Over the last century, Riverview has toiled with great determination and persistence in the Head of the River – one of the most competitive and highly regarded regattas in Australia. On four occasions only has the College won the event since the competition began in 1893, and prior to last Saturday the last time Riverview canvass took honours was in 1975. Much to the delight and celebration of the boys in the Ist VIII, their families and the entire College community, victory was registered out at Penrith on a river replete with the tradition that has made this one of the most coveted trophies in GPS sport. And, what a titanic struggle it was over the course of 2,000 metres in searing heat. At the half way mark, the Shore School – which has been the dominant force in the event over the last 20 years – held an appreciable lead, but when it came to the 1,500 metre line, the rest of the field had drawn near and the contest was clearly on. In those excruciating final seconds of the race, the Riverview boys drew heavily on the oars, breaking personal pain barriers, to register their first win in 43 years, inching across the line by 1.06 seconds. By any standards, it was a stunning performance – one that will etch its own distinctive entry in the sporting history of the College, and one that all members of the community should be particularly proud of. Congratulations are extended to the boys on the discipline and commitment that they maintained over the summer; one that has produced such a fine result against some of the most highly regarded crews in New South Wales.
Other very fine achievements in the co-curricular program were registered over the weekend. These included:
Mountain Biking, which saw 20 boys from the College join the most accomplished riders from schools across the nation. In the four demanding disciplines of the event – Cross Country, Downhill, Flow Track and XC Short Course, Saint Ignatius’ was awarded overall Champion Boys School: that is, the best in Australia. The premier trophy, namely the King of Mountain in each respective division, was won by two boys from the College: Division 1 (Year 11 & 12) by Oliver Arcus and Division 2 (Year 9 & 10) by Josh Arcus. Well done young men!! Like the rowing, this is an exceptional result and one that the boys and the staff can be particularly proud of.
Out at the baseball diamond on Saturday the Riverview boys took another Premiership, the second in successive years. Three weeks previously they were soundly beaten by the same team, but on the day, the Riverview boys regrouped to take an emphatic 11-1 win. Special congratulations are extended to Captain Matthew Sheridan and the team, to the coaches and the mangers, and, to that very faithful band of supporters who have grown the baseball confraternity over recent years into the force that it has become.
Yet another very significant achievement was registered by Daniel Gedeon (Year 10, Teresa House), who came 4th in the Catholic Schools Debating Association (CSDA) Public Speaking Competition. This is a demanding and highly competitive event with 86 schools participating and over 700 students involved. To make it through to the very final stages is a truly exceptional accomplishment. Daniel won the Zone Heat (St Augustine’s) the Zone Final (Riverview) and then 4th Runner-Up in the Grand Final.
Touch Rugby also featured during the week with the Under 13 and Open Teams winning Premierships in their respective competitions.
Congratulations to each and every one of these boys who represented their school with great distinction.
The Royal Easter Show featured prominently during the week, particularly for the boys involved in the Agriculture Program. There is enormous pressure on the boys when they step into the spotlight in the show ring and compete against some of the largest Agricultural Programs in the state. As always, the boys responded with much poise and confidence and they fully deserved 6th Place in the School Steer Competition with a Limousin steer donated Dr John and Ms Sue Sheehy. Plans are already afoot for some extra additions to the Agricultural Program for 2019, so the boys come back very much strengthened and inspired by their involvement in this cameo event.
In the aftermath of a very successful summer sporting season with a high participation rate by many boys across the different levels, the focus now shifts clearly to the academic program in the final weeks of term. The intensity of the HSC calendar is apparent at every turn: in the latter part of the week, Year 12 End of Semester Examinations began and they will continue until the final week of the term. Boys in Year 11 will confront their end of semester examinations at the beginning of next term, which is only 12 teaching days away given three short weeks to conclude Term 1. They are busy rounding off course content over the next fortnight and entering into a consolidated period of revision prior to the break in preparation for these significant assessments. And, as our senior boys have shown us over the last three years, performance and outcomes are in due proportion to the preparation that is entered into along the way.