The University of Melbourne’s oval and athletics track was bursting with excitement as more than 200 kids and their families attended the Melbourne Community Sports Carnival with soccer tournaments as its centre.
Organised by Sports Without Borders and supported by The University of Melbourne, Melbourne University Sport and Drummond Street Services, the Carnival was a collaborative effort of local communities, schools and organisations to bring the local area community together. “I think it was a great idea and it was fun that people could have the best time with their friends,” said a player.
The four competitions held two tournaments for the girls and boys each. The first group featured grade 4 to 6 players and the second group had year 7 to 9 players.
With so many matches to play in one day, the games were timed at 15 minutes and prizes were given out to the winners at the end of the day. “The medals look awesome and because my team won I would love to come back next year and play more soccer,” said a participant.
For those who didn’t play in the tournament, there were activities like soccer drills for younger age groups run by Melbourne City FC, Netball Victoria, Athletics Victoria and Cricket Victoria. The festival included entertainment such as a popular arts and crafts tent, a free barbecue and music playing all afternoon. “There was free food and awesome volunteers. There were lots of people at the tournament,” said a player.
As a volunteer through the Holmesglen Institute, it was Veronica Glugsberger’s job to set up the field and make sure teams were in line to play their next game. “It was good to help out in the community, especially with lots of cultural backgrounds,” she said. One thing Glugsberger took away from volunteering was how much she enjoyed getting kids actively involved in sport.
Glugsberger originally wanted to get into sport event management but as she has become more involved with Sports Without Borders, she now wants to get into sports development. She would like to work in regional areas of Australia where children don’t get the same opportunities they have in the city.
As for the kids in Carlton, they can’t wait to return next year. “Thank you so much Sports Without Borders for the soccer tournament. It was outstanding, we all had so much fun. I hope next year we can do it again because a lot of children enjoyed it and I think the parents had fun watching their child play, too. I loved it and I know everyone loved it too. That’s why you should do it again,” said a player