After months of planning and fundraising, 32 students, 16 boys and 16 girls, from Royal Oak Intermediate School travelled to Tauranga last month to compete at the New Zealand Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools' National Games.
And it was all worth it, when the school's team won four gold medals and one silver, placing Royal Oak Intermediate 9th on the medals table out of the 168 schools present.
The boys' Rugby Sevens competition ran Monday to Wednesday, and the girls' competition was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the finals on Thursday. The Royal Oak Intermediate boys' team was placed 6th out of 32 teams and the girls won all but one of their games to win gold.
The tournament organisers later announced the 12 best players in the Rugby Sevens tournament. Five of the twelve were from Royal Oak Intermediate.
Not only did Royal Oak Intermediate students do well on the rugby field, but they performed exceptionally well over at the Argos Gym on the Tuesday of the Games week.
The gymnastics teams competed in the teams' event, with some amazing results. The girls' team was awarded the silver medal and the boys' team took the gold.
Individually Sophia Laufoli was 6th, Elijah Teu was 2nd and Win Ba was 1st, after the first round of team competition.But in the individuals' competition, Win Ba continued his amazing form to win another gold medal and Sophia Laufoli, with the help of a perfect 10 on the vault, came from 6th to 1st, winning the girls' individual gold medal.
Earlier the opening ceremony at Bay Park Arena saw the games opened by Olympian medallists Mahe Drysdale and Sarah Walker - an inspiration to the students. It was an amazing experience, with some excellent entertainment presented to the 7500 people present from 168 schools across the country.
A number of the judges, competitors and service providers complimented the team on their behaviour, sportsmanship and friendliness. A huge thank you is extended to the Royal Oak Intermediate students, their parents and staff for representing the school at the AIMS Games.
Taking students on a trip such as this does cost quite a bit of money.
Fundraising consisted of sponsorships and many a sausage sizzle. Thank you to Bunnings (Mt Wellington) and Mad Butcher (Onehunga) for allowing our team to sell sausages outside your stores. Finally, our gratitude is extended to the school's sponsors Pak'nSave (Royal Oak), the Onehunga RSA and CLM (Onehunga War Memorial Pools).