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BIS Community Football Friendlies 2021

It was particularly thrilling to once again be able to host the annual BIS Community Football Friendlies last Saturday 3rd April 2021 after not being able to do so the previous year.  This inspirational event, which has been running since 2008, fosters community spirit and provides an opportunity for us as a school to reach out to less privileged children in our local community. 

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It is unique in that it brings together our community partner children and BIS students for not only a fun activity playing in mixed teams but an experience which impacts them each individually and as team players.  

This year we invited 45 children from Binh An, Binh Trieu and Binh Tho Development Centres, three shelters run by Friends For Street Children, to join us for a morning of football!  The entire event was planned, organised and run by a group of Year 12 students who had nominated it as their IBDP CAS Project.   This compulsory component of the IBDP has challenged them to work collaboratively over the past few months and the process has provided them with ample opportunity to develop their problem-solving and decision-making skills as they needed to revise the format in order to ensure the on-campus health and safety requirements were met.  

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“Although we found this project challenging, it was also very rewarding because it allowed us to see the direct impact of all our efforts through the smiling faces of the children! It was amazing to realise how something as simple as a football match could bring such unity between children of such different backgrounds.  For us, it truly reflected what authentic community is about.” - Benjamin Brownrigg and the CAS Community Football Friendlies Project Team

This year, the friendlies were played in three separate sessions with each of the centres participating in just one. Despite fewer players being invited compared to previous years, the atmosphere was one of great excitement and anticipation as teams bonded in their mutual quest to win!  It was evident that new friendships were formed, with all the children being challenged to use their communication and leadership skills to reach a mutual outcome.

The day would not have been the success that it was without the tremendous support given my our sponsors, Rising Star Football Academy who not only provided coaches and referees but full kit for each of the players, The Loop Restaurant for their delicious fruit trays as well as Brim Coffee and Cuizo who supplied all the refreshments. Thank you too to the Year 12 BIS students who volunteered their time for the morning to be mentors and coaches to the teams and to Mr John Handscome who ensured everything came together in what was a resoundingly successful event!
 

Tracey Brownrigg
Co-Curricular Coordinator and Community Service Project Manager

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