Fun on field at soccer gala day

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Inclusion was the order of the day when close to 900 students from Catholic primary schools in Sydney’s inner west attended a soccer gala day at Meadowbank Park.

The non-competitive event is one of seven soccer and netball gala days held for schools in the region, and encourages students in Years 3 to 6 to be active, make friends with students from other schools, and enjoy screen-free time and fresh air outdoors.

The gala days provide students with an opportunity to participate in a full day of sport outside of the structured environment of school swimming and athletics carnivals.

Sydney Archdiocesan Sport Coordinator Liz Reakes said event facilitators abandoned keeping score at the annual event 10 years ago.

“It completely changes the nature of the day because the kids know everyone is on an equal playing field,” she said.

“They all know who has won and lost a game but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. There’s no attitude of ‘we beat that school’, it’s just ‘we had an amazing day’. The students love it.

“Generally these children don’t all play competitive sport, so this is the biggest opportunity for students in our region to participate in sport.”

A group of 19 students from Holy Cross College Ryde also volunteered to be referees on the day.

Schools that participated in the July 25 event:

  • St Michael’s Catholic Primary Meadowbank
  • St Charles’ Catholic Primary Ryde
  • St Therese Catholic Primary Denistone
  • St John’s Catholic Primary Auburn
  • Holy Spirit Catholic Primary North Ryde
  • St Anthony’s Catholic Primary Marsfield
  • Villa Maria Catholic Primary Hunters Hill
  • St Peter Chanel Catholic Primary Regents Park

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