By Bethany Alvaro
As the school year draws to a close, Sydney Catholic Schools’ sports stars have a lot to celebrate.
SCS has wrapped up a stellar year of student athletic accomplishment in the “Pre to Post Sport Awards.”
The awards ceremonies were held across various schools to recognise students across all regions and conference areas of school sport.
The awards also recognise the vital impact and role staff have on the sporting success of SCS.
The “student sport award” recognises students who have demonstrated excellence in their specific sport through making interschool or state teams.
Ivy Gerstner of All Saints Catholic College Liverpool was one of the students awarded for her outstanding achievements.
Her inspiring dedication to her sport has landed her a spot on the NSWCCC Swimming Team and the NSW All Schools Swimming Team.
She attributes her success to her rigorous training routine, stating “I train seven days a week in the morning and afternoon.”
In the future, she has ambitious goals for herself to beat her current records, saying, “I’m aiming to get new personal bests, better times, and just get faster”.
The “outstanding student in sports award” recognises students who have represented SCS at the highest level.
Samuel O’Connor of Freeman Catholic College, Bonnyrigg Heights, was one of the recipients of this award.
He has been recognised for earning a spot on the NSWCCC football team, being a member of the NSW State All Schools Football team, and for his remarkable representation on the School Sport Australia National Merit Football team.
He noted the importance of starting and progressing his football career within the SCS system, saying, “Going through the different stages of CCC then to NSW and then Australia was definitely my goal”.
“I want to hopefully get into the Joeys or the national team eventually” he added.
Another recipient of this esteemed award was a student from Our Lady of The Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Randwick.
The student has achieved incredible success by securing a spot in Mackillop teams for both cross country and athletics.
Their dedication has also resulted in the student earning their rightful spot on two NSW state teams for cross country and athletics.
The “sporting excellence award” acknowledges student athletes who attained a remarkably high level of sporting success in 2023 beyond the Catholic School Sport pathway.
Ben Karakasis from Holy Cross College, Ryde was presented with this award for their representation of Australia in the Junior World Cup in Taiwan on the Australian Baseball team, and was further selected by Major League Baseball to join a team of 29 players from 10 countries for a showcase in Arizona.
Along with students, staff and community members who have demonstrated an unwavering impact on the operations and success of SCS sport were awarded for their dedications in the “service to sport award.”
Recipients of this award were recognised for their tireless efforts to maintain sport in the SCS system and actively motivate and encourage all students to participate and be engaged in the myriad of sporting opportunities that students are provided with.
Two such awardees were brothers Sean Devlin, currently at Holy Spirit Catholic College, Lakemba, and Andrew Devlin from Bethany College, Hurstville.
The brothers have coached over 50 different school sporting teams over many decades of teaching in the SCS system.
SCS has seen spectacular achievements from students in 2023 and hopes to achieve even more in 2024 with the continuation of sports programs and initiatives that foster student sporting skills, such as the SCS/Sydney FC partnership.