lives, had given it our all and had left everything out on the court. There was nothing more we could have done, so how could we be disappointed?

Too often in the classroom, we don’t give it our all. We sit there, we delay and procrastinate and do half arsed work, then we’re disappointed when our results come back. So, why don’t we apply the same tenacity we have on the sports field to the classroom? Why don’t we knuckle down and put in the hard yards to get the results? As Thomas Edison once said, “there is no substitute for hard work.” If we all work as hard as we can, then in January when our results come back, there will be nothing to be disappointed about. Because that will be the best we could possibly do. No excuses, what ifs or buts. It will be there in black and white, the best we could have done. So, what is there to be disappointed about?

As is tradition I will finish with a quote, from Winston Churchill. “Never give in-never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in.”