Every year the best futsal teams from the regional Champions of Champions meet at the Gold Coast for the competition to see who will be crowned Australian Champion of Champions. This year Bellingen High had five teams qualify for this event.
This resulted in 43 students travelling together and competing in the event over three days. It was massive, as this year the competition was no longer divided in to Junior and Senior competitions held at different times but were all held together at the Gold Coast Indoor Sport and Leisure Centre. The centre boasts 10 courts all operating games from 8am in the morning until 8pm at night.
All the Bellingen teams performed well and improved over the three days with some great team and individual results.
The 13 years girls' team in their first year of competition improved throughout the competition showing some real grit and determination. They definitely matched their opponents on the court but struggled to get the ball in the net. Their best result was a 2-all draw against Kawana Waters. The experience they gained this year will certainly help them develop for future years.
The 14 years girls had a real up and down competition. They were very competitive in every game but just couldn't seem to get the results. They were the only team to beat the eventual winners Helensvale HS and the only team to lose to the Islamic College of Brisbane (in rather controversial circumstances). They also managed a narrow loss 3-4 to the fancied Northern Beaches team from Sydney. Overall they finished in 5th position just missing out on the semi-finals.
The 15 years boys had a hard competition but never gave up. They achieved some very creditable results going down to Chancellor College (a selective football academy high school) 2-4 and gaining a draw against Armidale Secondary College. Their competition was made harder losing Ethan Winfer with a broken arm on the first day of competition.
The 16 years boys also found the going tough. They had some good results early on but injuries really took their toll leaving them with only a skeleton crew on the court. Despite this, their determination to not give up saw them finish in 6th position overall.
The 19 years girls team performed extremely well starting the competition with a 6-2 win over CHEC followed by a close 3-4 loss to Helensvale in a rough encounter. The final game of the first day saw them defeat Robina 3-0 in a tidy display.
Day 2 began with a 6-2 defeat of Hastings Secondary College followed by a victory over Mansfield 2-1. The third game of the day was against Lake Ginninderra from Canberra and this proved to be the game of the tournament so far. The Lake team is from a senior Secondary College of over 600 senior students, in partnership with the University of Canberra and The Australian Institute of Sport. It was apparent from the start that this was an extremely good team and to match it with them we would need to play our best. A cracker of a game saw the final result 1-1.
This left the girls with one final game against Downlands College on the Sunday morning. A win by 3 goals would put us in first position, a loss would put us in 4th. With the match poised at 4-2 caution was thrown to the wind to get that extra goal. Things unravelled a little towards the end and the final score was 5-5. This meant we had to play the Lake in the semi-final - if we had lost we would have played Robina, which was much more to our liking.
The semi-final was a close affair with the Bellingen girls having some very close chances early on but couldn't quite convert. Half time saw a 0-0 score line. The second half started and saw the Lake penetrate our zone and score a good goal. From here it was always catch-up. Unfortunately it wasn't our day going down eventually 3-0. Lake Ginninderra did deservedly win the final against Robina.
During these tournaments the coaches from all teams select five players from all the teams in their division that they consider are the best players. Usually you are lucky to get one player in in what is called the All Stars 5. Bellingen HS had two players in the 19 years team selected - Willow Neal and Tallara Doye and two players in the 14 years team selected - Pixie Hill and Jamika McAuley-Earnest. This is a credit to their quality of play on the court and the positive way they play the game. It is a real honour and shows the impact these girls had on the competition.