Waitaki Boys’ High School has a proud sporting history and 10 of the school’s top sportsmen will soon be honoured in a Sports Hall of Fame.
For the past year, the Waitaki Boy’s High School sports advisory council has been collating information on former pupils who have represented New Zealand or won national titles to feature in a Sports Hall of Fame, celebrating the success of former pupils and exposing a new generation of athletes to Waitaki Boys’ rich sports tradition.
Sports advisory council member Roly Senior said the inaugural class was made up of 10 former pupils – from New Zealand long-distance running champion Athol Hudson, who attended the school from 1906 to 1912 and died in World War 1, to Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Dylan Kennett, who graduated in 2012.
They will be officially inducted at a black-tie event at the Loan and Merc on July 6, hosted by veteran broadcaster and former pupil Peter Williams.
It had been a “huge” effort by members of the sports advisory council and rector Darryl Patterson to dig through the Waitaki Boys’ High School archives and choose the 10 inductees, Senior said.
“It’s been a massive amount of work .. but it’s been enjoyable. It’s been quite interesting.
“We went through every Waitakian from the last 130 years and found a list of guys who had represented New Zealand at age-group level or had won New Zealand championships.
“[But] we very quickly found out that was a big list so we set the bar at representing New Zealand at the top level of your chosen sport, or winning a New Zealand championship.”
The community had also answered their call for information on former pupils who had celebrated sporting success at a national, or international, level.
Portraits of the first 10 inductees will be hung in a dedicated area in the foyer of the school auditorium.
Senior said the sports advisory council hoped to make future inductions into the Sports Hall of Fame bi-annually.
“There’s some great sportsmen who have missed out this time,” he said.
“We’ve had 13 or so All Blacks through .. and rowing’s been a massive part of our history.”
The Waitaki Boys’ High School sports advisory council was formed last year with a vision to ensure sure all pupils could compete in their chosen sport to their highest level.
The event at the Loan and Merc on June 6 is open to the public, but tickets are limited to 250.
“It’s very exciting and we’re hoping that the Waitaki community can come together and support the occasion,” he said.
To book tickets to the black-tie event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 437-0529.
The inductees: Ian Hurst, Scott Anderson, Gerald Keddell, Dylan Kennett, Emmett Gradwell, Parke Harris, Gary Robertson, Russell (Rusty) Robertson, William (Bill) Smedley, George Paterson, Keith Heselwood, Winston Stephens, Athol Hudson, John (Jack) Sutherland.