08 Mar 2016
Over the past few weeks our girls have represented the School in a number of different activities, including the South Yarra District Sports Association (SYDSA) and Girls’ Sport Victoria (GSV) Swimming, Head of Schoolgirls (HOSG) Regatta, Walk for Women, the Margaret McRae official opening and acting as guides at the scholarship morning and tour days. On each occasion our girls have made a wonderful impression, both as individuals, and as representatives of our community. It is the obvious pride they carry in being a member of the Ruyton community that is reflected in their actions and attitude.
Those of us who attended the Head of Schoolgirls regatta on Sunday watched with immense pride as our Senior 1st crew retained their title, with the Senior 2nd crew and Year 10 2nd crew also achieving gold, the Year 9 2nd and Year 10 1st crews achieving silver and the Senior 4th crew achieving bronze. We were proud of every girl who rowed over the weekend, as it was obvious each and every girl worked hard as a member of their respective crews, rowing with heart and soul and sheer determination. The exhaustion and emotion that is so clearly evident at the finishing line of any regatta can be heartbreaking and heartlifting all in the one moment. It is that insight into the raw emotion of the competitors and the honest brutality of sport that provides the challenge and calls upon our girls to be brave and courageous.
As the yellow caps of the Ruyton Senior 1st crew came into sight under the bridge the parent and supporter group erupted into the well-loved cheer ‘Go Ruyton!’ but it was the group of girls on the opposite bank who truly took our attention. There was a flurry of blue uniforms and yellow caps as Ruyton girls ran along the pathway, cheering on our crew. It truly was an amazing sight, and one that bought a tear to the eye of more than one parent.
There was another moment on Sunday that bought the whole regatta together: a moment of connection and admiration that still sends a shiver down my spine when I retell it. As three individual scullers came towards the finish line we wondered why there appeared to be a great deal of communication between them. We quickly discovered that the girl in the centre lane, Charlotte, was blind and the two girls either side were there to support her as she navigated the course without the advantage of sight. As Charlotte crossed the line it felt as though the entire crowd on the river bank rose as one to applaud not only her, but also the girls who supported her. It is a moment that I hope our girls never forget: an empowering act of leaning in as well as recognition of courage and determination. It was a shared moment between every school present, demonstrating that learning is bigger than just one school. As individuals and communities we have the opportunity to learn life lessons from each other.
Ms Linda Douglas
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