Jude Sneddon – Take Sport and Make It Better

Story courtesy of College Sport Media 

“Before Covid, sport was a given, training on Tuesday and Thursday with a game on Saturday. Now everything is up in the air and opportunities are more limited. Sport is the most fun you can have while putting in a lot of effort, that’s what I love about it, so when you get the chance you have to take it,” Jude Sneddon responded when asked how the pandemic has changed his outlook on sport.

The head prefect of Rongotai College is a noted triple jumper and accomplished football and futsal player. His fearless and committed approach on the field has translated into leadership and success off the paddock.

“I think I was chosen as head boy because I’ve put in a lot of effort. I love my school, sports and mates. Education is a massive factor as well. We’ve got a lot of high achievers and a number of people would have deserved this but I think I’ll do a good job with the team of prefects I’ve got.”

Sneddon was appointed Rongotai’s McEvedy Shield athletics captain. The 100th McEvedy Shield was due to take place in March but has been postponed until September. Sneddon had no background in athletics but in Year 10 entered the triple jump challenging Jamie Kearns, a national champion from Wellington College. He finished second in a gallant display.

“We’ve really struggled at McEvedy but slowly we’re building numbers with good coaches and higher participation. It’s hard when a lot of the Wellington College boys are training every day but we are improving.”

Rongotai football has seen seismic improvement the past two seasons. A sturdy centre back, Sneddon debuted for the First XI in 2020 which wasn’t a great season.

“We finished last and didn’t gel. Last year we played with a chip on our shoulder and though we didn’t beat Wellington College who won it and Scots who were in the final we challenged them and showed we could compete at the top. It was a pity we didn’t get to play Nationals which was cancelled because of Covid.

“I honestly think we’ve got a super chance this season. We’ve got a lot of boys coming back and good leaders who know their roles and are good when they get a groove on.”

Among Rongotai’s returnees are four players who featured in the North Wellington team that won the National Under 19 tournament in Napier last year. Sneddon is one of those players.

“That tournament was brilliant. Covid obliterated the draw with the Auckland and Hamilton teams unable to play but we couldn’t control that so we saw it as an opportunity to go deep.

“We hadn’t played a lot together so we had to dig deep to get the result. In the final against Olympic we were down 2-0. They got an early penalty and dominated. We got a goal just before halftime and that was huge. In the second half my great mate Riley Manuel and all the boys were unbelievable. It was pretty special to win.”

North Wellington prevailed 3-2. Sneddon had previously played his club football for Miramar Rangers and Island Bay United.