By Lynne Gadd– Claxton
GREY High School pupil Edward Hoskin will surely be treated to his favourite meal of German pot roast after being named the overall Matric of the Year winner.
Both Edward and this year’s scholarship winner, Orcilla Howard of Uitenhage High School, say they are still in “disbelief” after claiming the two top prizes in the competition at a gala cocktail function at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
“Any of the other finalists could’ve walked away with the title as they have achieved great things,” Edward said.
The Matric of the Year competition is not just academically based, but aimed at identifying the province’s most well-rounded matrics in all spheres of life.
As an Eastern Province gymnast Orcilla said the high level of discipline required in this sport helped her develop the right mindset for her studies and extramural activities.
“Gymnastics is generally not a team sport and I have to motivate myself and get into the right mindset before I compete. I have to practise and practise to strengthen a particular activity and so I apply the same approach to my studies.”
Edward, on the other hand, said his father, Drik, motivated him the most to work hard.
“No one really enjoys studying, but my dad always tells me to study first before going out and enjoying myself,” said Edward, who has Eastern Province and SA colours for target archery – a sport his father also excels in.
His cultural commitments included being a member of Grey’s symphonic wind band since 2008, and the orchestra and military band since 2009.
The Community Excellence Award winner, Theo Weyers of Despatch High School, is always available to his community, including helping the elderly with chores and shopping. He also assisted a boy whose birth certificate was lost after his mother died.
Theo helped the 10-year-old by applying for the document so the child could be enrolled in school.
“I want to give hope to someone who is seeing negativity in South Africa and I want to make their lives better. I might be big but I have a small heart.
The Excellence Award winner in the Academic category, Vishnu Pillai of Selborne College in East London, said he was honoured to receive the award.
“I was able to focus on my goals and I always work hard to get them. My family shares this vision with me and motivate me when I need it.”
The Sports Excellence Award winner, Catherine Atkinson of Clarendon High School in East London, said: “My parents told me education was more important than sports, but sport is something I enjoy and so I make the time to do it.”
Catherine has provincial and national colours for canoeing and was chosen for the SA lifesaving squad.
“‘I’ve tried every watersport possible. I love the beach, have been canoeing since I was eight and lifesaving since I was 14,” she said.
Like most of this year’s 21 finalists, Shimwe Gwimo of Alexander Road High School, the Cultural award winner, said she would use the school holidays starting today to prepare for the final exams.
“I’d love to take a break but need to get straight back into studying, as the finals are in a few weeks’ time,” she said.
Shimwe, who plays the flute and piccolo, was a finalist in the SA Music Teacher Competition in 2011. “I picked up my first instrument in Grade 6 and immediately knew music was part of me.”
This is a shortened version of an article that appeared in the print edition of the Weekend Post on Saturday, September 29, 2012.