Six years after last hoisting the coveted Astley Cup, Dubbo College students have vowed to do their utmost to win back the inter-school trophy in 2017.
Staff, students and parents came together on Wednesday for the annual Astley Cup assembly.
The ceremony saw the unveiling of each of the teams that will take to the various fields and courts, while special mention was also made of the Mulvey Cup debaters, who will be moved to a 5.30pm timeslot on the first night of competition to allow more support.
A special students v teachers quiz was also held, with the students using some dubious tactics to take home bragging rights in a sometimes humorous ceremony.
A special video was also played, with students making light of the six-year “drought” they hope to end over the next couple of weeks.
Dubbo hasn’t won the 95-year-old competition since 2011, and college sports co-ordinator Craig May said while the task confronting his pupils against Orange and Bathurst will be tough, they will be doing their best.
“The assembly always gives a good buzz leading into the Astley Cup, and this year was no different,” he said.
“The kids got involved, the leaders of the college did their job well today and that leaves is in good stead for the Astley Cup, starting for us next week.”
Bathurst High and Orange High will open the competition when they take each other on across the eight sports on Thursday and Friday.
While admitting he will keep an eye on the results, May said he’s more focused on Dubbo’s first tie against Orange next week.
“We’ll obviously look at the scores and how they go in the Astley Cup but we’re already familiar with them through the CHS competitions and how they have gone in those,” he said.
“We aim to be competitive and one of the things with Astley Cup is, it doesn’t matter what the sport is you have to play every game to the last second. Some year the difference is three or four points so you have to play everything out to the final whistle of the final sport.
“The important thing is that we take the responsibility of portraying ourselves in the best possible light – that our approach is united and we exhibit the highest levels of sportsmanship whether we win or lose.”
Dubbo College sports captain Ally McLean said the talent within the college is ready to shine and bring the cup back to Dubbo.
“We have some really great depth in our squad this year so we’ll be pulling out all stops to bring the cups home,” she said.
“I think it’s so special because it’s not just the school that gets behind us, but the whole community of Dubbo.
“It’s great for everyone to come up here today and get the vibe of Astley Cup.”