Watt, Get Along

Harrison Watt celebrated his 100th match for the Hutt International Boys’ School (HIBS) First XI hockey team on Friday night.

Despite his team falling 2-0 to Scots College it was a milestone few HIBS players achieve and a triumph of friendship and ability.

Tragically Harrison lost his brother Nathan Watt to suicide in 2018. Sport and school have been central in overcoming his grief.

“The biggest thing I learned after my brother died was not to take things for granted. I watch other brothers play and think they need to show more respect towards each other. Cherish your family, it’s the only one you’ve got,” Harrison said.

Harrison made his debut for the First XI in Year 9, initially on the wing due to his superior pace and a “lack of size.” He has matured into an accomplished center-half and fullback who sets a high benchmark for performance. Friday night was an exercise in frustration, despite his own individual accolade.

“We dominated the game in terms of possession and territory but we were unlucky with our finishing. We’ve got a young team and the juniors need a lot of guidance, but I think we’ll be competitive.” Harrison reflected.

HIBS hockey has lifted their standards immeasurably in recent seasons. Two years ago they made the final of the Founders Cup earning promotion to the India Shield, which alongside the Rankin Cup, is the leading National Secondary Schools tourney.

“We lost to Whanganui High in the final, but in the semi-final, we won in overtime against Onslow. Our captain Graeme Murrell scored a ridiculous goal from the baseline. I still don’t know how that ball went in?” Harrison enthused.

Another highlight was defeating perennial powerhouse Wellington College 3-1 in the local competition.

“The boys dug in deep that night. Towards the end of the game, it was like ‘holy crap’ we can do this.”

In the summer Harrison plays cricket and has spent two seasons in the First XI bowling spin. He was a part of a HIBS team that won a Wellington title.

“I played for the First XI in Year 11, but found it boring, which is partly true, so I gave up. I came back this year. I don’t really bat. I like cricket, but hockey has more action,” Harrison said.

Harrison believes the raw emotion showed by HIBS students after winning the 2016 and 2018 First XI football Trevor Rigby trophy titles is as good as it gets for a small school supporting each other. Nathan was a First XI player.

“It’s insane when the whole school is chanting for each other and we run on the field after the game. It’s happened to a smaller extent in hockey, but it’s not quite the same. It’s awesome when we support each other.”

To view highlights from the 2018 CSW Boys football final mentioned above, see here.

Last week was Men’s Health Week in NZ. The week focuses on the health issues all men face and raises awareness of steps men can take to help address these.

-Story courtesy of College Sport Media