Winners and losers were put aside at the 12 and under School Sport Australia Golf Championships at Murray Bridge last week.
NSW students showed their class in a truly magnanimous gesture of sportsmanship on the final day after they came agonisingly close to winning the championship. They were runners up on a countback, never seen before at the event after NSW and Victoria tied on 1488 strokes each in the Craig Parry Shield.
Upon hearing the result, the NSW students shook off their disappointment, immediately getting up to shake the hands of the Victorian students at the emotion filled closing ceremony. The parents and other student athletes were left stunned at the scene that played out in the clubhouse – a gesture that would have left John Landy feeling proud of these young athletes.
NSW manager Drew Janetzki commented “that gesture shows what the NSW schooling system is all about. We value the respect of opponents and the education of young people above results. These values and the process of improvement are the cornerstone of their state representation. ”
Victorian manger Todd Canobie commented that “ this was sportsmanship of the highest order after a gruelling week of golf.”
This was also a key message delivered by Golf Australia High Performance Director Brad James during the week. Brad commented at the end of the championship “ Attending the School Sport Australia Championship is one of the highlights of the year for golf Australia. Seeing and talking with the future of Australian Golf is an experience we look forward to every year.”
In another twist to the closing ceremony Pacific Schools Games (PSG) mascot “Matey” made a surprise appearance high fiving all placegetters, including the South Australian students who played well above expectations all week.
They took out both handicap events – the Bowtell / Abbott and Brenda Carnavas shields, leaving the locals truly proud of the performance of the home state. The SA students were over the moon with their result and the ensuing photo with the PSG mascot. PSG Manager Dominic Fitzsimons then outlined to the students that Golf will make its PSG debut in December 2017 in Adelaide.
Queensland dominated day one in the state based teams ambrose event, with their boys blowing away the 60 barrier shooting a nine-under 59 off the stick with their girls coming a close second to Victoria.
The ACT team, competing for only the second time at these championships were thrilled with the week, including finishing ahead of the Vics in The Bowtell / Abbott shield. They will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with in future years.