St Bernard's College takes home O'Shea Shield for the first time
A Lower Hutt school has scooped a prestigious shield after a weekend of speeches, drama and reading competitions.
St Bernard's College won the O'Shea Shield for the first time in the school's history.
"We're over the moon," coordinator David Sefton said.
The prestigious speech and drama competition has been held between lower North Island secondary Catholic schools since 1946. This year's O'Shea Shield was held over May 13 and 14 and 17 schools took part.
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Students compete in eight different categories from impromptu speeches to religious drama.
In addition to taking home the title, the school hosted the event as well.
Sefton said an "army of students" volunteered to help the event run smoothly too. Alongside the school's representatives, students put their hands up to act as security, chauffeurs and guides.
The St Bernard's College drama team, made up of five students, took home the second prize in the religious drama competition held on the Saturday evening.
Their piece, Forgotten, looked at humanity's care of earth through the lens of a mother-son relationship.
Marcus Manning, 17, said he was amazed at the applause they had received after performing.
Teammate Johannes Duthie-Jung agreed. "It was such a good feeling."
The team had been rehearsing since the end of March and thanked drama coach John Palamo.
Performing to an audience of about 700 proved nerve-wracking for the teens but support from schoolmates helped them through.
During the competition, the drama team could see a section of St Bernard's boys in the audience cheering for them.
The team performed a piece based on a quote from the Pope's encyclical, a papal letter sent to Catholic bishops.
Their performance earned them the Society of Mary Cup for Drama.
In each category in the O'Shea Shield, teams or individuals are scored from one to six and the school with the most points at the end wins.
St Bernard's College also took home the Catherine McAuley Cup for Scripture Reading, the Sacred Heart Lower Hutt Jubilee Cup for Impromptu Speaking Section and tied for the Te Kaipanui i te Kupu cup for scripture reading in Te Reo Maori.