If TAS was a person, “he’d be a really great bloke”: Peter Fitzsimons

Columnist Peter Fitzsimon wrote this hilarious account of the participation of TAS Old Boys in the 2014 GPS Gold Challenge in the SMH, 10 October 2014

Devil of a time for TAS

Last Saturday at Riverview, 700 old bastards with an average age of 50 gathered to compete in the GPS Gold Challenge – essentially GPS old boys competing as in days of yore, and gore, in everything from rugby to rowing, indoor cricket, basketball, footy, athletics, tennis, and much more. Six ambulances and the Zambucks were kept busy till well after sundown, and they ran out of ice – not for keeping the drinks cold, but for ice packs on the hundreds of tender hamstrings. Big winners on the day were the old boys of The Armidale School who won – wait for it – The Rugby Trophy! It was an extremely popular win. In the words of one participant, “TAS is like your country cousin that most of the family has long forgotten. Then you catch up for a few beers in the corner at your sister’s wedding and you realise he is a really great bloke.” At the dinner, the win for TAS was greeted with a partial standing ovation, by as many participants who could still stand, In response the TAS captain gloried most particularly in their win over the Old Boys of one school in particular. “Like most of you we were always smashed by Joeys and felt they were at least five years older than us. Today we slaughtered Joeys and realised we were right. They ARE at least five years older!”

(The TAS captain was David ‘DJ’ Thompson, ’76-’81) 

Posted in GPS

TAS success at GPS Gold Challenge

There were plenty of tall stories of past sporting glories, friendly rivalry with old foes, and fortunately no torn hamstrings, when dozens of members of the TAS community put their bodies on the line for the GPS Gold Challenge on 3-4 October.First staged in 1999 and now held every two years as a major fundraiser for the Red Kite Foundation, the event brings together almost 700 GPS Old Boys who have turned, or are about to turn, 50, for competition in a range of sporting disciplines.
This year’s TAS connection included 34 Old Boys from the 1981 and 1982 cohorts (some of whom are current TAS dads), as well as several other current and past TAS fathers who attended other GPS schools.At the shooting held at King’s on Friday, the 19-strong TAS ’81 narrowly came second, and the TAS ’82 team of 15, came third. Several also took part in golf, held at Ryde-Parramatta Golf Club.Then on the Saturday morning at St Ignatius College Riverview, many took to the tennis courts for an exhausting hit-out, before it was all legs on deck for touch football and athletics. (There was also basketball, indoor cricket and rowing competitions, in which TAS didn’t compete). TAS loaned shooters to Scots and swimmers to King’s, all in the spirit of the event. However the highlight was undoubtedly that evening at the dinner for more than 650, when the TAS ’81 team were presented with the David Hutchison Trophy for winning the touch rugby! The (old) TAS warcry sang (!) out proudly from Riverview’s Ramsay Hall. TAS also came second in the debating – more like a public speaking competition, in which one representative from each school had to speak to the topic ‘That GPS Schools should be Coeducational’ (High, Kings, Shore, Scots and TAS were all tasked with putting the case for the Affirmative).
It was the largest yet representation from TAS, which had a higher participation rate proportionate to the cohort, than any other school. It was also the best yet result for TAS at the competition. The event was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with schoolmates and peers from other schools, as well as flying the school flag in the GPS arena.

Congratulations and many thanks to Old Boys Nick Tuit and David Thompson who rallied the 1981 leavers, and Duncan McDonald (also a current parent) for herding up the ‘82s. With any luck, the ’83 and ’84 Old Boys will be wanting to make it an even better year for TAS, at the GPS Gold Challenge in 2016!

To learn more about the GPS Gold Challenge, click here

To view photos from the event, click on the image below.

GPS GC trophy

Click on the image above to view photos from the 2014 GPS Gold Challenge