School Spirit

School Spirit

I went back to CBC in 2013 as an old boy to speak and encourage the boys to make the most of their high school years because High School life is one of the best times of your life and it passes by so quickly. After giving my talk I realized something that really saddened me.

The school spirit had died…

At least it wasn’t what I remembered it to be and I am not blaming the boys, the teachers, headmaster or parents. It just wasn’t the same as many of the boys in our generation will remember it to be. It is very difficult to put it in to words but you can just sense it if you’ve been an old boy.

I believe that the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. I went home that night and decided to come back to CBC and get involved and hopefully inject something that I believed they needed… School Spirit. And nothing can ignite school spirit like Rugby!

I went back and asked Mr.Thomson if I could assist the First Team rugby until the end of the season and do what I could to help revive the spirit. CBC Rugby were taking some big blows at the time and losing by extreme margins. The following year, I began coaching the U15s and went on tour with them and then did another year after that. I got to build good relationships with the junior boys and other coaches and it was a fantastic season in my life. Having the ability to give back to something that played a crucial role in my life was priceless.

At the start of 2016, I realized that my commitments were growing at work and my family with my two small children and I could not be able to commit to coaching and travelling and being as involved as much as I had been over the last few years. I knew that I had to stop and make sure that my priorities were in order.

As the years progressed, I can proudly and confidently say that the school spirit is changing and has changed tremendously. I am not talking about improvement in sports or rugby scores but in spirit.

This morning, I was honoured to speak to the 6th Form Students at CBC. I felt a burning desire to go back and encourage the boys once again. This time my message was on Overcoming Fear and Believing in Yourself. They’ve got what it takes but the stumbling block to beating schools like Peterhouse, PE and Falcon is not that the others are better, bigger, stronger, faster or have better facilities, or better coaches but that we don’t BELIEVE its possible.

I shared a story of a time when Fear haunted me when I crossed over from playing 2nd team rugby to 1st Team Rugby and how we lost that game 41-5 to Falcon and how terrified I was, even though I had the ability. I was on the sidelines and in that moment, the fear literally paralysed me. One of my team mates grabbed me and looked me in the eye and told me to get on the field because I could do it. The return game that season we went on to beat them on the return leg. I remember running on that day believing I had what it takes and believing we could do it.. and we did!

If you don’t believe you can win, you have already lost. The battle is not in strength but in the mind. If you want to beat the big schools, you must start believing that you can beat the big schools and see yourself as a BIG School. The world takes us at our own valuation. It believes in the man who believes in himself, but has little use for the timid man, the one who is never certain of himself; who cannot rely on his own judgement, who craves advice from others and is afraid to go ahead on his own account. It is the man with a positive nature, the man who believes he is equal to the emergency, who believes he can do the thing he attempts, who wins the confidence of his fellow man. He is beloved because he is brave and self-sufficient. He who would succeed today must not only be brave, but must also dare to take chances. Believe in yourself!

We ended off with some war cries and a hearty College Akwenyu which really touched the green and gold heart in me.

Let me just say that the Spirit is definitely on the increase. “Big” schools, watch out for CBC! Something special is loading! Well done to all those who have continued to invest in the young men of CBC! Good luck CBC for the remainder of the rugby season and all the other sports too

Published by Antonbhana

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