On Thursday, 15th November 2019, our Year 9 Football Academy students were privileged to visit, socialise and play football with the boys of Banksia Hill Detention Centre. We owe this opportunity to the amazing co-ordination work of Mr Posthuma, Garry Church and Peter Bliss from Football West, and Darren from Banksia Hill Detention Centre. Many of us were apprehensive leading up to the visit, but our perspectives were changed, and we grew in character because of the experience.

Banksia Hill has a football program that is run by Football West and they train every Thursday. We were lucky enough to play against them. We were surprised by the intensity and effort they brought to the game, which was a close one, with multiple shots on both sides, and impressive performances all round. The game ended in a draw, with a score of 1-1, leaving both teams with opportunities to improve. The heat and physicality of their players proved a challenge to us, but we were able to work hard to overcome those challenges. The boys from Banksia Hill showed great sportsmanship and mateship.

After the game, we were able to get to know the boys some more and socialise over lunch. There was some great banter and plenty of laughs. We were able to ask them plenty of questions and talk with them. They were extremely welcoming, and they made us feel comfortable in an environment none of us had been in before. The boys shared that they still attend school and learn, just like we do. They also play basketball, AFL, rugby and football (soccer). If they are well behaved, they also get to watch Football on the TV and play X-box.

While we were there, we were able to witness that these boys are just like us. They are simply people who, like all of us, have made mistakes. We all share similar interests, even though we live very different lives. We got to see the brotherhood and mateship they share, and how this gives them strength in their challenging situation.

All the students from SCBC really valued this opportunity and are extremely happy that we were able to visit Banksia Hill. We hope we get to go back and play against them again in the future.

Message from a College parent:

Just wanted to let you know how much James enjoyed the excursion today – the boys really enjoyed it and I think they all have taken something worthwhile away from it.

Thanks for this opportunity and arranging something very different for the team to experience.