The winter season has started really well with three netball teams, three basketball teams, a seven-a-side hockey team, our own futsal competition, small bore rifle shooting, dance and rugby. Judo continues throughout the year and have success nationally and internationally.
This term also offers boxing classes in the school gym with a range of boxing bags and equipment allowing delivery of something new and exciting to students of all fitness levels. With a huge number of parents and community members coaching our teams, this is something for which WCC are very grateful. Thanks to the many teachers who continue to give up a huge amount of time organising and driving teams around the countryside.
Dance sport is a relatively new sport at WCC, where until this year, Dance was not a formal subject in the curriculum. It is now a subject that every year 9 student studies. Aotea Empire have been together for three years and have been the New Zealand Secondary School Hip Hop champions for the last two years.
WCC are very lucky to have services of Pauline Hiroti who works tirelessly to get our students to the successes they have. This season they started the season at the biggest hip hop competition in the country, The Project in Tauranga, where they finished a very close second.
They are in Wellington for a further two competitions, one that if they win, will qualify them for the Hip Hop Unite World Championships in Europe later in the year. They will also defend their national title in Queenstown in September. The dance crew, as with all other sports teams in the school have to live the values of the school. Attendance, academic achievement and citizenship are all part of the requirements.
Unfortunately, we have had to pull our team from the Manawatu competition after struggling to get numbers to play this year. It is a real shame as the team have dominated the local competition for a number of years but after the tour to Australia last year a large group of boys left school.
I would like to acknowledge the coach, Ricky Taiaroa, his guidance, mentorship and his passion for this team has been really outstanding. Rick has also taken various players from the school over the past few years to Florida State University where he is a member of the Rugby coaching staff, in our off season.
The experience of overseas travel for Rugby has led to exposing our home-grown talent at Florida State. On behalf of the boys and girls he has coached and mentored I would like to thank Rick in his support of the players, the coaches, and whanau that he has worked with. Nga mihi atu nunui kia koe Rick.
Under the guidance of coaches Rick Winterburn and former student and Whanganui Heartland captain and player, Steelie Koro, we had a very good start to the Rugby season.
This term we started in the local U15 competition and so far the team has performed really well. The coaches are really proud of the way that these boys have developed and that they are making positive improvements week by week.
They comment on the development of a positive attitude win lose or draw and are building towards creating fine young men who respect each other, their mentors and their whanau. We look forward to a great season from these young men. Our thanks to Rick and Steelie for their experience and knowledge of the game, and the beneficiaries of this will be the boys, and I hope they appreciate this.
This year has had a few new girls join the team. Jason Beamsley as coach comes with several years' experience taking this team. He is ably assisted this year by a very supportive Mum, Paula Hawira, as the team manager.
The girls took part in the pre-season Rippa tournament, and are now involved in the local sevens competition. They have had a mixed start but with a lot of new players, the season is developing quite well for them. There is a real Tuakana-Teina relationship developing in the team culture with the older girl's supporting and assisting the younger newer girls. This is a major observation of the team, therefore a good team culture is developing. We look forward to a great season.
Waka ama is one of the fastest growing summer sports in the country. This year WCC took six crews, 43 students in total, away to the national competition where 123 schools gathered at the Blue Lake, Tikitapu to compete. This was probably one of the most successful nationals with crews making various finals in the championship, plate and bowl sections. At the end of the week, finishing a fantastic 6th out of 123 on the medal table.