L-R Trinity College Principal Stephen Babbage, Cloe Putland (15), Taylah Ferguson (15), Sebastian Hurcom (15), and James Walden (14).
L-R Trinity College Principal Stephen Babbage, Cloe Putland (15), Taylah Ferguson (15), Sebastian Hurcom (15), and James Walden (14).

Trinity College explains sports and HPE restructure

GLADSTONE’S Trinity College remains committed to sporting and academic excellence by upgrading facilities and increasing sports options, following the announcement of a restructure of staff in the Sport and HPE department.

The news comes despite rumours the college is shifting its focus to academic pursuits.

Principal Stephen Babbage told The Observer this week, that when he took the reins at the college in 2019, he identified the need to restructure the department to ensure ongoing development and achievement of students.

For 20 months since his appointment, Mr Babbage said the school’s leadership team had been working to ensure a seamless transition for students in 2021.

“I have been aware of the need for change in our sport and HPE structure since my

arrival in 2019,” Mr Babbage said.

“Early attempts in this area led to the development of the Sport Roles document, articulating clearly what people’s roles were in the area of Trinity College.

Trinity College Year 6 teacher James Webb with students Rocky Lewis, 11, Aaron Mwambopo, 11, Hannah Lawrence, 10 and Flynn McGaw, 11 and principal Stephen Babbage.
Trinity College Year 6 teacher James Webb with students Rocky Lewis, 11, Aaron Mwambopo, 11, Hannah Lawrence, 10 and Flynn McGaw, 11 and principal Stephen Babbage.

“This document in effect has been modified on several occasions in order to continue to build the team and what we do as a college.”

Mr Babbage said no longer could Trinity College be thought of as a school focused on only one sport, as “some had wrongly thought of us in the past”.

“Instead, we remain a school that encourages students to excel in all areas academically and in various sporting endeavours,” he said.

“We remain firmly committed to an excellent rugby union program, which has grown from one team in 2018 to three teams in 2020, including a fantastic girls team.

“The recent upgrade of our college oval to have official rugby union goalposts and be the correct width for a Trinity College rugby home field is testament to our commitment to a sport our students can excel in.”

Trinity College Gladstone has recently upgraded its rugby oval to be competition standard size and installed new official rugby union goalposts.
Trinity College Gladstone has recently upgraded its rugby oval to be competition standard size and installed new official rugby union goalposts.

Mr Babbage said Trinity College desired to provide students access to a great suite of sports.

“In 2019, we launched a mountain biking program, which has continued to be successful despite no official competition in 2020.

“This year, we have also launched indoor rowing.

“This has achieved astounding successes, with no less than 47 student competitors attending at state titles.

“This has culminated in great successes at a national level.

“Recently, Rowing Queensland, aware of our initiatives in rowing, offered to allow students to trial rowing on water.

“Over 20 students attended Awoonga dam, keen to give it a try.

“We remain committed to not only launching new initiatives in sport offerings, but continuing to offer the sports we have launched to date.”

Following thorough analysis, Mr Babbage said the college devised its model going forward from next year.

“The decision has been made to restructure the organisational arrangement for sport and HPE in 2021 and moving forward at Trinity College,” Mr Babbage said.

“These structural changes are not performance-based decisions, but based on ensuring the best organisation structural for the sports and HPE department.

Some of Trinity College Gladstone's Indoor Rowing Team.
Some of Trinity College Gladstone's Indoor Rowing Team.

“The role of sports director has been made redundant.

“David Lemalu will be stepping down as the head of rugby.

“Mr Clemens Steenkamp will be taking up the reins in 2021, as well as having oversight for Wednesday afternoon activites, a sporting opportunity for upper primary, and competition sport in our primary school.

“Mr David Lemalu will remain involved in the rugby union program as a coach.

“The effort, commitment and time sown into our students, through these roles, has been significant, with remarkable results for our students to date.”

Mr Babbage said preparation for increased enrolments in 2021 was almost complete.

“This is particularly important as Trinity College looks forward to further anticipated growth in enrolments and specifically students specialising in the area of sport,” he said.

“Already our anticipated growth in this area is around 8 per cent for 2021.”

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