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Vol. 6, Ed.25 17th October 2019 

From the Acting Principal

The Culture of 'Mad Monday'

It is again great to learn of so many boys participating in extra-curricular activities outside of school. This weekend one of the major events is the commencement of football grand finals. While it is fantastic to see so many involved both as players, runners, coaches and umpires, it is disappointing to hear of boys and clubs who prioritise their post-match celebrations over their education and decide not to attend school on Monday.

This sends a very poor message to our students that these events are more important that their ongoing education. Of equal concern is the growing cult of 'Mad Mondays' where success of any kind is linked to excessive behaviours that does not conform with societal, family or the College's expectations. It creates an environment where such behaviours are excused and poor decisions rationalised as part of the culture of a sport. Linking of sport to alcohol, gambling, violence or lack of respect for women or cultural groups is never acceptable and defies the inherent value in well run and delivered sporting programmes for boys.

To counter these poor messages sometimes the College has to be counter cultural and challenge what are sometimes seen as normal behaviours. I am aware that sometimes this is seen as being out of touch with popular culture and practice but I make no apologies for the position that our mission at St Virgil's must be to create outstanding young men of character who will stand up and change things that are not right.

Of equal importance, as a  school for boys where sport is such a part of our tradition, I welcome the opportunity to celebrate with the boys their wonderful achievement in making a Grand Final – such achievements are never easy and cannot be taken for granted. One staff member told me this week that despite playing many games of football at junior and senior level his only premiership came in the Under 12s!  Therefore I encourage the boys to bring their medal to school, celebrate with their peers and teachers and recognise that the experience of playing in a Grand Final forms part of their broader education as they move through their teenage years.

 I look forward to working with our boys and parents to place the focus back on education through sport and the appropriate celebration of sporting success.

In the spirit of Blessed Edmund,

Terry Blizzard
Acting Principal

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