Multicultural schools unite on football field

The regular football season may be over for another year but the fun has only just begun for some of our game’s newest participants.

This week’s Australia Post Multicultural Schools State Cup saw primary school students from 63 different countries take part in a day of football fun at Punt Road Oval.

More than half of the participants may have been born overseas but that didn’t stop the boys and girls taking to our native game like ducks to water.

Wednesday’s carnival was the first of three big days of action over the next three weeks for Multicultural primary, secondary and English language schools.

The events invite schools that have participated in regional multicultural school tournaments to compete in a round robin style carnival where having fun, rather than winning, is the focus.

Games are played in a non-contact nine-a-side format, giving the kids a chance to learn about our game in a safe, fun and inclusive environment.

The Primary Schools version will be followed by the AFL SportsReady Multicultural Schools Cup for Secondary students next Wednesday at Victoria Park.

Finally, English Language Schools will have their day in the sun on Wednesday, October 29 at the home of the North Melbourne Football Club at Arden Street.

In yesterday’s Australia Post Multicultural (Primary) Schools State Cup it was Mother of God Primary School that lifted the trophy after edging out Pascoe Vale North Primary School in a highly entertaining grand final.

M.O.G: 3. 5 (23) to Pascoe Vale: 3.3 (21)

Best on Ground – #21 Bol Atem (Mother of God PS, South Sudanese Heritage)

In the Girls Division it was St Albans Primary School that triumphed after defeating  Sholem Aleichem College in another fantastic grand final.

St Albans 3.5 (23) to Sholem 0.3 (3) 

Best on Ground – #21 Unice Sawhal (St Albans PS, Burmese heritage)

Another highlight during the day was the holding of sprint races for both the boys and the girls.

Pauline Gonkarnue from St Albans Primary School was the winner of the Girls Grand Final Sprint, while Chester Finau from St Marys Primary School took out the boys race.

AFL Victoria Multicultural Programs Coordinator Kashif Bouns said the three events would help spread the word about our great game.

“Collectively these events will see more than 600 boys and girls from over 20 different schools come together for a day of football fun,” he said.

“Australia Post AFL Multicultural Ambassadors Lin Jong, Patrick Karnezis and Jimmy Toumpas will be cheering on the kids from the sidelines and it’s hoped we might see many of the participants transition from this program into community football.

“Football is a wonderful tool in bridging the gap between people from different backgrounds and helping them assimilate into the Australian way of life.

“Schools will represent eight different regions of Melbourne and will come from some of the most disadvantaged areas of the city.”

Each school that took part awarded one player a best and fairest award, with their attitude to the game and their teammates a significant factor in choosing the winner.

BOYS

Sholem Aleichem College -Supported by Collingwood FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Nico Taranto (Argentinian/Uruguay heritage)

Pascoe Vale North – Supported by Essendon FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Adam Hussein (Lebanese heritage)

Carlton Primary School (Supported by Carlton FC)

BEST AND FAIREST – Mahad Ali (Somali heritage)

St Marys Primary School – Supported by AFL Sth East/Melbourne FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Johnny Mastroianni (Greek heritage)

Our Lady of Southern Cross Primary School – Supported by Werribee FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Charles Green (American/Tongan heritage)

Clayton North Primary School – Supported by Richmond FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Alex Chapman (English heritage)

Debney Meadows Primary School – Supported by Nth Melbourne FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Hussein Abdi (Somali heritage)

Mother of God Primary School – Supported by Western Bulldogs FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Bol Atem (South Sudanese Heritage)

GIRLS

Sholem Aleichem College – Supported by Collingwood FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Mia Borowitz (Israeli heritage)

Dallas Brooks Primary School – Supported by Essendon FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Agnes Tanuaulilo (New Zealand heritage)

Carlton Primary School – Supported by Carlton FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Ayan Bulle (Somali heritage)

St Marys Primary School – Supported by AFL South East/Melbourne FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Cecilia Lay (East Timor heritage)

Our Lady of Southern Cross Primary School – Supported by Werribee FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Kaseylae Soriano (Filipino heritage)

Clayton North Primary School – Supported by Richmond FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Dhia A. Putri (Indonesian heritage)

Debney Meadows Primary School – Supported by Nth Melbourne FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Madina Mohamed (Somali heritage)

St Albans Primary School – Supported by Western Bulldogs FC

BEST AND FAIREST – Pauline Gonkarnue (Liberian heritage)

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