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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 9. July, 24, 1946

Tournament Delegate Declares All is Not Lost

Tournament Delegate Declares All is Not Lost

Sir,—The disgusted students whose letter appeared in your last issue have made an energetic attempt to deal with the reasons for our Tournament showing, but have not, I think, evaluated the position as well as if they had had more detailed knowledge of what was Involved. After Tournament I asked the captains of all clubs concerned to let me have their views. These have not yet been received, but here are some interim comments.

1.A hostel can be a great help. It is no coincidence that in most sports Weir House—88 students—are equal to or better than the rest of the College put together. The Ruru Shield matches give clear evidence of this. Otago and Canterbury each have four or more hostels.
2.The fact that we are a part-time College should help us in summer sports, not hinder us.
3.The statistics quoted are inaccurate and misleading. They are inaccurate because there were not 1,125 male students attending VUC in 1944—this must include about 200-300 extra-murals. There were not 362 men students at Massey, but only about 20 degree students and a limited number of diploma men. The rest were doing six weeks' courses in special subjects, etc., and were not by any stretch eligible as University students.

The figures are misleading because they ignore the high proportion of fourth, fifth and sixth year men at the other Colleges who have special schools. You cannot expect a boy of 17 or 18 to be in the same class athletically as students of 23 or 24.

4.The clubs (and there are several) who have consulted the membership cards have benefited thereby. Your correspondents are right in calling on more clubs to use this service.
5.The policy of putting pressure on students to play for VUC clubs is taking effect and the results will start to show next year.

However, there Is one phrase in the letter which I do indignantly object to: "our recent pitiful attempt."

The teams sent were the best available and everyone gave of his best. They made a gallant attempt, not a pitiful one, because we knew we were beaten before we went there, but there was not one of our team who did not contest his sport right to the very end, and the defeats received were narrow ones. The standard in the athletics was fully up to a National meeting in all but one or two events. The swimming was the best ever seen in the University.

It is not surprising that, although we had a number of past winners competing for us, they were mostly unsuccessful. Consider, too, that the shooting club had been in recess for six years, and the boxing and swimming clubs for nearly as long. That the athletic club had only two members in 1942. That the basketball club sent all its eligible members. The foundation of a Tournament team is a strong club. Our clubs are coming back into their own, but it takes several years to build up champion athletes.

All is not lost, as [unclear: uigy] seem to think. Students forget that at Winter Tournament we were fully up to standard that our cricket and football clubs [unclear: tre] probably supreme in the N.Z. University at present. Because in 1946 a combination of mediocre talents on our part, and outstanding performers for other Colleges left us with a new low in Tournament points, does not mean that there is anything radically wrong with VUC sport.

The suggestions made by your correspondents were good ones, and I trust that by following these precepts, and by studying the more technical reasons for our defeat, such an inadequate training, next year will see VUC with the Tournament Shield. Already the boxing club, for one, has a large team in training.

—Yours, etc..

R. M. Daniell, Tournament Delegate.