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View from the Dugout - Sports News 1 February 2019

Leadership is one of the most important factors of any successful team. This may seem obvious in an age of Carnegie, Covey and Maxwell bestsellers, but as sensationalist as some of these gurus may seem, one just cannot ignore it, leadership is crucial – and in sports it is very often the difference between winning and losing.

Richard Feloni, Business Insider author, writes this about leadership in sports (; Aug. 9, 2017)

According to Sam Walker, Wall Street Journal editor and author of the book "The Captain Class", not only is this role vital, it is the single most important factor for a team's success.

Eleven years ago, Walker embarked on a research project to determine the commonalities of the world's greatest professional sports teams throughout history. An idea for a Journal feature ended up becoming a book, and by the time he was done, Walker had analysed more than 1,200 teams dating back to the 1880s.

He used a strict and rigorous grading system that resulted in the 16 best teams in history, judged by how consistently they won championships as well as performed at the highest level in their league. Walker was as surprised as most of his readers would be to see that the one common element of these teams was the nature of their captains.

"The most crucial ingredient in a team that achieves and sustains historic greatness is the character of the player who leads it," Walker wrote. These leaders serve as models, teachers, and support to their teammates.

If leadership is that important then developing the leaders themselves must be an imperative. To this end, we have begun a new initiative with the intention of upskilling our sport captains at our school. The first mechanism we have decided to use is a weekly lunchtime meeting for captains. At each of these gatherings, a guest speaker will address the boys concerning leadership. It also will be a time for them to connect and learn from each other. Captains of all in-season sports are invited from the 1st teams to the U14D teams. A second aspect to developing our captains is to issue them with a captain’s armband. These symbols, worn at every match, are not so much an award as they are the delegation of responsibility. Wearing a band means that elected boys are given the responsibility to champion our values, to care for and encourage their teammates and to motivate their charges to the best they can be.

Being a leader is difficult. As much as it is a privilege, it comes with the expectation of carrying the ideals, hopes and dreams of the whole team (and each individual within it). It is an awesome responsibility and a skill that one can learn and develop. Our intention, at Hilton College, is to develop awesome leaders of the future.


A number of our boys have recently achieved selections for national and provincial teams. Congratulations to the following boys on these outstanding achievements:


  • Michael Booth and Colby Dyer have been selected for the 2020 World Cup squad. The tournament will be held in South Africa.

Water Polo

  • Luke Tillim - South Africa U17A
  • TJ Joubert - South Africa U17A (Non-travelling reserve)

Luke will be travelling to the Czech Republic to represent our country at the EU Nations Championship from the 17th – 21st April.

Rugby 7’s

  • Latica Nela has been selected for the South African U18 Sevens squad. He will be attending a camp from the 8th to 10th February after which time a team will be selected to attend the Capricorn Windhoek International 7’s tournament to be held from the 7th -10th March.

Hilton College achieved the highest number of Midland’s representatives. Congratulations to the following boys on their selection for the Midlands U15 and U19 teams:


  • Zavier Rey 
  • Josh Black 
  • Michal De Beer


  • Sam Black 
  • Jean-Marc Rey 
  • Jonathan Harel 
  • Shaswath Rangaswamy

The KZN trials will take place from the 1st to the 3rd of March. 


Three of our boys competed in the PMB District trials on Wednesday. All of these boys excelled in their events achieving the following results:

U15 Shotput
- First place - Nicholas Snyman – 14.81m
- Second place - Thomas Dyer – 13.97m

U15 Long jump
- First place - RD Engelbrecht – 6.1m


Our basketball club thoroughly enjoyed the first 2019 home fixture this past Saturday. Having a few more practises under the belt certainly made a difference and on the whole our boys seemed far more “match-ready”. Despite having to travel, Northwood proved worthy adversaries on the day with the majority of the games evenly contested. Three “filler” fixtures were also organised ensuring most of our teams had an opportunity to play and these too proved to be very closely contested games. Overall, the results did go our way with us registering 7 wins and 4 losses. Of the games played against the Durbanites our 1st team were our team of the day. From the start of their match they showed real intent, cruising to a 12 point lead after the first quarter. The intensity of our play was causing all sorts of problems for the Northwood Knights, who, try as they might, could not maintain a defensive structure that could cope with our aggressive driving game. Our physicality on defence was also a standout feature of our play, reducing Northwood’s attack to speculative shots from range. The White kept up the pace throughout the match and although Northwood improved on their conversion rate in the second half our dominance blew them away to earn us a one-sided 68 – 27 victory.

1 FGeb Basketball

On Sunday the U16A team travelled to Balgowan to take part in the Michaelhouse U16 Tournament. In our first pool match we lost a close encounter to St. Charles (26 – 35). This was followed up with a good win against Clifton (28 – 9) before losing to Maritzburg College (8 – 36). In the final pool match we beat Michaelhouse U16B (35 – 21) to qualify for the Shield section of the tournament. In the Shield semi-final we put in our performance of the day to beat Westville 22 – 12. In our last match, the Shield final, we faced up against Michaelhouse B once again. In the end, we deservedly won this game 24 – 21 to win the Shield competition. All-in-all a commendable effort by our boys and especially considering that the teams we lost to (Maritzburg College and St. Charles) ended in 1st and 2nd place in the tournament.


Our 1st and 2nd team squash travelled to St. Charles for a mid-week friendly in the city. The 1st team match was a very close encounter with a number of games going all the way down to the wire. In the end the home side triumphed 5 – 3. Our young second team found the going tough capitulating 4 – 0.


Our tennis boys had an outstanding week on the courts. In the best schools in the Midlands league our 1st team obliterated Michaelhouse 2nd‘s 18 – 0 and our 2nd’s overcame St. Charles 1st’s 15 – 3. Only the 3rd team lost their match against Howick 1st’s, going down 0 – 18. 

The 1st and 2nd teams followed up their good form with a dominant display against Glenwood on Wednesday. Travelling all the way to Durban our boys shrugged their underdog status to humble the hosts 56 – 42 and 72 – 25.


1 Feb Water Polo

Our water polo club had a successful outing against Northwood over the weekend with 5 wins and 1 loss against their opponents from the coast. Notable performances of the day include the U14A win (25 - 0) and the U15A win (20 - 0), with both teams displaying organised defence and converting the majority of their chances on attack. The 1st team participated in a festival in Stellenbosch against a number of the top water polo schools from all over the country. Although it was agreed that there would be no official results the 1st team’s performances proved that they were one of the best teams at the event.

Tony Shuttleworth

Executive Director - Sport


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