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.

Devyn Golaboski

A significant aspect of my experience at Rangitoto College over the past few years has been my involvement in indoor and beach volleyball. Through the staff and the opportunities, the college has provided, I have had the chance to experience a range of high-level competitions up to the international level.

Originally new to the school in year 10, the volleyball community cultivated at Rangitoto College gave me amazing students to meet and create friendships with, which have become some of my closest relationships. Not only did the enthusiasm and dedication of the teachers and coaches involved in the volleyball program create a sense of family, but they also allowed me to strive to be the best athlete and individual I could be on and off the court.

With this commitment, comes many volleyball seasons adding up and lasting all year round with lots of hours spent training and playing tournaments. While dedicated to this competitive level of volleyball, I also have goals to achieve the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a rigorous and academically challenging program, in hopes of attending university in the States. These endeavours are only possible due to the continuous support from Rangitoto College’s teachers and staff. Despite many competitions interfering with my school attendance, I am appreciative that they have only shown assistance and encouragement while always helping me achieve my academic and sporting goals, whether it be sending me work while I’m away or rescheduling tests, their actions allow me to be an effective student-athlete.

Thankfully, this has translated into great results over the past few years! For indoor volleyball during recent years, I have been on the senior premier team, we have won two New Zealand Secondary School (NZSS) national titles in a row, one of which was a big moment as it was a double gold with the boys’ senior premier team. These were historic results for the college. We also had an amazing opportunity to travel to Gold Coast, Australia to play in the Australian Schools Cup. The boys and girls winning first place in the highest division. The success in Rangitoto College’s volleyball opened the door to many other teams such as the U17 and U19 indoor inter-provincial teams representing Harbour as well as a successful club season with open women, winning the national title during New Zealand club championships.

As for beach volleyball, I was recently successful with my partners from Rangitoto in winning gold in the Senior Grade NZSS beach volleyball nationals this year, and for last year we won the Year 11 Grade, as well as the U17 beach volleyball inter-provincial tournament.  The school’s consistent support throughout these tournaments, set me up for the international stage as I was selected to represent New Zealand in the U19 Asian Championships held in Thailand, presenting amazing learning opportunities, and further developing my game.

My future aspirations include representing New Zealand in indoor international teams and, hopefully, getting a three-peat NZSS national title. Knock on wood!

Overall, Rangitoto College has given me amazing opportunities to be the best athlete I can be while pushing me for excellence in my academic studies and I am so grateful.

Joe Leith

Rangitoto College has been instrumental to my success as a sailor. My 420 class two-person dinghy sailing partner, Josh Ferrissey, and myself are both in Year 12. We are the 2024 Bronze medal winners from the recent Open World Championships held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.   We also placed 5th at the 2023 Youth Worlds Regatta also held in Brazil.  We have had success this year winning the National Championship, North Island Championship, Auckland Championship and Sir Peter Blake regatta.

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 five years. This year I was proud to captain the team to a silver medal at the secondary school national championships. I also play both 1st XI hockey,1st XI cricket and U16 rugby for the school and have had great experiences in all 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 at the college 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 at 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.

Last year I was selected to be a member of the New Zealand Water Polo youth men’s squad which is taking a team of boys to the youth World Championships in June 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 music. I spent a long time thinking about my priorities, and whether to focus on elite sports, or balancing other interests, (including music, academic studies, coaching, and my mental health). I remember the Principal, Patrick Gale, seeking me out during interval to offer his support and guidance through this difficult time in my life. This extra support made a significant change to me personally and allowed me to make the decision to leave the squad and focus on other aspects of my life.

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 continuing to play in the Premier Rangitoto Water Polo team in 2024. 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 Premier water polo team to 5th place at Nationals as the Seniors did for me back in 2021. I hope to continue my water polo career and academic studies in the future, whether it be playing for a university in Australia or staying here in Auckland to continue playing and coaching for North Harbour Water Polo.

In 2024 I experienced a new set of challenges around water polo. As a year 13 this year, I’ve adopted a larger leadership role around Rangitoto College. As a senior in the water polo team, I felt a responsibility to the younger players who experienced the same difficulties playing premier sport as I did only a few years ago.  Navigating the responsibilities as a senior player has been challenging, but I have been able to lean on the staff at school for guidance. Despite the changes in my college and sporting life, the school consistently provided me with the support I needed to deal with the added expectations. I have always felt supported by the Rangitoto staff both in and out of college – for which I am grateful.

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