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Excellence in Skill and Character

At the Senior School Assembly on Monday, I spoke to the students about the intention we have to improve Co-curricular by providing more development and performance opportunities, better celebrating the achievements of our individuals and teams and enhancing the formation of our coaches. I then continued with the following:

I’m really excited to strive for a new standard of excellence in Co-curricular. However, when we talk about striving for excellence, I absolutely mean excellence in skill such that we improve our performance, but I also absolutely mean excellence in character, such that we develop and demonstrate our College virtues through our Co-curricular contributions.

And that is what we will do together - we will be excellent in skill and excellent in character. When we are intentional, the striving for one complements the other. To provide some examples:

  • We will be humble in victory by celebrating well. Being humble doesn’t mean that we don’t celebrate, but it means celebrating with a right understanding of the success and how it fits in a bigger picture.
  • We will be gracious in defeat by generously giving benefit of the doubt to the referee or the selectors.
  • We’ll be humble in victory by being loving toward those who can’t share our success, perhaps they lost or weren’t selected and so we look out for and care for them without having to dismiss our own achievement.
  • We’ll be gracious in defeat by courageously having another go, at trying again.
  • We’ll be humble in victory by being grateful to those who helped and encouraged us along the way.
  • We’ll be gracious in defeat by curiously and respectfully seeking feedback that helps us look forward with hopeful intent toward growth and improvement.

These are just some examples, but in doing these things we will not only develop excellent character, but they will also help us improve our skill, as we don’t rest on the laurels of our past achievements and we don’t let our setbacks define us.

Co-curricular at Ignatius is an incredible strength of this community. We are committed to striving more for excellence in both skill and character, but that can’t be achieved just by myself or the Co-curricular staff. It needs all of us being intentional toward that end.

In all I have spoken about, I fully expect that you have been thinking about what this will look like in your Co-curricular program and we look forward to hearing your suggestions. But what about the Co-curricular programs that you’re not involved in?

  • You have ideas for growing your program? How might they also be beneficial for other programs and other students?
  • You want your program and achievements to be better celebrated and supported? How are you helping to celebrate and support the students and achievements of other programs?

Because one of our first steps toward achieving excellent outcomes in Co-curricular is realising that our programs are not in competition with each other. Each of our arts, activities and sports enrich our College and so celebrating the individual, the program and the collective Co-curricular achievements enhances this community in which we spend so much of our time. The Co-curricular team and staff are committed to our part in this, but it is just as much up to each one of you.

As we strive together, I look forward to the excellence in skill and character that we will see emerge in the years to come.

Jess Morrish
Head of Co-curricular

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