Face To Face With Thomas Chadwick

Tom Chadwick, headboy at St John’s College talks to FrontrowZim about school-life and Craven Week 2013. Tom also tells us about his aspirations.

Frontrowzim.com: Who is Tom Chadwick?
Thomas Chadwick: My name is Thomas Hunter Chadwick. I am 18-years-old, born on 8 March 1995. I am a member of a family of four, including my father, mother, brother and I.
Frontrowzim.com: When and how were you introduced to rugby?
Thomas Chadwick: In 2002, my family and I went to live in Australia. This is where I was introduced to “tag” rugby which developed into real rugby. At the end of 2002, my father decided that it was best we came home to live in Zimbabwe again.
Frontrowzim.com: And water-polo?
Thomas Chadwick: My brother Ollie, who is two years older than me, introduced me to waterpolo when he was in Form Two (2007).
Frontrowzim.com: What are your fondest memories of the two?
Thomas Chadwick: Fondest rugby memories involve our St John’s rugby tour to the UK, together with the 2013 Zimbabwe Craven week tour. Best Waterpolo memories include 2010 and 2011 when my brother and I played 1st Team together, and the past two years where I have captained the 1st Team, after my brother in 2011. A particular moment: half way goal against St George’s in the semi-final that we won.

Tom Chadwick goes for during a water-polo match
Tom Chadwick goes for goal during a water-polo match

Frontrowzim.com: You are the head-boy at St John’s College. What is it like being the head prefect of such a school? Any pressure?
Thomas Chadwick: It is very busy and there is a lot of pressure because there are very high expectations and standards that need to be met. Another aspect to observe is the fact that someone is always watching you, so it feels as though you can never slip up! In saying this, it has been such a privilege to lead St John’s College.
Frontrowzim.com: Tell me about your progression at St John’s, rising through the ranks. Going from being in the U14 squad to playing first team? From being a little Form One pupil a few years back to leading the school now.
Thomas Chadwick: On both the sporting and pupil side, things have changed greatly as I have gone up the ranks. With regards to rugby, the level of play, intensity speed and knowledge of the game have turned into major factors, whereas in the junior levels, it was as simple as getting the ball and running or just tackling. As a pupil, authorities and responsibilities become important factors, from being told what to do and how to do it, I now have to demand these instructions and lead by example.
Frontrowzim.com: Rugby players are usually thought of as not very intellectually gifted. This is the total opposite with you. Would you call yourself a genius?
Thomas Chadwick: I am definitely not a genius! Just a hard worker with a hunger to succeed in life.
Frontrowzim.com: You were part of the squad that almost made history at the Craven Week tourney this year. What would you say went wrong against Namibia?
Thomas Chadwick: I feel we became very complacent and over confident before playing Namibia. Although waking up at 5:30am to pack and playing on the same day that we were leaving had an impact on our mental attitudes.
Frontrowzim.com: Who would you say has been the most outstanding back line player in schools rugby this year?
Thomas Chadwick: Two names, Rukudzo Gona and Brendon Mandivenga.
Frontrowzim.com: Going forward, what do you hope to achieve in say two year’s time and in the long term?
Thomas Chadwick: In two years time, I see myself studying in an Ivy League University in America after having gone on a sailing course in Greece at the start of 2014. Long term, I plan to come back to Zimbabwe as a qualified mechanical engineer and start-up a business revolving around conservation and renewable energy.

Thomas Chadwick at Craven Week
Thomas Chadwick in Zimbabwe colours at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium during 2013’s Craven Week

Frontrowzim.com: You are involved in a lot of activities at school. Public speaking, rugby, being the head prefect just to name a few. Where do you draw your energy from?
Thomas Chadwick: I feel my energy is drawn from within myself. I believe people place too many restrictions on what they can, and can’t do. God is my pillar, and I draw strength from Him and my family as well.
Frontrowzim.com: Five blazers to choose from each morning you go to school. Which one is your favourite and why?
Thomas Chadwick: My favourite blazer would have to be the black blazer. It has been my main goal to obtain it at St John’s College, so to finally have it makes me very proud, especially being the first ever head-boy to attain it, and the second person ever in the history of St John’s College.
Frontrowzim.com: In the field of sport who are your role models?
Thomas Chadwick: Benji Marshall, Quade Cooper, Sonny-Bill Williams, Coonie Osthasen.
Frontrowzim.com: And in academia?
Thomas Chadwick: Albert Einstein
Frontrowzim.com: Our signature question Tom. What’s your take on discipline in schools sport?
Thomas Chadwick: Discipline in schools sport is imperial. I believe that at whatever age, a game should be played in a healthy but competitive manner. At the end of the day, we play sport because we love it.
Frontrowzim.com:You are in your final year at the College. What would you want to remembered for?
Thomas Chadwick: I would love to be remembered as a fine gentleman and role model to the school.
Frontrowzim.com: Do you have any motto that you live by and what is it?
Thomas Chadwick: I believe that perfection is impossible. So keep striving to do better and be better. Life’s only limits are the ones set by you. So always reach for the stars, and beyond.