Meet Our Staff: Tom Kendall, Health & Physical Education Teacher

What is your role in the College?

Health & Physical Education Teacher

What was your career path to SMC?

I started out my teaching career returning to my hometown of Kalgoorlie to teach at John Paul College. I never planned to do so, it just happened by chance. It was sort of a weird feeling as there were only two staff members remaining from my time as a student, yet everything seemed to remain the same.

After four years, I returned to Perth and spent six years teaching and working in the boarding community at Guildford Grammar School. This was a fantastic time of growth for me as during this time I got married, started a family and I was able to experience many different aspects surrounding education within a school environment.

After nearly 14 years teaching, I have found the most rewarding thing is not how smart a student is at the end of their schooling, but the high moral standard of the person that a student ends up becoming in society.

What is your favourite thing about SMC?

I have a lot of favourite things about Santa Maria College as there is a lot to like. The staff are friendly and supportive, the students are hardworking and respectful, and the grounds and view of the river is amazing. But if I had to narrow it down to one, I think my favourite thing is the large amount of co-curricular opportunities available to the students.

Whether it be sporting, music, the arts, social justice or academics, students have the chance to explore their interests. And from these interests, they are able to develop life skills like goal setting, problem solving and social interaction by building relationships with other like-minded people.

How did your love of sport develop?

Growing up in a country town, I have always been a competitive person and had a sense that I wanted to try everything. This was not just reserved for sport but all things including music, art, and I even did some flying lessons. I was always open to new things. Ultimately though, sport was the most challenging as unlike my other hobbies it had a truly competitive nature to it. I often battled my way to be better at any sport I played, and I have been very fortunate to have played a variety of different sports at various levels.

Although my younger self’s competitiveness naturally wanted to win, my favourite thing about sport has ended up being the friendships I have made along the way and the memories that we share whenever we meet up. However, now that I’m getting older and my athletic ability is diminishing, I find that I am spending more time watching my kids carry my competitive gene and developing their own love of sport. But much like me, they love doing everything.

Who is your favourite sports person and why?

I have far too many to narrow it down to one overall favourite. But someone that I really admire and continually love to watch in action is Roger Federer. His drive and dedication to perfection is unbelievable. He makes everything seem so effortless, like he is casually walking to the shops as opposed to hitting a tennis ball.

The most tremendous thing I love about Roger Federer’s legacy is that as a person he just seems like a genuinely nice person. Despite his status and fame, he still shows respect to anyone he interacts with. In this day and age of social media and twitter, finding positive role models in sport can become a challenge, and I think it’s important to value behaviours as much as skills and abilities.

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