It’s chairman versus chairman in the #chairVchair challenge

Everyone who knows me and who follows the blogs on CN&CO, also knows that I believe the only differentiator in an organisation is its people. Getting the right people – those who match your values – and then supporting, guiding and challenging them, before getting out of their way – is how you drive major success.

St Stithians is no different. And the work that Shaun Edmeston has done as chairman of the Old Stithian Association (OSA) demonstrates what great leaders and strong teams can achieve. The contribution that the St Stithians alumni make towards #saintsexcellence is growing daily.

Now, Shaun is a rather interesting guy … banker by day, passionate father (congrats on Michael’s first b day yesterday!), loving husband, hustler golf player, Springbok commentator, whiskey drinker – and loyal mate. A few year’s back a troll or two challenged me on Facebook. The lashing Edmeston unleashed on them still makes me smile.

As a mate, Shaun enlisted the help of Gary Heath (a fellow alumnus I have known most of my life as he was one of my brother’s best mates at school) a few years back to convince me to accept the OSA nomination to be the chairman of St Stithians Council. Peer pressure, wine – but mainly a shared vision of serving St Stithians and assisting all who are a part of the community in growing #saintsexcellence – finally convinced me to throw my hat in the ring. And while I sometimes still give Shaun a hard time for convincing me to do this (especially when time is tight and demands are big), the absolute privilege and joy of being a servant leader at this amazing institution make it one of the best decisions I have ever made.

So when Shaun had another idea this week – after reading my Facebook post about focusing on health and exercise – I again was quickly conned into agreeing to his plan! In short:

St Stithians has a High Performance Centre – we call it the HPC – which has recently undergone major improvements. Largely thanks to our rector Tim Nuttall, head of sport science Rob van Ginkel, and a team of amazing people (at Saints there is never just one hero!) we have a world-class facility managed for us by Inside Active.

Inside Active ensures that the HPC (open weekdays from 6am to 7pm) offers not only our pupils, but also our broader Saints community and the public at large, a great opportunity to train in beautiful surroundings. And so, back to Shaun’s idea:

Starting tomorrow, Sunday, 1 October 2017, and culminating two months later, on Friday, 1 December, Shaun (chairman of the OSA) and I (chairman of council) will be working with the HPC to see who improves the most in the “#chairVchair Challenge”.

We did our tests this week and the look of disappointment on the faces of Charl (working with Shaun) and Robin (working with me) was palpable! On 1 December, Shaun and I will run 5 km against each other (fastest time gets two points), row for 2 km (fastest time gets two points), see who improved the most on their squats (weight to body weight ratio) for one point, improved on their explosive jump for one point and most improved in weight bench-pressed for a point. There are also two points for most improved BMI. I think there may be another point for something as well – but for now I will focus on those!

Follow our progress on Twitter: @ststithians @carelnolte @cnandco @HGSaints and on the OSA Facebook page using #chairVchair. Most importantly, join us on 1 December at 3pm for the #chairVchair shootout! And for us to buy you a few drinks. Shaun has a plan to raise funds – more info soon!

#chairVchair #fitness #watcthisspace #saintsexcellence

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Carel is an investor in people and businesses, believing that 1+1 = (at least) 22. Working with a few basic concepts – best encapsulated in his believe that unless we are dead, anything is possible – Carel aims to build long-term sustainable value with like-minded individuals and companies, while having (a lot of!) fun.