This Is Me – Boys’ Junior School Assembly

We continue to share the journeys of a range of people as a part of our This Is Me theme.

Last Monday we were delighted to be joined by past student Gary Haasbroek, who very soon heads to Finland for the World U20 Athletics Championships. Gary will be competing in the decathlon. He is also studying a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bio-science at Latrobe University and coaching Athletics at a  number of locations… making him a very busy and fit lad! He spoke about the need for practice, commitment and passion to ensure that he is the ‘best he can be’, at both his study and athletics. He outlined the importance of having a mentor, and how, when he injured himself just before he was scheduled to join Channel 9’s ‘Australian Ninja Warrior’, he used his family and friends as a source of encouragement to build the needed resilience. As many of our guests have also shared, his memories of his school days revolve around the close ‘mateship’ he enjoyed with his friends. Gary presented as an engaging and strong role model for our boys and we were delighted to share his journey thus far. You can read more about Gary and even support him via the following link: https://asf.org.au/athletes/gary-haasbroek/

During yesterday’s assembly, I shared the Terry Fox journey with our boys. Every year I ensure the boys are aware of this courageous and inspiring young man’s story. Terry had his leg amputated when he was only 19, due to osteosarcoma, a form of cancer that started in the knee. On April 12 1980, he embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. He ran 42km, a marathon, every day. On September 1 he was forced to stop briefly after he suffered an intense coughing fit and experienced pains in his chest. Unsure what to do, he resumed running as the crowds along the highway shouted out their encouragement. The next day, Terry Fox held a tearful press conference during which he announced that his cancer had returned and spread to his lungs. He was forced to end his run after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres.

His story simply cannot be adequately described in a paragraph, and I would encourage you to learn more about his journey.

I shared with the boys that even before he was diagnosed with cancer, Terry had a strong sense of commitment. He was only 5 feet tall and wanted to make the School basketball team, but struggled to do so and was told to take up athletics. He persevered and had one minute of court time when in Year 8.

He became a more regular player when in Year 9, and by Year 12, was named the School Athlete of The Year. After his leg was amputated, he played Wheelchair Basketball for Canada.

We spoke about commitment, gratitude, passion, perseverance and being inspired by others.

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