Amaroo and Mount Stromlo schools unite for Gaelic football match

Gaelic gathering: Program coordinator Kyle Bauman with year 9 student Nick Gainey  testing out their Gaelic football skills. Photo: Andrew Brown

Gaelic gathering: Program coordinator Kyle Bauman with year 9 student Nick Gainey testing out their Gaelic football skills. Photo: Andrew Brown

It may be a sport more commonly played in Ireland, but it’s acting as a way to bring two schools closer.

Students from both Amaroo School and Mount Stromlo High School came together on Friday for a match of Gaelic football to strengthen ties between the schools.

The match was played between students involved in boys’ education programs at both schools for students in years 9 to 10.

The coordinator of Amaroo’s program, Kyle Baulman, said the sporting event was a way to foster stronger ties between the similar programs.

“The game is about leadership and teamwork and it also shows how two teams from different communities can come together and have a good competitive game, but also with that underlying theme of respect,” he said.

This has been the first year Amaroo’s program has been running, which has 46 students involved.

After the success of similar programs for young boys in other ACT, Mr Baulman said it was important to bring it to Amaroo.

“We aim to turn young adolescents into contributing young men in society,” he said.

“We do this through positive role-modelling and also lots of hands-on learning.”

While sport and exercise play a large role in the education programs at both schools, the sport of Gaelic football was chosen for the sporting match to level the playing field.

“We chose it because it was a happy medium between other sports and it takes people out of their comfort zone,” Mr Baulman said.

Year 9 student Nick Gainey is one of the people who’s part of the program at Amaroo.

He said the program has helped bring other students closer together.

“There’s a lot of options to try out new things and also get involved in the school and help some of the younger kids,” Nick said.

While the Gaelic football match between the two schools was deemed to be a success, Mr Baulman said he hopes it’s the start of a larger partnership between the schools and their respective programs.

“Hopefully we can expand it to all the boys’ education programs in the ACT and make it into a community cup,” he said.

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