The German story
Rewind ten years back Europe was a growing Economy and Germany was referred as the “Sick man of Europe”. In 2002 Germany’s economy grew by a mere 0.2% and it was the slowest rate in the whole of Euro zone. The unemployment rate was soaring and the chances of a recovery looked very slim.
Fast forward to today, the economic crisis has gripped Europe, but ironically Germany stands as the biggest light of hope for the European economy. Not only Germany is managing to withstand the debt crisis, today German bonds are considered the ultra safe investments, doing better than the US treasury bonds! Almost all other European countries look up to the Germans to bail them out.
The nation is on a high and deservingly a lot of accolades are being showered on its leader Chancellor Angela Merkel. She is arguably the most powerful woman in the world and often compared with Margaret Thatcher and referred as the ‘Iron Lady’. But if you really look beyond the clichés the seeds of recovery were planted and the dirtiest part of the recovery was engineered by Chancellor Schröder. He seldom gets reference or credit for it. His first term of office was dominated by populist and opportunistic economic policies, but on his second term of office he was forced to take the bull by the horn and implement radical and unpopular economic reforms. Immediately he was battered at the elections and ended up losing his job. But the policies and reforms laid the foundations on which the current miracles are being performed.
The Trinity story
In striking resemblance a decade earlier when we were at school each one of us had great pride in being at Trinity but in sports we no longer had the consistency that was expected out of us, it was exactly 10 years ago we lost the Bradby by the biggest margin. (I personally hate to use rugby as the barometer of measuring Trinity’s performance, but using it since it’s the easiest most of us understand and remember) In sports whatever we won during that time were due to the courage, passion, individual brilliances or due to the luxury of having brains like Mr. Quintin Isreal, who manages to out think and ‘out fox’ the opposition with a smart game plan despite having an inferior line up on paper than the opponent.
Fast forward to today, the present day Trinitians had taken the sports pages of local news papers on a long term lease. The domination has been consistent and remarkable in almost all the sports, which includes Cricket, Rugby, Swimming, Weight lifting, Chess, etc. Other coaches plot on ways in which they can out fox them on the particular day, since these boys are much better on a man to man basis.
For those who look from a distance it looks as if it 'just happened' or in the cycle of things its Trinity's turn. But having breathed and lived at Trinity, I see this differently. I see this as the net effect of a very strategic approach undertaken more than a decade ago to create a system which creates brilliance. For this matter I guess a lot of credit goes the likes of Prof Breckenridge, Mr. Fonseka, junior school staff, scrummage, cricket foundation and all the others who were the visionaries who created a process of creating champions. If I am not mistaken it was in year 2000 or 2001 a rule was brought in at Junior school which made it mandatory for each student to take part in at least one extracurricular activity and in parallel investments were made on the junior level coaching structures. I can still remember hearing about the kind of resistance that came from parents; since they couldn’t get the kids back home using the same school van on all five days. The action was unpopular at that time but today Trinity reaps what was sown back then. I can bet on the answer majority of the boys’ of the champion teams would have for the question “When did you start the game?” It will be a cheerful “When I was in Year 2” and its highly likely they would name Mr. Franklin Jacob as the person who taught them to handle the ball (if I remember right he coached both rugby and tennis for year 2 in 2001/2002).
Strategies have long term repercussions, when the right thing is placed in motion it goes through a process where it builds a snow balling effect and gives glorious outcomes, but when it reaches the crescendo the people who set in motion might not be in the picture and for spectators from the sidelines its only the crescendo that’s visible but the painful process that had to be undertaken to achieve it goes unnoticed.
The goal of this blog is not to take any credit away from the current school administration, just like I mentioned in the case of Chancellor Angela Merkel they deserve all the credit and admiration for leading the lions and nurturing them. At the same time we need remember and acknowledge the contribution these past silent strategist who had done to make Trinity what it is today. Most importantly bear in mind the need to keep this system intact, improve and invest on it, so that this journey of ascendance continues even a decade from now!
The men that tanned the hide of us,
Our daily foes and friends,
They shall not lose their pride of us,
However the journey ends.
Their voice to us who sing of it,
No more its message bears,
But the round world shall ring of it,
And all we are be theirs.