More than 500 young people from across Victoria came together for the TAC Unity Cup Gala Day on Saturday played at Ransford Oval, Parkville.
In its 13th year, the TAC Unity Cup encourages new footballers from culturally diverse backgrounds, aged between 12-17, to participate in the Gala Day.
Partnering with The Huddle, Manor Lake College students had the opportunity to learn AFL9’s football, learning new skills both on and off the field.
“The Unity Cup brings people together from around Melbourne from different cultural backgrounds and it brings people together through football,” Manor Lakes Roos coach, Daniel Dahl said.
“It is important to understand other people’s differences… and it is good for people to experience football who have never played it before, it is a great place for them to have a shot.”
Coming up against a difficult draw on the day, the Manor Lakes Roos went into the day as underdogs.
A win in the first round and a hard loss in the second meant Round 3 and Glen Waverley Secondary College now stood between the Roos and a spot in the finals.
Rallying themselves after their second-round disappointment, the Roos got off to a flying start with star forward Isabelle booting the team’s first two goals.
Designed to transcend cultural and social barriers, it was a heartwarming moment to see the team come together and celebrate the individual successes of their teammates.
Making it through to the semifinals, the Roos came up against some strong competition.
A tough first half showed grit and resilience from Manor Lakes who fought back against the odds in the second, falling short at the final siren.
In the spirit of Unity Cup, the Manor Lakes Roos gave the day their all. Meeting new people and strengthening connections with their teammates, the Roos finished the day with their heads held high.