High school students in Lismore will be competing for football supremacy when the inaugural Southern Cross University Cup kicks off this term.
Aimed at students aged 16 and under, the new competition will see boys and girls from the newly formed Rivers Secondary College (a combination of Kadina, Richmond River and Lismore High Schools) go head-to-head with students from Trinity Catholic College and St John’s College Woodlawn to find Lismore’s top high school football side.
The Southern Cross Football Centre will host the matches and general manager Scott Collis said he hoped the Southern Cross University Cup would grow into a prestigious regional competition.
‘We certainly hope to expand in years to come to include all high schools in the Northern Rivers region’, says Mr Collis.
The SCU Cup concept was born out of the passion of dedicated local teachers like Tony Wilson, John Eakin and Jim Holmes who saw a need for a round robin tournament to complement the hugely successful Bill Turner knock out competition which already attracts teams from all over NSW.
‘The Bill Turner Cup is one of the largest team sport competitions in the world but because it is a knock out many local schools finish their involvement early and have limited opportunities for other games’, says Kadina High School’s Tony Wilson.
‘The beauty of the SCU Cup is that it is round robin style with each team getting a minimum of six games. The students are excited and we think it will be a great competition.’
Matches will be played Wednesday and Thursday evenings each week for six weeks under lights on the world-class synthetic field at the Southern Cross Football Centre located in East Lismore.
The boys’ matches will start at 5.30pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday July 22, with the girls taking to the field at the same times on Thursday July 23.
Mr Collis said he believed the tournament was a perfect fit for the Centre and Southern Cross University.
‘The Southern Cross Football Centre is a community initiative of Southern Cross University, promoting education and participation through sport.
‘We are proud that one of our first initiatives under the facility’s new name involves a partnership between Southern Cross University and local high schools to give young players a different opportunity.’
Richmond River High teacher John Eakin said friendships and memories were forged at interschool sport competitions.
‘Most of us remember interschool clashes as some of our best times in junior football’, he says. ‘Playing against other schools was something we all looked forward to and I hope this tournament will create some great memories for the students’.