The first week of September usually signals Winter Tournament week for schools around NZ. This year as you can imagine things were a bit different. Since National tournaments were not possible each region took it upon themselves to try and organise local tournaments to give teams a chance for some tournament action. Netball and Basketball unfortunately were victims of the Level 2 restrictions and their tournaments were cancelled in the week prior. This meant that we sent Boys Hockey, Boys and Girls Badminton and Girls and Boys Football to Wellington based tournaments.
The Boys team played in the Central Region Tournament which had capacity for 14 teams but in the end only had 6 attending which all play with Newlands in the Regional league during the season. The Tournament was a round robin tournament and in the end the team finished 5th.
The Girls team played in a 7 team competition including Nga Tawa and New Plymouth Girls High. The format for this tournament was different to the boys in that after a first round game, the winners played a round robin top 4 whilst the losers played a round robin bottom 3. Unfortunately having lost the first game, Newlands had no opportunity finish higher than 5th and ended up 6th.
As the Mixed Hockey tournament in Rotorua was a no go, the school took the opportunity of a team dropping out to enter the Boys Tournament in Wellington. This was a bit of a baptism of fire as the team entered the tournament as the lowest ranked team playing against teams from the top division. Whilst the team didn’t win any games, they must be commended for their attitude and enthusiasm in taking on the challenge and I’m sure they will have learnt alot from the experience.
Like the Boys Hockey, Newlands 1st XI were coming up against teams from the highest division in the region. In the first game they came up against the eventual losing finalists Scots College which was a bit of an eye opener but after that they settled down to come away with some decent results including a 1-1 draw with Paraparaumu College who had beaten them convincingly in pre-season and then they finished strongly on the last day to beat Wellington High and St Bernards to finish 13th out of 16.
The Girls Football team went into the tournament with some confidence. In Pool play they finished 2nd in the group behind eventual winners Wellington Girls. In a tight quarter final they lost 2-0 to Wellington East before losing the last 2 games (including the last one on penalties) to finish a school high record of 8th out 18.
Thanks to all the staff and volunteers who gave up their time to make the tournament happen and thanks to all the students who were a great credit to the school with their attitude and abilities.