Ben Oliver is the new head of physical education at Gympie State High School and is passionate about the role.
Ben Oliver is the new head of physical education at Gympie State High School and is passionate about the role. Renee Pilcher

Dedication boosts sport success

THE Gympie Times goes one-on-one with Gympie State High School's head of physical education, Ben Oliver, to talk all things sport.

Q. Hi Ben and welcome to one on one. You're a fairly new face around the local sporting fields, how long have you been head of Gympie State High School's physical education department?

A. I've been at Gympie High since the beginning of this year.

Q. Where did you teach before Gympie High?

A. Before being appointed to Gympie High, I was acting physical education head of department at Bribie Island State High School.

Q. What have you noticed about the sporting life at Gympie High?

A. There's a strong sporting culture at this school.

I think it's due to the dedication of the staff here to sports.

The staff are committed to the sport and I think the students adopt the same attitude to their sporting endeavours.

Q. Are there certain sports that are going strong at your school?

A. Futsal, rugby league and volleyball are particularly strong.

Staff have established these sports and they are very strong here.

We are very lucky to have two futsal teams competing in the up-coming Champion of Champions futsal competition in Brisbane.

Also, Keith Brown looks after the athletics, which is another really strong area at Gympie High.

Q. What contributes to the sporting success of Gympie State High?

A. The staff's dedication is certainly part of it.

Also, we have plenty of facilities here for all different sports.

As part of the school's centenary, we have had two under cover court areas to facilitate sports like basketball and netball.

We've seen a lot of new students come to the school because of the sporting programs we offer here.

Q. What sports do you play?

A. I play touch football and badminton.

I played rugby league all through high school but as an act of self preservation, I decided to change to touch, which I'm passionate about.

I also love to surf.

Q. You're pretty busy, do you get time to catch a wave?

A. Most weekends, if there's a wave, I'll surf.

My daughters Amali, 6 and Lucy, 5 love the beach.

They've been doing a bit of body boarding.

Q. It's good to hear your girls are into sport, do they play anything else?

A. They do gymnastics, which provides a solid foundation for fitness for when they are older.

Q. What drew you to teaching a sports-based subject?

A. I'm passionate about health and fitness and I think for some students, PE is the only area of school they get something positive out of.

I think the sports students play in PE get them involved and can really reach some students.

They're engaged with the sports they play that helps them become engaged with the other subject areas like health and muscle movements.

Q. What's new with sport at Gympie High?

A. We have our athletics carnival coming up on July 27.

It's a whole school carnival and we have a lot of athletics talent at the school including state and national competitors.

Parents are welcome to come and show their support.

Player profile

  • Name: Benjamin Oliver.
  • Age: 32.
  • Born: Melbourne.
  • Favourite food: Anything with chicken.
  • Favourite TV program: The NRL.
  • Favourite music: Any.
  • Career if not a teacher: I'd like to own a steakhouse.
  • Funniest moment in sport: Telling people I play badminton.
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