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Belmore North wins 2007 Paul Kelly Cup

  • Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 06:34 am ACST
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General News

The Paul Kelly Cup is a football tournament open to Primary Schools in New South Wales and the ACT. It is recognised as one of the landmark school sports competitions in Australia, therefore it is no surprise that many AFL players drafted from Sydney, such as the Swans’ Kieran Jack, can trace their interest in the game back to the Cup. For those unfamiliar with Jack, he is the son of Rugby League legend Garry, who represented New South Wales in 17 State of Origin matches and two years ago was named amongst the best 25 players to ever pull on a Blues guernsey.

The 2007 Cup was recently completed with the very multicultural Belmore North Primary School beating Holbrook and St. Patrick's Primary Schools in the final. By being declared champions, the small school (around 300 students) had effectively outperformed 880 other schools. Belmore North is based in Sydney’s southwest and formerly played Rugby League. They took up football “because the concept of the Paul Kelly Cup was so good”. Their team was made up of children who can trace their roots to countries like Lebanon, Samoa, America and Sierra Leone (there were actually no Anglo-Australians in the team), all were relatively new to the sport, and everyone had played their first football match in the past eighteen months. The team even included a student who is recovering from cancer. Such a competition can only be a positive for footy's push into NSW.