A group of Year 10 boys recently asked for permission to run one of the school’s weekly assemblies – and their opportunity came on Thursday 24 October. The whole community was very impressed by their organization, their care and the spirit of the assembly – all of which was the work of the boys alone with minimal guidance from staff.
There were many highlights. Firstly, Evan Johnson produced a thoughtful reflection on service and conquering challenges on the recent Year 10 Camp. Then, Miller Marks-Boulton and Will Hutcheon talked about the many lessons learnt in so many areas on their recent Thailand service trip.
Two boys elected to tell personal stories that explored our Wellbeing Theme for the term – Optimism.
Imran Sadiqzai revealed his heart condition, which resulted in the placement of a defibrillator. This serious condition made it impossible for him to continue his dream of becoming a professional basketballer. Imran describes his response to this:
Now gentleman, I had two options to choose from. The first was to give up, feel sorry for myself, and accept the fact that I was never going to be as good as the other kids. The second was pick myself up, dust myself, grab the bull by the horns and keep striving towards success. I can admit that I chose the first option for a while and got myself down in the dumps. Until one day I thought to myself that my dream of making it the NBA was the best thing that never happened to me. This one obstacle has redirected me onto a whole new path and that is music, this is my new passion and my escape in life. I found my true happiness and my aspiring career path.
Ben Bryant was also a keen basketballer, and talked about how Optimism helped him find a new physical outlet after several serious knee injuries…
Some people may spiral downhill after hearing news like this about something that they loved but instead of following that path I decided that I could find new sports and hobbies that weren’t hard on my knees.
Cycling was a good start as this was also a part of my rehabilitation so I decided to get a road bike and also join the HPV team. This has led to it becoming a passion of mine as it gives me goals to work towards and it allows me to still experience the competitive nature that I loved after playing 8 years of basketball.
Another sport that I have recently picked up and started training for is wheelchair basketball as I can still have all the same feelings and passion I had towards basketball and use it in a way that is almost identical but where my knees aren’t needed for playing.
These remarkable stories and remarkable examples of Optimism set such a beautiful example for the other young men of Berwick Grammar.
Congratulations to all the students who worked so hard on this memorable assembly. They have certainly set the bar high for any other year levels who may want to take up the challenge.
Ms Lauren Cook
Head of Senior Boys, Wellbeing