The 2022 ‘AFL Unity Cup’ Carnival was recently contested, with GWSC students coming together to form seventeen ‘Multicultural Magpies’ teams who played AFL 9’s against fellow culturally and linguistically diverse sides from communities all over Victoria.
A glorious Melbourne morning welcomed our teams at the La Trobe University Playing Fields in Bundoora on Sunday the 27th of March, 2022 as they prepared to participate in the fourteenth ‘AFL Unity Cup’ Carnival. The ‘AFL Unity Cup’ program aims to bring together culturally and linguistically diverse communities from all over Victoria to celebrate diversity, promote acceptance and foster respect, whilst playing our Indigenous game of Australian Rules football.
Our girls and boys ‘GWSC Multicultural Magpies’ AFL 9’s teams had an absolute ball throughout the day, as they engaged with a multitude of cultural education programs, participated in activations and performances alongside a range of community organisations, whilst scoring a stack of footy freebies in the Footy Festival Zone as well. Players and coaches also enjoyed a nutritious lunch from the free canteen and food trucks, in addition to taking home their very own, personalised footy guernseys and TAC prize packs!
Over 400 participants competed in the ‘AFL Unity Cup’ Carnival this year, with our ‘GWSC AFL Unity Cup Hub’ fielding the most teams across six separate divisions. The AFL 9’s competitions were played in the correct spirit, with some highly entertaining and skilful teamwork on display. All of our students represented themselves and our College community so very well; demonstrating respect, understanding and fairness to all in attendance, both on and off the field. It was also fantastic to see so many of our GWSC students, staff and families out and about barracking for our teams; your constant encouragement from beyond the boundary line was amazing.
Special mentions must also go to our five ‘GWSC Multicultural Magpies’ teams who made their respective Grand Finals on the day, with two of these teams going on to win their divisions of the ‘AFL Unity Cup’. Our U13 Girls and U13 Boys teams were both ecstatic to take home the ‘AFL Unity Cup’ in celebration of their Grand Final success, whilst our U15 Girls, U17 Boys and U17 Girls all narrowly went down in the decider of their respective divisions. All of our ‘GWSC Multicultural Magpies’ AFL 9’s teams should be very proud of their endeavours on the day, a fantastic effort by all involved. Thank-you also to the 46 GWSC staff members (coaches and support staff) who assisted students during our six week training program and also at the carnival; providing them with coaching, inspiration, direction, first aid and support; your time and efforts were greatly appreciated by all. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the AFL for inviting our College to once again participate in this special multicultural AFL program, as well as the Collingwood Football Club who sponsored our 2022 ‘AFL Unity Cup’ program. Our students and staff were very fortunate to be involved in a range of incredible experiences throughout the program, which were kindly organised by both organisations.
We look forward to the 2023 ‘AFL Unity Cup’ program, which is certain to be an even bigger and better celebration of many cultures playing one game, our game, of Australian Rules football! #Footy’sForAll !!!!
Yours in Footy, Mr Mark Robinson.