Interstate Girls Get Victorian Taste of Football
Western Australia's Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, and Queensland's Naranga Valley State High School recently travelled to Melbourne for a week long football experience with the aim of learning more about the game before they enter their respective school football competitions. An action packed week was planned with AFL Victoria's support that saw the girls play two 'friendly' matches against Melbourne based schools; enjoy a trip to the newly opened National Sports Museum as well as a tour of the MCG, which for many, was their first trip to football's great cathedral. AFL Victoria's Youth Girls Academy umpires volunteered their time in umpiring all matches across the week.
Arriving on the Monday of Anzac Day week, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School also had the opportunity to train with AFL Victoria's Youth Girls Academy members at the Essendon Football Club after watching the Bombers train first. A highlight of their first day in town saw them joining in with the Bombers by being handed the responsible role of being 'ball girls' to collect the balls kicked around the ground as the Bombers prepared for their Anzac Day clash against Collingwood.
On Tuesday, Bunbury ventured to Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School to take on the Lowther Hall Grammar School's girls football team. Whilst they were beaten, they were inspired to emulate their Victorian counterparts feats. Wednesday saw Narangba Valley State High School join the brigade, and were thrown straight to the gladiators in taking on 2007 VSSSA Runner Up State Champions, Sunbury Secondary College, who revelled in a convincing win. An official dinner was held on Wednesday night, with Victorian Women's Football League President and 200 game player, Debbie Lee, the guest of honour. She was joined by Laura Kane, one of AFL Victoria's Youth Girls' Academy members. Both discussed their experiences in playing and being involved in Victorian football, whilst girls from the visiting schools shared their experiences also. Thursday saw Bunbury enjoy a barbeque hosted by St Catherine's School before their match. Bunbury worked well together and enjoyed their first win of the week in beating St Catherine's by nine points. Narangba travelled to Parkdale to take on Mentone Girls Secondary College, one of Victoria's most committed girls' football school. Whilst Narangba didn't get the win they were seeking, they did demonstrate great endeavour and skill.
After attending the Dawn Service, both schools were joined by AFL Victoria's Youth Girls Academy at the Anzac Day match between Essendon and Collingwood. Whilst sombre and exciting all at once, there was a lot of shrieking at the exhiliration of being in an almost full house at the MCG. Newfound friendships between the two schools were put aside the next morning, with the week concluding by both schools applying their Victorian learnings in a fiercly contested battle against each other as part ofthe AFL Victoria's regular Saturday morning Youth Girls competition in the west. Bunbury enjoyed their second win for the week in a game that saw both teams displaying great skill and hardness. Both teams made their way back home on the Sunday, hopefully full of new knowledge to share amongst their team mates and friends at home.