Sports at Dio
Waikato Diocesan School has a fine reputation for its excellence in sport. A wide range of individual and team sports allows every student to find an activity she enjoys and to be physically fit. We cater for all students regardless of age, ability or aptitude. In fact, on most weekends throughout the year, Waikato Diocesan has about an 85 percent participation rate in team sport compared with the national average of around 53 percent.
We have around a range of sports codes available from netball, hockey, football, lacrosse and basketball to rowing, equestrian, cycling, tennis, cricket and water polo.
Top facilities (including a school fitness centre) and expert teachers and coaches help our students to discover their interests and nurture their talents across all levels.
Many of our students have gone on to represent their city, region and country in their chosen sporting codes.
It’s the three different disciplines - swimming, cycling, and running - that appeals to Year 13 student Hannah Knighton about competing in triathlons. Competing alongside her fellow Dio multisport teammates, 2016 was a huge year for the code. At the New Zealand Secondary Schools' Triathlon Championships in Queenstown, the girls won five gold, four silver, and two bronze medals in the individual and team races.
In the individual triathlon championships, Hannah came 2nd in the U16 race and Sacha McLeod 1st in the U13. “This was by far the coldest event I have ever competed in,” says Hannah. “The lake temperature was around 15 degrees, although the triathlon course was very picturesque with The Remarkables towering above us.” In the team triathlons, Lucy Farrell, Sacha McLeod and Emma Barton won gold in the U14 race and Katie White, Hannah and Emily Irvine won gold in the U16 race.
Hannah’s individual silver placing left her determined to take the win in the Aquathlon competition the next day. “The Aquathlon was our last race over the two days, so I left everything on the course and managed to take the gold.” Her teammates were also successful in their races, with Sacha McLeod 2nd in the U13 category, Sarah Miller 2nd and Lucy Farrell 3rd in the U14 age group, and Katie White 3rd in the U16 age group. “I was so proud of the way Dio dominated the event and everyone in the team achieved amazing results.”
Hannah also competed in the Oceania Junior Triathlon Championships in Gisborne her first big international race. “I don't think I have ever been so nervous for anything in my life!” She was the first New Zealander to leave the water and, with a smooth transition to the bike, found herself in the lead bunch with seven Australians and one other kiwi. “I had so much adrenalin going through me at this point. Most of the people in the group I have looked up to for years and all of a sudden I was racing with them!” She was the second kiwi home, just missing automatic selection to the world championships in Mexico. “There’s always next year.”
Hannah trains year round, usually swimming five times a week, running three times and cycling four or five times, as well as doing two strength and conditioning sessions. On average, she spends about 15 to 20 hours a week training before, after school, and on Saturdays. “It never gets boring because you train for all three sports, so there’s always something different.”
The Aquathlon was our last race over the two days, so I left everything on the course and managed to take the gold.