Sporting Achievements

Our students share how our teachers and coaches have enhanced their skills and enabled them to be successful in achieving their sporting goals.

Joe Leith

Rangitoto College has been instrumental to my success as a sailor. My 420 class two-person dinghy sailing partner, Josh Ferrissey, and I are both in Year 11. We have had success this year winning every race in the National Championship. This earned us selection to the European Championships in Poland and the Open World Championships in Spain. Last year I also travelled to Portugal and Hungary to compete in the same events. Our next objective is to win selection for New Zealand at the youth trials in order to attend the Youth Worlds regatta in Brazil. This is a prestigious regatta as only one boat per country is selected to attend and is more like the Olympics, with smaller fleets.

International competition requires me to take time off school and I am very grateful that the school is as aspirational for me as I am. My teachers are always willing to support me to achieve my academic goals and work around my sailing commitments when they arise. They are willing to arrange assessments at different times, give me workbooks to do on any subjects I am missing, help arrange my course to suit, and follow up with any questions I have when I get back. I am truly fortunate to be at a school where the staff is so willing to support my all round success. 

Rangitoto College also offers a great competitive sailing experience with a well-resourced and supported team that has been national champions three times in the last four years. This year we finished second on countback and I am looking forward to improving on that next year.

I also play both 1st XI hockey and 2nd XI cricket for the school and have had great experiences in both of these teams. 

Ted Salmon

Throughout my years at Rangitoto College, I’ve been able to enjoy and excel in a variety of sports and roles that have made my time here a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The connections and friendships that I’ve built through water polo at Rangitoto College are some of the most important relationships in my life that wouldn’t have been possible without the opportunities that the school has provided me. I’ve been playing water polo for Rangitoto College since Year 8—before I had even enrolled at the school whilst playing up for the Junior B team as they were short of numbers. I’ve also joined a social basketball team and taken up coaching roles. The school has provided me with amazing support such as catch-up sessions with teachers, extra resources, study planners, and extensions for tests when needed. This incredible amount of support is the main reason that I am able to balance my academic studies and sporting commitments. 

During my time playing water polo for Rangitoto I have had some enjoyable successes: winning gold for my club with my school teammates at all the national age group levels since Year 9, winning the Auckland Schools Premier Water Polo Championship in 2021 and 2022, and culminating with gold at the National Premier Schools Water Polo Tournament in 2022. Our Rangitoto teams have been coached by old boys of the school who now play at Senior Men’s National level, and by professional international coaches. These coaches have been inspirational to me.

Recently this year I was selected to be a member of the New Zealand Water Polo Youth Mens’ Squad which is taking a team of boys to the Youth World Championships in 2024. I’m really proud to have been selected for this squad alongside some of my Rangitoto teammates. Whilst this has been an incredible opportunity and one that I had worked hard to achieve, I found that the opportunity also came with costs to my mental well-being and my ability to achieve other goals that are important to me, like my coaching and my music. I spent a long time thinking about my priorities, and whether to focus on elite sports, or coaching and my other balancing interests. Although Rangitoto is the largest college in Oceania, I remember the Principal, Patrick Gale, seeking me out during intervals to offer his support and guidance through this difficult time in my life. This extra support I received made a significant change to me personally and allowed me to make the decision to leave the squad and focus on my coaching. 

Although I have been able to find success in my sporting career, my proudest moments have been coaching for North Harbour Water Polo, becoming Head Coach for the Murrays Bay Intermediate Year 7 Water Polo team, and stepping up as one of the leaders for the Premier Rangitoto Water Polo team in 2023. Being able to give back to the community through coaching and helping the next generation of North Harbour Water Polo players is one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I have found the same fulfilment in the pool this year through leading a primarily new top water polo team to fifth place at nationals as the seniors did for me back in 2021. I plan to continue my water polo career and academic studies in the future, whether it be locally or abroad. 

Kaia Buckley

A major highlight of my time at Rangitoto College has been getting involved in sports, specifically netball, indoor volleyball, and beach volleyball. Rangitoto College has opened the door to many of my sporting opportunities which has enabled me to compete right up to the international level.

I have been incredibly well supported and encouraged in all my academic studies, while also striving to excel in my sport. My sporting commitments see me spending many hours on the courts both in training and competition, often requiring time out of class and long hours before and after school. Through all this, Rangitoto College teachers, deans, and all staff members for that matter, have continually helped me manage both sports and academics,  enabling me to achieve at my highest level. The school has each student’s best interests at heart and they have done an amazing job at supporting, encouraging, and checking in on my well-being through all this.

Luckily, we have had some great results! As a junior in indoor volleyball, our team won the Auckland Junior Volleyball Champs and went on to achieve second place at Junior North Islands. Progressing on to the Senior Premier team, we reached the pinnacle of our indoor volleyball experience at Rangitoto College by becoming the National Champions in 2023.  This was a huge moment for the school as it was a double win with both the Senior Premier Boys and the Senior Premier Girls. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been appointed captain of my Junior Premier team in Year 10 and the Senior Premier team for the past three years, which has been a huge honour.

We have some incredible sports coaches at Rangitoto College and the culture and family that is created within the sport is an incredible thing to be part of.  

Beach volleyball at Rangitoto College has also given me the most amazing opportunities. I have felt so well supported in aiming to succeed at the highest level I can and due to this support I reached my goal this year of winning a gold medal at the New Zealand Secondary School Senior Beach National Championships. This was followed by an invitation to compete in the World Schools Beach Volleyball Championships in Bat Yam, Israel. The level of competition was high in the U18 Selected Girls Division where we came sixth. It was an incredible experience to represent Rangitoto College and New Zealand on the world stage. 

My time at Rangitoto College has certainly developed my passion for volleyball and my involvement extends beyond school. I have been playing for Harbour Volleyball for many years now, winning five consecutive national titles. We won the gold medal for U19 Indoor Volleyball Interprovincial Championships 2023 which followed on from winning U17 IPC and U15 the year before, where I was named MVP for both tournaments.

I am currently in the U19 New Zealand Junior Women’s Squad and I have hopes of making the final team to play in the U19 Indoor Volleyball Asian Championships in 2024.

For beach volleyball, I have similar goals. I am in the New Zealand age group squad and hope to make the U19 Beach Volleyball Asian Championships held in Thailand in 2024 with the subsequent potential to compete in U19 World Champs.

I have hopes to continue my volleyball at a university overseas in 2024. 

Thanks to Rangitoto College I have been able to excel in my sport while maintaining a balance with my academic goals and leadership responsibilities. It’s been an incredible ride!

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