Power of sport shapes professional school standards
IPSWICH State High School's recent run of success in the prestigious Allan Langer Cup rugby league competition was simply sensational.
Stunning the reigning national champions on their way to finishing tied at the top of the table, Ipswich High's display of talent was phenomenal.
But even more striking was the professionalism of everyone involved with the school's elite rugby league excellence program, both players and the coaching team.
Students proudly arrive at football games in their school uniforms and respectfully cheer on their teammates. Players back up their ability on the field with the way they carry themselves off it and interact with others.
Depth across the junior grades is also improving, which again is a testament to the qualities and values being instilled in participants.
Even more impressive is the fact that those standards have been adopted by the rest of the student cohort and flowing into the classroom with attendance numbers and enthusiasm at an all-time high.
The three home games played at North Ipswich venues were terrific events with supporters turning up in their droves.
From all reports the school community is buzzing and rightfully so. The effect winning a few games of footy can have is remarkable. We see it with Queensland every year.
The school's self-image is at an all-time high and so is the self-esteem of its students. Success is infectious and the culture being fostered by devoted teaching staff across the board is auspicious.
Long has the school had a strong academic and cultural program that perhaps did not get the credit it deserved.
Football is not often life-shaping. Ipswich State High's core purpose is education and it always will be.
But as the lofty standards set by those in leadership roles become the fabric of the place, the school only stands to benefit in those critical areas as well. There is no doubt it already is reaping the rewards and there is no denying the positive impact the implementation of the rugby league excellence program is having on the entire institution.
Congratulations Ipswich SHS. Let's hope the firsts fulfil their potential and achieve something really special during the upcoming national knockout competition. The whole town is behind you.