Cobargo girls stand tall in Paul Kelly Cup challenge

COBARGO Public School’s girls Aussie rules team has proven that size is no barrier to success as it handsomely dispatched all contenders in both the local and regional championships to secure a place at the Paul Kelly Cup state championships.

The Paul Kelly Cup is the largest AFL primary school competition in NSW and the ACT.

Games are played on a smaller field using modified 12-a-side rules.

The Cup consists of teams competing in round robin carnivals in their local area with the winning team progressing to a regional round robin carnival.

From there the winner gets to compete at the state championships in Sydney.

Generally teams in the competition have players from Years 5 and 6, but as Cobargo is a small school, its team has players from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.

This means the Cobargo girls team has some of the smallest and youngest players in the state competition.

The Cobargo girls competed at their local carnival in Narooma earlier this month and progressed to the next round undefeated with victories over Narooma and Bermagui Public School teams.

The regional championships were held in Batemans Bay on June 21, where Cobargo played against Eden Public School, Sanctuary Point Public School and Nowra Anglican College for a spot in the state championships.

In the first match of the regional championships Cobargo defeated the highly favoured team from Nowra.

It then scored resounding victories over Eden and Sanctuary Point and became the only school to post three wins on the day to progress undefeated to the state championships.

The most surprising thing about the Cobargo team is that few of the girls have watched an AFL match and none have any experience playing Aussie rules competitively outside the Paul Kelly Cup.

The girls have been trained during their lunch breaks by their coach, Cobargo teacher Ben Grant, who describes the team as “determined with a capital D”.

The Cobargo Public School girls team will be playing for the state title in the Paul Kelly Cup on August 4 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.


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