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Chanel forced to innovate

Chanel College principal Grant Miles. PHOTO/FILE

By Jake Beleski

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Chanel College has had to come up with an innovative plan to ensure its sports teams get to compete this winter.

Dwindling player numbers meant the school’s senior rugby and first XI hockey teams were struggling to find enough players to make full teams.

But a combination of circumstances means both teams will get to play.

The senior rugby team has joined forces with the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, after both organisations were struggling to find enough players to form a team.

Players from Taratahi will have to be under-19 to be eligible for the team.

Chanel College principal Grant Miles said sport was a very important part in the development of the students.

“For a small school, we do exceptionally well, having students in recent times represent not just the Wairarapa but the wider Wellington region in a number of sports.”

Swimming, hockey, football, athletics and rugby were all examples of that, he said.

“Our students are performing at the highest levels of college sport.”

Mr Miles said being a smaller school did not mean students didn’t get the same opportunities, but it meant they had to be smarter about how they provide for their best athletes.

“Combining with other clubs and teams is one way of ensuring the students have a pathway.”

Chanel’s first XI hockey team was also struggling for numbers, but they went down a different route to make sure the players wouldn’t miss out this season.

Two girls will join the boys in the first XI to make sure they have enough numbers to compete.

Coach Mark Allingham said it would give the girls a chance to develop their skills at a higher level, and they were more than happy to help.

“They’re a close bunch of kids at Chanel and they’re really big on togetherness.

“A lot of the time you find kids play sport not just because they love the game or their school but because their mates are there and they know they are needed to make up a team — they do it for their friends as much as anything else.”

Mr Allingham said they were used to being the underdogs but they were keen to give it a good go.

“A lot of the time it’s heart that gets you across the line.

“It’s about the ‘no kid left behind attitude’ we have at the school.”


  1. What a poorly thought out article by the school.why advertise you have lack of numbers only makes people ask what the deeper issue is ????

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