Sporting exchange

The Mount Gambier High School and Glossop High School annual exchange looked a little different this year, with the recent re-branding of Riverland High School to Berri Regional Secondary College earlier this year.

Despite the name change of the longest-running school exchange program in Australia, the high standard of competition, sportsmanship and friendship between the two schools remained strong.

The 77th annual exchange ran with the same format it had over the past two years due to the ongoing implications COVID has had on the homestay experience, with the sporting matches held in Bordertown across a full day of competition and a debate held the day prior through a virtual contest.

This enabled the two schools to meet halfway, competing in basketball (boys and girls), soccer (boys and girls), football (boys) and netball (girls – division A and B).

This year the sporting cup was renamed in honour of the founding Mount Gambier High School principal – ‘The L Carthew Sporting Cup’, while the debating shield was renamed after the Glossop Principal – ‘The W Symonds Debating Shield’.

With an early and cold start, students travelled to Bordertown to participate in the sporting events of the exchange.

Unfortunately, the day did not get off to the greatest of starts with the first scheduled matches needing to be postponed due to condensation leaving the basketball court damp and unsafe to play on.

With some quick shuffling of events the day got under way with the girls ‘B’ netball and the boys football.

In both of these games, Mount Gambier High School was successful, giving them an important 2-0 start.

The ‘A’ netball followed with Mount Gambier High School again proving too strong.

After a short break for lunch, the boys basketball took place at th Bordertown Primary School gymnasium.

While Berri was successful in taking out a close contest in the boys’ game, the Mount Gambier High Schools girls were too strong giving them an unassailable overall lead 4-1.

The two soccer matches saw Berri steal both wins, leaving the final ledger at 4-3 in favour of Mount Gambier High School.

Following Berri’s domination of the debating competition since 2017, Mount Gambier High School was determined to finally take back the shield.

Marni Black, Callum McIntyre McGregor and Anna Anbu debated strongly as the negative team in the topic ‘It is better to be truthful than kind’ and were awarded clear winners for this year’s Symonds Debating Shield.

The two schools look forward to returning to the full sporting and cultural program which has been a large part of school culture for over 70 years, with Berri due to host the exchange in 2023.

Mount Gambier High School special sports coordinator Kerran Wingard said the students performed at a high standard in all of the events and the competition was very close.

“We are proud of the students who represented our school on the day, with a number playing across two sports,” he said.

“It was a pleasure to see both schools show pride and passion when representing their school communities.

“We had a number of students, staff and parents fill vital roles of referees, coaches and sports trainer – the day would not have been a success without them.

“We were excited to win the very first ‘Carthew Sporting Cup’ and the debating competition has been dominated by Berri in recent years, so for our students to win that shield as well was a great achievement.”

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