There is a perceived fallacy that young, aspiring sports people must go away to boarding school or live in a big centre to get recognised in sport.

This can be seen through the experiences of a young man plus many successful athletes that prove this fallacy. In year 8 he was hearing rumours about how amazing the boys schools were in Dunedin and that only the best of the best athletes go away to boarding school. Obviously he was young and he believed these rumours and he persuaded his parents to send him. It was not what he expected. Here is why.

The personal experience of young man started by enrolling him self into John Mcglashan College hostel. When he waved good-by to his mum he definitely didn’t know what was to come. As a young hopeful athlete he was always told that good nutrition and a decent amount of sleep were really important. Being young he didn’t realise that the hostel didn’t share the same values. During his first term of living in the hostel he quickly found out that a good nights sleep and a decent meal is as rare as a month of Sundays. The buzzer would wake the boys up 2 and a half hours before class started so they could queue up in a line for 50 minutes just to get a dribble of milk and three corn flakes. Many more sleepless nights and crappy meals he started to question these rumours. He started to question why his performance in his sport and his efficiency in training started to drop. It’s simple his bad nutrition and his lack of sleep had a negative effect on his sporting.

Another factor towards why you do not need to go away to boarding school to get recognised in sport is coaching, like every small town you would usually get coached by one of the boys or girls parents in the team, right through out the grades. People would think that if they went away to boarding school that they would have high quality coaches that will make them very good in your chosen sport, well they are wrong the coaching level is the same but it’s just a day boys or girls parent instead.

Regardless of where you live if you’re a top level athlete you are going to aim to compete in a top level competition. For example Sammy Burke who is the Australasian cross country champion didn’t need to go to Wanganui Collegiate to be the best and Dan Carter who was on the biggest super rugby contract ever didn’t even have to go to boarding school. Even in rugby the top school first 15 Comp in Otago, a rural school Mount Aspiring competes with the top boys boarding schools of john McGlashan, Otago Boys and Waitaki Boys High School. Which means the competition is theoretically the same.

Many successful athletes never went to boarding school in fact both these two highly professional athletes who go by the name of Kerin Reid and Lydia Ko got recognised majorly from their small schools in New Zealand. Lydia Ko attended a high school by the name of Pinehurst. Pinehurst high school is based north of Auckland with a schools population of only 800 students on average, that’s tiny! Lydia ko got recognition in her golfing from this high school who became the number 1 ranked woman’s golfer in the world. Another sporting phenomenon who goes by the name of Kerin Reid attended a school named rose hill college with a decile of 5. This means that the school is in a low economical place. Rose hill college is a small school located in south Auckland surrounded by lots of other small low decile schools. In Kerin Reid’s year nine he decided to go to a top boarding school for boys called Saint Kentigern College, people may know it as St Kents. Kerin didn’t like the way the hostel worked and believed he could be ‘successful from his small school’ which he did. In fact he was in 2013 he was named the IRB world rugby player of the year and is now the current all black captain.

This article shows that to be recognised in sport it actually doesn’t matter where you live as long as you have good rest, nutrition good, work ethic a good coach and a good training plan you can be successful regardless of where you go to school. In case you hadn’t detected it the young man was the author, me. I decided to come back to my home town.

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