Do more, get more?Nick Van Breda
There’s an adage that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. It might apply to Trinity students who have schedules that are bursting at the seams and yet see growth and achievement across their co-curricular and academic pursuits.
A couple of Trinity staff members who observe this are Mrs Elizabeth Murphy, Administration Manager, Track and Field; PDHPE Teacher, Senior School and Mr James Leckie, Director of Enrolments (7-12), Assistant Swimming Manager and Secondary Teacher. TN caught up with them both.
Mr Leckie has been witness to the success of Trinity students at all different stages of their schooling.
“A lot of the boys who do the best in Year 11 and Year 12 are the ones who have committed themselves heavily to co-curricular activities—whether it is sport or another of the activities,” Mr Leckie says. “Many of them commit themselves, see some degree of success in their chosen activity and they then go on to apply what they’ve learnt to their studies and then they see success there too.
“I enrolled many of them back in Year 4 or Year 5; it’s always interesting to see how they travelled through the School. To have seen who they were at such a young age and then see the success they’ve worked hard for as they’ve grown is a privilege”
No matter the age of a student, sport is essential for their development and Mrs Elizabeth Murphy knows it’s not just about gaining a spot on the podium. Rather than success, it’s about balance and growth—physically, mentally and spiritually.
“Sport keeps students’ physical and mental health in check. There’s plenty of research out there that tells us that doing these kinds of activities keeps students mentally healthy, lowering stress, and helping them to retain more information, which helps with their academics.
“A lot of high-level athletes tend to have a great work ethic because they’ve learnt how to balance and prioritise over the years,” Mrs Murphy explains. “They often have to make sacrifices as they get their body ready to compete. They have really good programmes and schedules and they stick to them down to the minute.”
Of course, not every Trinity student is destined to be an elite athlete but the methodology of adopting a work ethic and achieving balance is useful for all. Some may need prodding and encouragement to find the balance, while others fall into the rhythm with ease. It’s a balancing act, explains Mrs Murphy.
“Life isn’t just about sport, or music, or any other single co-curricular focus—there’s a lot going on in the life of each student,” Mrs Murphy knows as well as any parent, having supported two sons through a Trinity education in recent years, with two more to go.
“As long as they’re not being consumed by one or the other. You don’t want either one or the other to become a chore. If it does, something has to change. It’s as simple as that. Even if it’s just for a short period of time.”
At the end of the day, however, Mrs Murphy is keen to see all students embracing the opportunities that sport has to offer and implementing the discipline they learn into their academics as well.
“They have so many opportunities at their fingertips at Trinity. From top-level coaches and world-class facilities, to a sporting schedule that is designed to work in with their classes. If they went to school elsewhere, they would need to seek out these opportunities themselves and juggle schedules that aren’t made to work together so well.
“Trinity students have amazing programmes that allow them to excel in various arenas with incredible support. It will be hard work, I can guarantee it! However, it’s well-worth grasping the opportunity while it’s within reach here at Trinity throughout their academic careers—they’ll never regret it.”
“It’s not just about the students getting a high mark,” Mr Leckie agrees. “Many of our students are bright and could do well wherever they went to school. Their involvement in co-curricular activities and the dedication they put in through those things is what contributes to their growth and success.”