Otamatea High School student denied swimming records

This petition made change with 1,396 supporters!

At the annual Otamatea high school swimming sports there is a rule (not a written policy or procedure) that you can only enter 4 swimming events at their annual swimming sports. 

This rule has been challenged on several occasions by many students, as they try to fully participate in the day and the more elite swimmers strive for excellence to break records at the school.  A couple of examples are:  In 2016 a senior male swimmer, swum all the events and was not penalised by the rule and was awarded the senior boys champion title.  In 2017 an Intermediate girl also did more than the four events and broke two records and was still awarded the Intermediate Champion.  So then I ask why do we have the rules if they are only adhered to when it suits?

This year Ocean Shadbolt did every swimming event possible as she was close to most of the records.  She only managed to break four of them,  but the senior management of the school are only going to acknowledge two of them.  Two, because they are only counting her first four races (going back to the loose four events rule)

Our argument is - At athletics,  students can enter as many events as they like and are not restricted.   Also a student that is academically inclined is not told they can only participate in four subjects.  We should not be restricting any student from reaching their potential.  I quote,  from the Otamatea High School Vision - The OTA way. " Always Learning - having a positive attitude and challenge yourself". 

One of the arguments of the school is:  "its about participation" yet every year there is a declining number of students and parents at swimming sports (so the rule is not working) Also "little Jimmy"  needs his time to shine and he cant when someone who has trained every morning and every night is in the spotlight.  My thoughts are that perhaps "little Jimmy"  needs to step into the real world,  where,  hard work pays and that's life. 

We would like to change the "unwritten rule"  that has restricted students from participating to their fullest at the annual school swimming sports, so you can enter as many events as you like (just like every other Northland school).  Also to have the school acknowledge and record the four records that were broken by Ocean Shadbolt at the 2018 School Swimming sports.

We have met with the senior management of the school to give them a chance to change the circumstances and nothing has changed.  The next stage is the Otamatea High School Board of Trustees,  but we need to show them how much support we have.  If you would like to help us make a change,  your support/comments and signatures would be much appreciated.

If you would like to support by writing a letter,  you can email me on:


Thank you





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