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Getting in the Spirit

Kerlinda-Lee Gallagher-Young and her family.

Fourteen-year-old Kerlinda-Lee Gallagher-Young, along with her parents and brother travelled from Bridgewater, Tasmania on Spirit of Tasmania to watch North Melbourne in the Round 21 thriller against the Bulldogs.

The trip was part of the Spirit Award, which was created in partnership with North, The Huddle and Spirit of Tasmania.

The prize is awarded to a Year 9 secondary school student across Tasmania and Victoria, who has strongly demonstrated the values of REAL, BOLD, BELONGING, NEVER BEATEN and SPIRIT, through personal achievements and a contribution to the broader school and community.

The Award also included $500 to assist in making an impact on Gallagher-Young’s school and community as well as a return trip for her family on Spirit of Tasmania, including tickets to the game at Etihad Stadium.
Although the Roos lost by a narrow margin, nothing could dampen the positive spirit of the weekend.

“I really enjoyed everything about the entire trip,” Gallagher-Young told North Media.

“Getting to travel on the Spirit was amazing. One of the highlights was meeting the captain, Martin Watts. Captain Martin and all of the crew members were very friendly and made everyone feel welcome.

“I also loved that there was an arcade, an Xbox gaming room, and movie theatre on board.”

The trip to get to Melbourne was only the start of the fun with the Gallagher-Youngs watching the Kangaroos in action.

“It was absolutely great getting to see the North boys warm up in the changerooms,” she added.

“I felt so special walking around and getting the tour of Etihad, but it was a little nerve wracking.

“But it was absolutely great. The atmosphere and the crowd give you goose bumps, and it was awesome.”

Like most Tasmanians, Ben Brown was a favourite, but Jy Simkin’s quick feet and skills also impressed her.

Though the behind the scenes access and the chance to travel on the Spirit were highlights, the best part of the trip was something a little less tangible.

“My favourite part of the entire trip was getting to spend the weekend with my family,” Gallagher-Young said simply.

“We never get to spend time together because of them working and I’m always at dance and school. So, thank you for the experience.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs