Northern NSW Football hosted two school gala days this week to offer a taste of football to scores of primary school-aged children.
The Year 3/4 Boys and Girls Gala Day was held at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Tuesday, with the Year 5/6 Gala Day following on Thursday.
Nineteen local public schools including Dora Creek, Caves Beach, Toronto, Mount Hutton, Bellbird, Biraban, Pelaw Main, Kitchener, Jewells, Nulkaba, Cessnock West, Cessnock, Ellalong, Cooranbong, Bonnells Bay, Arcadia Vale, Rathmines, Waratah West and Kearsley took part in the event.
More than 750 students attended across the two days to make up the 110 teams in action, which featured 76 mixed teams and 34 girls only teams.
NNSWF Head of Football Development Peter Haynes said it was an exciting time for football leading up to the 2021 season.
“We’re planning on 2021 being our biggest season yet and hosting events like these gala days is a great way to build that anticipation ahead of the season,” Haynes said.
“Gala days are also a great way to give kids a taste of football who might not have had the opportunity before. And hopefully from there we can encourage them to contact their local club and join the football family.
“These gala days are for students of all skill levels to come along and try football in a non-competitive environment. No experience was necessary and we encouraged schools to bring students who would like to try football for the first time.”
A combination of players from both year groups made up the teams, with each match consisting of two 10-minute halves.
Five players took to the field at a time, with each team participating in four matches.
The Northern NSW Football Community Football team ran the event, while an enthusiastic group of PD/H/PE students from Warners Bay High School officiated the matches.
Interested players can find their club and register to play football in 2021 at www.northernnswfootball.com.au/player-headquarters.