GPS Boys perform through persistence and Spirit of fellowship in Term 1
Despite a pandemic, two weeks of delays, three cancelled Saturdays, last-minute postponements, seven water logged rowing sheds, 20 ovals out of action, 14,000 boys showed determination, resilience, community spirit and grit to compete in a range of sports and activities with five (5) Premierships completed in the Queensland Great Public Schools Association this term.
After a challenging two years dominated by the global pandemic, it was hoped that 2022 would provide some return to normality. Instead, our boys were met with a delay to school due to the Omicron peak and a pause mid-season due to an extreme weather event resulting in flooding. Despite these hurdles, the boys of the GPS Member Schools accepted the challenge and completed an impressive start to the year.
After a last-minute school cancellation in South-East Queensland, the GPS Swimming Championships was moved testing each swimmer’s preparation and endurance. Brisbane Grammar School claimed victory by dominating in the relays, winning 5 of the 9 showcasing the depth of Head Coach Bobby Jovanovich’s programs. BGS also claimed nine individual victories and topped the points table in 16 years and Under and Open on their way to the school’s 20th GPS Swimming Premiership.
Brisbane Grammar School also took home the Cricket Premiership. Guided by program leader Trevor Irvine, BGS Head Coach Peter Steindl supported his team home to secure the Earle Williams Cricket Trophy for BGS for the first time in 9 years. The team’s bowling attack that included a three-prong spin attack complimented by pace, provided the point of difference, which contained the scoring rates of opposition teams.
The GPS Spirit of Fellowship was well and truly alive within the Debating program. The premiership came down to the final two rounds, where Anglican Church Grammar School faced BGS and BSHS. With schools bringing their supporters, the well-executed debates created a memorable experience for the Churchie boys, who finished the season undefeated, having lost only one adjudication point—a Premiership three years in the making for the debating program at Churchie.
A last round upset confirmed St Joseph Nudgee College‘s undefeated as the 2022 Volleyball Premiers, which was the first outright win for Nudgee in a highly contested year. Challenged only once to a 5 set match all season, the Nudgee 1st VI dropped three sets out of their 18 played on their history-making premiership journey.
This year’s rowing season was like no other with unprecedented weather knocking out regular training and threatening the 100th GPS Head of the River. In the end, with no rowing sheds, boats stored on trailers, no access to the Brisbane River or Wyaralong Dam for training, the regatta was postponed for the final race of the season. But with a seven-day delay and four weeks between regattas, the final race came down to the final 50metres. In a race where the third place would have snared victory 12months earlier, Brisbane Boys College successfully defended their crown, taking home the O’Connor Cup.
Dominating racing on the day, including a victory in the Open 3rd VII, Open 2nd VIII, and a narrow second place in the prestigious Head of the River, The Southport School, claimed the Old Boys Cup (Rowing Premiership). A program led by newcomer John Smyth, TSS crews finished top three in every point-scoring race returning the trophy to TSS after a nine-year absence.
Many thanks to the students, coaches, teachers, staff, parents and school administration for a successful start to 2022. After the disruption of term 1, the students’ resilience at GPS Member Schools is to be commended. We now look forward to the forthcoming Cross-Country championships with Brisbane State High School vying to secure a third straight premiership. St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace will also be looking to defend their first-ever football premiership and Brisbane Grammar will be looking to build upon their legacy in GPS Tennis. Term two action commences on 22 April.
Congratulations to all Premiership teams in Term 1 and best wishes to the nine (9) member schools for Term 2 Sport and Activities.