It’s 11am on a mild Saturday morning and in 15 minutes, the 1st Basketball will tip-off against Trinity. As they warm up, the Great Hall begins to buzz, as Knox boys clothed in black pour onto the court-side seating. Anticipation builds as the noise from the crowd increases.
Nick Reynolds (School Captain), James Constable (Vice Captain), Luke Schofield (Vice Captain)
The clock strikes 11.15am and a kilt-clad figure raises his hand. The thud of a bass drum silences the hall - only for the mass of blue and black to erupt into cheer. If you hadn’t seen them, you’d have certainly heard them. The Tartan Army had arrived.
There is nothing particularly special about members of the Tartan Army. These few hundred boys are, for the most part, unassuming. Across Years 7-12, members aren’t united in year or age. Amidst the 370-strong army you will find musicians, athletes, actors and leaders, close friends and mutual friends alike. Perhaps, some only know each other as ‘the especially loud Year 9 bloke at the front’, or the ‘invigorated Year 12 boy always on his feet’.
Yet, when called upon, members of the Tartan Army stand, sing and celebrate as one. In war cry and humble congratulations, shout and clamour, boys in the Tartan Army are united in their love of School and appreciation of mateship. “Mateship is lifting your mates up when they are down and lifting them higher when they are thriving,” says School Captain Nick Reynolds.
"Trust me, look around, to your right and to your left. Now tell me what you see? The Tartan Army! The boys in black and blue, The boys from Warrawee."
The words ‘Tartan Army’ emblazoned on the distinctive black shirt allow each and every Knox man passionate enough to pull on the shirt to belong to something. Every single boy, without exception, is welcomed into the Tartan Army. For some, it is their first co-curricular activity and for all it is a source of pride and purpose.
The Student Leadership Team designed the Tartan Army for this purpose. Our intention was to polish and legitimise Knox’s great history of appreciating its representative athletes, encouraging participation and camaraderie around all things Knox, not just for sport, but including charity initiatives like this year’s World’s Greatest Shave. The Army’s first wave of support for the summer teams has been phenomenal, with the Water Polo side in particular, benefitting from its largest crowds ever - and indeed their first championship!
It is our hope that the Tartan Army is an initiative continued by student leaders in the years to come. The privilege of leadership has allowed us to pour time and creativity into its development, a great opportunity that only comes with a school such as Knox. Even in spite of an international pandemic, the 2020 leadership team has been immensely fortunate to be learning and collaborating in a school where student-led initiatives are not only heard but wholeheartedly encouraged and supported - a credit to all Knox staff and students.
This article was originally published in the June 2020 edition of The Thistle magazine.
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