An unlikely and glorious history was made at the bounce of the ball on Haileybury’s main oval in Keysborough, on Saturday 27 April at 9.00am: the inaugural Carey Girls First XVIII cranked into play in the APS/AGSV Aussie Rules Football competition. Girls’ football has been long awaited since co-education was established in 1979 by the then Headmaster Mr Gerard Cramer, yet a flood gate of interest has opened at Carey in the past year. In 2018, approximately 45 girls were listed for Senior and Middle School teams: a great show of interest which has been surpassed this season with a remarkable roll of over 90 Carey girls committing to footy in 2019.
Despite limited pre-season training and match practice, the First Girls team quickly established control of the contest against Haileybury. Within the first five minutes, key forward Maddy Collins took a chest mark on an angle and duly took her time calculating her set shot from 40 metres out. With sound technique, she ‘kicked truly’, as the late AFL commentator Mike Williamson would call, and the very first goal was recorded for the mighty Carey Girls. This goal was truly significant and symbolic. It was a goal for all the girls before who would have jumped at the opportunity to represent their school in football, and it was for all the members of the Carey community who value equal opportunity in sport.
Inspired by two early goals in the first quarter, the girls continued to find form and strength in teamwork to run out convincing winners by 45 points. Coach Mr Rhys Adams, in his second season at the helm, has done a fine job teaching the basics and game style to this intrepid trailblazing squad and augurs well for a successful season. The late Mr Cramer, a keen footy fan, would likely look from above with his characteristic humanitarian pride of this exciting development in co-education at Carey in the year 2019 A.D.
Carey GIRLS’ sport – we love it!
Senior School Teacher