This award is funded by the Invercargill and Mataura Licensing Trust with the purpose of recognising Southland students who excel. Fifty awards are given out each year and all Southland Secondary Schools are allocated a number of awards based on their Year 13 roll numbers. Congratulations to Ryan Watkins and Freya Bools who are the recipients this year.
As St Peter’s College Head Boy, Ryan Watkins is an accomplished allrounder who exemplifies his school’s core values of Compassion, Community and Commitment.
Academically, Ryan’s natural ability and drive set him apart. For the past six years, Ryan has been awarded the overall Top Scholar prize for his year group at St Peter’s College. In NCEA, Ryan accumulated an impressive 202 Excellence credits in Years 11 and 12. Ryan is equally adept at crunching numbers in Accounting, Calculus or Physics as he is exploring biodynamics in Physical Education.
Ryan is a keen athlete who relishes the challenge of sport. He has represented both his school and province in tennis, football and hockey. As a senior, Ryan turned his attention and energy to rugby and has been an integral member of the St Peter’s College 1st XV since his debut in 2017. For the past two seasons, Ryan has also been a member of the St Peter’s team that participated in the National Condor Seven’s Rugby Tournament in Auckland. This year, Ryan was recognised as the 'Player of the Year’ for the 1st XV.
Ryan also finds time for the performing arts where he has competed in both drama at the Bishop’s Shield and debating. This year he extended his repertoire by taking on the lead role of Troy Bolton in ‘High School Musical’.
Next year, Ryan will shift his attention and aptitude to Civil Engineering where he will begin the rigorous four-year degree programme at Canterbury University.
Freya Bools loves to put one past you. Freya is passionate about football. And scoring goals - lots of goals.
Freya is a skillful striker who plays for Wyndham Town. She has regularly represented her province at age-group level and has been a member of the Southland Womens’ U17 Football side for the past two seasons. Last year, Freya’s ability to frequently find the back of the net saw her selected in the South Island U18 Football Squad. This achievement was acknowledged when Freya was named the ‘2018 Southland Football Young Player of the Year’. Freya is also a notable middle-distance runner who has clocked up multiple first places in the Southland and Otago Secondary Schools’ Championships.
Off the pitch, Freya can often be found near water. She is a qualified Swim Coach who spends many hours teaching others at the Gore Aquatic Centre. Freya has also been a Surf Lifeguard since 2015. This year Freya competed at the Surf Life-Saving Nationals, finishing a creditable 8th in the U19 Paddlers’ section.
Freya’s talent and contribution to sports were recognised by her community when she was awarded the 2019 Gore Youth Awards ‘Outstanding Youth Champion Award’.
Freya plans to develop her passion by beginning the Certificate of Sports and Recreation at the Southern Institute of Technology next year. And, of course, continuing to score lots more goals.