Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Day out at the Footy
One of my new roles at school this year is to be the contact and liaison person for the SW Football Academy run by Clontarf. It's an indigenous education initiative aimed at improving attendance and participation of Aboriginal students, using football as a strategy and incentive. If the kids do the right thing they get toplay footy for Clontarf.
There's a Clontarf program at Newton Moore in Bunbury and this year Busselton has become a satellite project out of here. My task is to monitor the indigenous kids at the school and encourage and support their participation in the program.
Today that meant takng three boys to Bunbury to play in a game against Sevenoaks College from Perth. Sounds simple and straight forward doesn't it?
But! Tracking down and getting commitments from some kids is not that easy.
So when Gavin rang me yesterday to check all was on track for tody, I couldn't give him a solid guarantee we'd be there, or how many, but I was hopeful...
Come this morning there was a significant distraction to my football plans, in the form of a gas leak!! There was a STRONG smell of gas permeating the school, with staff and students wondering where it was coming from and fears as to what it might mean and whether it posed a risk. I joined the hunt for the source, without success, so I then informed the Deputy Principal and Business Manager and suggested we needed to take action. Thankfully after a few phone calls and discussion with othe people it was discovered that there was a gas leak in town near some roadworks(!) and the gas was spreading through the neighbourhoods.
Emergency under conrol, it was back to the footy. I located the three boys. None of them had brought their footy gear!!! One was still planning to come, the other two said they weren't coming!! After a little bit of gentle persuasion and a couple of phone calls they changed their minds and we set off; first to a couple of homes to pick up boots and gear, then onto Bunbury for the game. We arrived a little late so that by the time the boys were changed and ready the game had started. They came on at quarter time and despite not knowing their team mates managed to get themselves into the game and do quite well. Two of them kicked goals and all showed some glimpses of football talent.
Newton Moore, the Kaardas, won the game although it didn't end up as one-sided as the first quarter suggested it would be. Sevenoaks kicked 6 unanswered goals at the start of the third quarter before NM steadied and went on to win.
I was pleased with a few of my photos of the game, capturing a few of the high-flying exploits of the kids on both teams. Indigenous kids often love to go for the big speccy mark.
The boys seemed to enjoy it although they didn't have much to say. They'd been quiet on the way up in the car too, except for constant changing of their beat music on the car stereo; they flicked through the songs constantly till they found one they liked, and when the level of swearing in the lyrics became too great, I'd flick to the next one!!!
Maybe it was the music, or being out in the sun, but I ended up with a headache and had to buy a packet of panadol to deal with it.
Things warmed up once we went to Hungry Jacks for lunch and they started to talk up their performances in the game, each trying to outdo the others with tales of skill and courage. By the end of lunch they'd all been stars who were about to be drafted by Hawthorn or Carlton!
On the way home I had an inspiration and stopped to buy some chocolate bars. I announced we were going to have a footy quiz and the first kid to get three questions right would get the chocolate bar of their choice! Suddenly they were excited and interested!
I was dismayed however at their lack of football knowledge!! They could play, but they didn't know much about the game!!
None of them knew any of these and took a long time and many hints before they got the answers.
Who won the 2004 AFL Grand Final?
Who won the 2007 Brownlow Medal?
Who has kicked the most goals n history?
Who is the captain of Hawthorn? (Two of them professed to be Hawthorn fans!!!)
Who is the coach of Carlton?
Which teams have only won one premiership?
On the plus side, this kept them entertained all the way back to Busselton, and they all managed to get a chocolate bar in the end!!
I didn't get to see much of Favourite Daughter on her big day a I had to work late and had a Youthcare meeting tonight. She had a mixed day. She was unhappy at work because of a mistake she'd made the previous night and the boss' reaction to it. But she had a really lovely day out with her Mum, visiting wineries, galleries and tourist spots up and down the cape. She also got some lovely presents and some encouraging text messages from her friends. A group of them are going camping for a couple of nights at the end of the week to celebrate the occasion.