Twenty-eight Scotch boys benefited in many ways from a memorable visit to Darwin and the Tiwi Islands.
GEORGE McMAHON (YEAR 11) PHOTOGRAPHY: MR JOSH McNEILL
Every two years, boys from both Years 10 and 11 are fortunate to be involved in a trip to the Northern Territory to develop football ability and experience a unique culture.
This year, 28 boys under the watchful eyes of Mr Holding, Mr McNeill, Mrs Westmore, Mr Broadbear, Mr Chris Naish, Mr Mick Smith, Mr Brett Maginness (’77), Mr John Anderson and Dr Adam Nettleton (’93) set off for Darwin with great expectations, as reports from previous tours had kept us motivated throughout the term. We all knew that the trip was unique.
Stepping off the plane, the heat and humidity struck us. It had the majority of us wondering whether we would be able to complete the arduous schedule ahead. We were all very privileged to have our first training session at the TIO Stadium, which enabled us to gain a feel for the conditions we would be combating during the week.
Many of us struggled, and were thankful for both the cool room and the constant supply of water. The theme of hydration was drilled into our subconscious, and water bottles became a part of one’s attire when experiencing the vibrant territory. Whether it was witnessing giant crocodiles feed or fishing in the beautiful blue waters off the coast, everyone took their bottles.
While we were in Darwin, our schedule ensured we squeezed every last bit of culture from the city. This involved seeing both the art museum and the war museum. On entering each of these places, the boys really breathed in our country’s history and eagerly read into events that made our nation. It was a memorable experience.
The football we played as a group in Darwin was of a high intensity and quality against the under 16 Northern Territory state squad. Two games were played over the duration of our trip, and in both, the boys were tested physically and mentally to rise above the conditions and play for each other. With true grit and determination, the Scotch side earned victory on both occasions, and learnt valuable lessons about themselves and football. It was a brilliant group effort and we were proud of our achievements.
Of these events the one most treasured by the group was the trip to the Tiwi Islands. Being off the mainland, we were transported in small groups in tiny passenger planes. Eventually all of us safely landed on Bathurst Island anticipating a great day.
Immediately we were astonished by the lifestyle differences on Tiwi compared to Darwin. The town was miniscule yet everywhere we went people waved and were eager to join conversation. It was a welcoming atmosphere that engulfed us all and we were all happy to be there. Boys from the island showed us traditional hunting methods through the museum and were proud of their history as a people.
We took part in two games against Xavier College and Tiwi College, the primary schools on the islands. These games were played with great spirit and laughter. The talent of the boys from both schools was amazing and their athleticism left us in their tracks.
We were sad to leave the island and all moments from that day will be looked back on with great affection.
The trip to the Northern Territory was unforgettable and the growth of each person was evident. It was a superbly run trip and was a credit to both staff and the boys. The rich culture of Bathurst Island and Darwin touched us all, and, through football and culture, the group has become much closer.
I urge anyone involved in football in the younger years to attempt this trip and hope that Scotch’s ties to the Northern Territory remain strong.
Scotch College and Tiwi College footballers come together after their recent match at Nguiu
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)