O’Shea Shield competition hosted by St Catherine’s College Wellington for the first time

O’Shea Shield a success in more ways than one.

Despite damp weather, spirits were far from dampened at St Catherine’s College over the weekend of May 12th/13th. The 72nd O’Shea Shield competition was hosted by St Catherine’s, for the first time. The mammoth task of welcoming and looking after a total of 17 schools – some 300 students and accompanying teachers, parents and supporters – involved every member of the College community.

The theme for the weekend was Youth – Faith – Joy, drawn from the preparatory document for the Synod, called by Pope Francis to be held in October this year that looks into young people, their faith and vocational discernment. Over the weekend, youth, faith and joy was apparent in abundance, as students from all the colleges met each other, socialised together and had fun, in spite of competing for the coveted Shield.

Eight events were held – debating, junior prepared speech (Year 9 and 10 students), scripture reading (in both Te Reo Māori and in English), oratory, religious drama, impromptu speaking, and religious questions (based on the pre-synod document). Winners of the various sections came from a range of different colleges, with the major award – the O’Shea Shield itself – being shared by Sacred Heart College (Lower Hutt) and St Catherine’s College. The fact that winning the O’Shea Shield was a shared result, and that the Bishop Viard Memorial Trophy for Runner-ups was shared by three schools – St Patrick’s College (Wellington), St John’s College (Hastings), and Sacred Heart College (New Plymouth) is real evidence, this year, of just how close the competition was.

St Catherine’s has a very proud history of success in this competition. Success in the O’Shea Shield carries the same importance as winning any sporting event. Last year, the College placed third overall in the competition, having won the Shield for the previous four consecutive years. In the past 20 years there has rarely been a year when St Catherine’s has not been amongst the top three schools in the competition. This success is driven by a small but dedicated group of teachers and old girls who put in many hours with the seventeen students in the O’Shea team, to ensure that the girls showcase their extraordinary talents and represent St Catherine’s to the highest level.

This year, this task was magnified by the responsibility of hosting the competition. Every event needed staff and students to run everything smoothly, and 25 expert adjudicators were called in to judge the competitors and provide feedback to help them to further develop their skills. Hosting the competition required every staff member and student to come on board, so that the weekend was a great success.

Nan Walden, the Head of Technology at St Catherine’s College, mobilised a talented army of students, staff and PTA members for provide high quality food for everyone, and the logistics of this job rated an article of its own in the NZ Education Gazette recently, as Nan was able to use this real life catering experience for her students to be assessed and gain NCEA credits into the bargain.

Winning the Shield once again is definitely “the cherry on the top” of a wonderful weekend, full of spirit and joy – a definite success in more ways than one.


The full results for the competition are:

Article from https://pndiocese.org.nz/news-and-events/oshea-shield-2018/

And with the kind permission of St Catherine’s College Wellington

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *