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From the Head of Primary - St John's: 22 August 2022

For my entire life, I have been an avid sports lover, watcher and player.

I am a passionate Geelong Cats supporter, having been there through the good times and bad, and I am hopeful of a 2022 AFL premiership. But it would be fair to say that cricket has been my first love in sport. I have played competitive cricket since I was eight years old, never miss the Boxing Day test in Melbourne and would gladly watch every ball of a test match that Australia are participating in.

So, as a “cricket tragic” let me tell you a funny story… On a recent trip to Sorrento, I was out for breakfast and noticed out of the corner of my eye someone who looked a lot like Justin Langer (former Australian cricketer and coach). As I was convincing myself that I must be seeing things I then noticed someone who looked a lot like Brett Lee walking behind him. Then followed Andy Bichel, Matthew Hayden, Shane Watson, and none other than Ricky Ponting! As my heart rate began to race, I realised that I was in fact in the same cafe as some of the greatest cricket players Australia has ever produced. Even though I was attempting to act cool about the whole situation, I was secretly spying on them and finding excuses to walk past them! I felt like a child again…

As incredible as this whole situation was (and I’m sure I’ll tell the story for years to come) it reminded me that these are just normal people, who happened to be very good at a particular sport. For a time, these men were well-known and had an opportunity to represent their country with millions of people watching. We won’t all get this opportunity, but that’s ok. At Geelong Lutheran College we encourage our students to be the best that they can be, and to strive for excellence, but above all to demonstrate the College’s three core values: 1. Wisdom – through discernment, resilience and curiosity. 2. Honour – through courage, integrity and respect. 3. Purpose – through compassion, service and responsibility. It’s my belief that demonstrating these values in whatever path God leads us on is far more important than showing off our skills and talents. Some of our students will be wonderful sportspeople, some will be outstanding authors, others might be incredible chefs, and some will be outstanding teachers. Regardless of the path we are taken down, every day is an opportunity to influence someone else’s life for the better. So, to finish my cricket story… I did not have enough courage to introduce myself to these famous cricketers! But fortunately, my wife did. Hence this photo as evidence that I really was in the same room as my childhood heroes.

Stephen Illingworth

Head of Primary - St John’s