Going Back in Time

What was your coach and teacher like as an athlete?

Mrs. Sarah BarnesIB Sports and Exercise Health Science and HS Physical Education Teacher – Varsity Girls Volleyball Coach

Which sports did you play?

I played field hockey and did track and field during high school and then started playing volleyball after I left high school and went to Argentina.

  • To what level did you play?

I played to age group level for New Zealand U18 and U20 for track and field. Played volleyball for my university and for a club in Argentina and am currently training with the NZ Masters Volleyball Team that competes at the World Masters Games in April.

  • Where?

Played in Waikato, New Zealand for Track and Field and Dunedin, New Zealand and Cordoba, Argentina for Volleyball.

  • Position in the team?Screen Shot 2560-02-17 at 1.52.47 PM

Track and Field I did hurdles, shot put and discus early on and then transferred to a heptathlon (7 events) which I was more suited to. In volleyball I play outside or power.

  • How long you’ve played the sports for?

All my life I’ve done sports. They have changed over the years as the demands on your body, availability and stage of life change but it’s a really important part of my identity.

In general, how were you as a player?

  • Style in games and training

Hard worker, always keen to learn more and play lots. Not aggressive though and a coach actually told me once that my lack of aggression would be the reason I never went as far as I might have.

  • Personality when with teammates

Joker. I like to lighten the mood and have some fun. As you get older you realise if it’s not fun there is absolutely no point in doing it.

  • Any nickname you were called by teammates/coach/friends

Briscoe (my maiden name)

Who was your role model or favorite player in the sport you played? Why?

Track and Field I always admired Jackie Joyner-Kersee I remember watching her win gold at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and again in Barcelona in 1992 and thinking I wanted to be as strong and amazing as her. She’s an amazing woman and role model for any young girl to aspire to be like.
What was the most memorable moment you had with your teammates or just as an athlete?

SO many memorable moments… we won New Zealand nationals one year with our club team for Volleyball beating out a strong favorite in a 5 setter which was tight and was pretty exciting… I also remember being tipped to win the gold in the discus in the U18 NZ Nationals one year and had 3 fouls so didn’t even qualify for the second round. That experience was really hard. Those experiences are polar opposites emotion-wise but both valued simply for the fact that they are all part of the experience that is sport.


Mr. Fraser Carver – IB Geography Teacher – Varsity Boys Football Coach

Which sports did you play?Screen Shot 2560-02-17 at 1.59.49 PM

I’m going to dovetail the two things I coach at ISB:  Football and Track & Field

  • To what level did you play?

I was a professional footballer for a year, and I represented in Scotland in Track & Field at U19 level

  • Where?

My professional team was Cowdenbeath Football Club, and I competed for City of Edinburgh Athletics Club

  • Position in the team?

I was a goalkeeper, and I threw javelin (most successfully), discus and shot

  • How long have you played the sport for?

My parents were both PE teachers who played a lot of sport with me, but although I loved kicking a ball around in high school, I didn’t actually play for a team until I was 19. I took up javelin earlier (10 years old), who doesn’t like throwing spears around the back yard?

In general, how were you as a player?

  • Style in games and training

I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to sport. It’s why I don’t play golf, as I can’t handle the inconsistency. I also like being in a pressurized position. As a goalkeeper, and javelin thrower, you are on your own, while everyone is focused on your actions. I thrived on that pressure (I am not saying I never made mistakes!)

  • Personality when with teammates

Off the field, I am quiet, but love talking about the game. On the field I am more of an individual. You need to issue instructions as a goalie, but you are also playing a game within a game, so a degree of separation is necessary. Javelin is much more primal, you aren’t part of a team while you are competing; you are just trying to chuck a spear as far as you possibly can.

  • Any nickname you were called by teammates/coach/friends?

Never in my life have I had a nickname. It’s weird. I guess my football team called me “Big Man” quite a lot.

  • Please feel free to add anything else!

All my sports have a very psychological aspect to them. I thrived on this as a competitor and I focus on this aspect a lot as a coach.

Who was your role model or favorite player in the sport you played? Why?

In football my childhood hero was Henry Smith, the goalkeeper for my favorite team, who also played for Scotland. I actually got to play against Henry during my professional season. It was his final season, he was 47 and I was 23! Surreal. My T&F hero was a guy called Steve Backley, who was the javelin world record holder in the 1990s. I never had a coach, so I just used to watch videos of him throw and copy him. Actually, he was a Psychology graduate from Loughborough University…psychology thing again.

What was the most memorable moment you had with your teammates or just as an athlete?

I won the Scottish U19 Championship with the last throw of the competition that was pretty neat. I was also lucky enough to play in a great team and win 3 consecutive Scottish U21 Cups in football. More recently watching IASAS online from a cafe in Budapest. Celebrating loudly when Yuto and Ruben scored those goals, and when Cedric made that last minute save, was very special. Hopefully, we can repeat that in front of a home crowd in this October!

Alex C

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