Mary Webster
Categories: AHIGS Sport

Mary Webster

Get to know the women behind the overall champion school trophy at the IGSSA swimming championship.

In 2019 the IGSSA overall champion trophy will be named in honour of Mary Webster.

If you are unaware of Mary’s history with IGSSA, she worked for the association from 1983 - 1999 and has continued to assist with our representative pathways through her role at NSWCIS where she currently works in a sports administration role.

Mary is a wonderful friend to the association and a personal role model. I am inspired by her dedication to creating sporting opportunities for students of all levels but mostly I admire the extensive kindness she shows to everyone and the feeling of warmth that creates within our sporting community. We feel very privileged that Mary will be attending our swim and dive championship next Friday 22nd March, 2019.

As a former Pymble student we feel very lucky to embrace her as a friend of the association and I hope you enjoy the opportunity to read about her in the interview below.

What were your fondest memories of IGSSA during the time you worked here? I think the staff in all the schools which were members at the time. I cannot remember anyone who was disagreeable or if so I have forgotten. Waking every day excited and keen to go to work

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen since your time with the association?  I think the biggest change and the one I was the happiest with was the development of Saturday graded sport. Prior to this there used to be Saturday morning social games between schools with morning tea being the highlight. Bad luck if you were SCEGGS with one Hockey team playing Pymble with 10 teams. Pymble firsts played SCEGGS #1 and Pymble’s nine others did not get games and SCEGGS were thrashed. I can say this as I was at SCEGGS to experience it firsthand. So you can see why morning teas were a highlight! Then a group of staff got together one night and came up with the idea of Saturday graded Sport. This was in 1984. Rowena Danziger – Head of Ascham was the President of AHIGS at the time and allowed us to trial it in 1985, despite objections from some Heads that we were losing the social quality of the sport and morning teas!  Participation took off and increased very quickly in a few years from 3000 to 15000. I believe this also was an enormous boost to finances for AHIGS-IGSSA.

Other things that spring to mind are the inclusion of opportunities for students with a disability, Tildesley seeding, representative teams, an IGSSA office, pink and black colours to demonstrate the strength of girls despite the Head’s initial concern about the shade of pink. We went from a wishy washy pink to a super strong pink!! I think setting up a Standing Committee helped deal with requests from IGSSA to AHIGS as we had classic examples of lack of understanding e.g. Why can’t we play finals at the beginning of the season? Why can’t we run 10 schools in the circular relay (at ES Marks) and understanding of the difference between turf and synthetic wickets.

What are the qualities of the association you think we need to fight to ensure always remain a foundation of the association? The importance of sports participation for girls at a school level no matter their standard so every effort is made for students to enjoy an area of sport or sports regardless of skill level.  Hopefully ensure this enjoyment is carried through to later life in a pathway to physical and mental health and happiness.

Encouraging students to officiate and rewarding them for their efforts as equally as individuals or team participants.

An understanding of sport and the requirements necessary to ensure successful conduct of events by heads of schools

Some endeavour to ensure a degree of equality in competition between schools despite various schools setting up elite sports programs

Moving with the times and allowing the introduction of new community popular sports where at all feasible

What excites you about the future of IGSSA? I am excited to see the new staff members who have joined the IGSSA team and the fresh approach they have taken to bring a new energy to the association.

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