The prestigious GPS schools sporting competition gathered a new record recently, when Brisbane Boys College became the first school in any sport to complete five consecutive championships, when their Tennis team completed their fifth consecutive win.
The GPS tournaments(stands for Great Public Schools) are a sporting program, first started in 1918, covering 16 sports and activities amongst 9 schools:
- Anglican Church Grammar School
- Brisbane Boys’ College
- Brisbane Grammar School
- Brisbane State High School
- St Joseph’s College – Gregory Terrace
- Ipswich Grammar School
- St Joseph’s Nudgee College
- The Southport School
- Toowomba Grammar School
BBC’s five-year winning streak comes on the back of previous BBC wins in 2006, 2007, and 2008; although Brisbane Grammar School and Ipswich Grammar School tied for the top spot in 2009, dashing BBC’s hopes for a four-peat win for that year.
Just four years after losing the top spot in 2009, the BBC team regained their premier standing via a three-way tie with Brisbane Grammar School and Nudgee College in 2013, and has been unbeatable since then.
Since the start of the GPS sporting competitions in 1918, the BBC tennis team has had 12 first place wins. They scored outright wins in the 1983, 1987, 2006-2008, and 2014-2017 championships, as well as shared wins in 1934, 2011, and 2013.
The team represented Australia in schoolboy tennis in Qatar in March 2015, where they placed fourth. That was not the first time the team traveled overseas to represent their school and country; in 2008, they also travelled to compete in Poland.
The team’s excellent standing has been attributed to the well-executed professional training program that their Director of Tennis, Chris Rolph, has implemented for the boys from Prep to Year 12. Mr. Rolph has introduced primary and secondary students to the game and aims to develop tennis players at all levels. The school’s program is now aligned with the program used by Tennis Australia’s qualified coaches.
Mr. Rolph carries an extensive background in coaching, teaching and administration. His previous roles included manager of the Queensland Secondary School Tennis Team.
In 2016, the team also welcomed Ben Mitchell to the coaching team, Ben reached the Wimbledon Junior final in 2010 and played on the pro circuit at a very high level.
A dedicated staff member has also been assigned to assist with the tennis program’s needs. Tennis has really become an integral part of the school’s curriculum.
Could a six-peat be on the horizon for next year? Given the way the team has been playing, it seems likely that the BBC tennis team will continue to make GPS history.