Retirement of a Legend
The Independent Sporting Association would like to recognise a ‘legend’ in the development of Independent School Sport for all students.
Mary Webster is a household name in the world of school sport. Recently retired, Mary leaves many wonderful legacies and the ISA would like to recognise her incredible contributions over many years to school sport.
If you are unaware of Mary’s history, she began working in 1971 at an Independent Girls School as a PDHPE teacher and sports coach. In 1983, Mary took the role as Sports Administrator for IGSSA where she remained for 17 years. Mary achieved a significant amount in her time at IGSSA and in a recent interview, told of the foundation qualities that she believes need to be nurtured into the future:
The importance of sports participation for girls at all school levels, no matter their standard. The aim being one of enjoyment, so that girls carry on their involvement through to later life maintaining physical and mental health and happiness.
Encouragement of students to officiate, recognising and rewarding these students for their efforts as occurs for players.
To foster an understanding of sport, and the requirements necessary to ensure successful conduct of events by Heads of Schools.
To 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.
Following on from her time at IGSSA, a natural progression was to join the team at NSWCIS as Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer. Mary was able to continue her passion for school sport and assist in ensuring successful access to representative school pathways for students in a variety of sports and particularly athletes with a disability.
In 2006, Mary was aptly awarded an OAM (Order of Australia Medal) for service to sport, particularly as a contributor to sports development and its promotion in girls’ schools, and to the community.
Mary was also a founder of the Multi Sports Day where students with a disability from Years 3-12 are invited on an annual basis to a nominated host school to try their hand at a wide range of sports. Coaches from various organisations run skills and drills for around 130 students across 10 different sports: AFL, basketball, cricket, golf, gymnastics, hockey, netball, touch football, rugby league and softball.
This wonderful event is a joint collaboration between the host school, Margot Zaska from the Disability Unit NSW Office of Sport and Mary Webster from NSWCIS.
Mary is a wonderful, positive role model to so many people in the sporting industry, where many are inspired by her dedication to creating sporting opportunities for students at all levels.
It is Mary’s genuine kindness, inclusivity and warm personality that created positive environments in all sporting communities in which she was involved.
The ISA would like to wish Mary all the very best on a well-deserved retirement and we thank you for everything you have done for so many individuals and the Independent School Sporting arena.