Schools turn green and gold as Matildas chase glory
Public schools are turning green and gold in support of the Matildas as they play for a spot in the World Cup final tonight. Luke Horton reports.
16 August 2023
Students at Glendore Public School in Newcastle’s west are among thousands of children across the state donning green and gold in support of the Matildas as they vie for a place in the World Cup final tonight.
The school’s nearly 700 students joined their principal Annette van Egmond, mother of Matildas player Emily, in a mufti day ahead of the team’s semi-final clash against England in Sydney.
Year 6 student Lara, whose favourite player is van Egmond, said she desperately hoped the Matildas win.
“My family has tickets to the final,” she said.
Year 5 student Lucas said his family would watch the game from home and, as with every Matildas match, there would be plenty of yelling and screaming.
“We’re loud, but my Nan’s louder. I can hear her all the way from Wollongong,” he said.
Mrs van Egmond said her nerves were still recovering from the thrilling quarter-final match where the Matildas defeated France in a penalty shootout.
She has been at every Matildas game to watch Emily and her teammates play at this World Cup and will again be pitch-side tonight.
“It would be amazing if they make the final. They’ve already gone further in a World Cup than any other Australian side before,” she said.
NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar said he would be wearing green and gold today.
“The entire public education community will be cheering the Matildas on,” he said.
Wauchope Public School is today awash with green and gold as the proud alma mater of three former Matildas – Tracie McGovern, Rhali Dobson and Caitlin Cooper.
At Bowral High School, students will be pitted against their teachers for a lunchtime soccer showdown, while Wilberforce Public School’s canteen will be serving green and gold jelly treats.
Killara High School principal Robin Chand told the Daily Telegraph students had been electrified with “a sense of euphoria and strong sense of nationalism”, and it was flowing out on to the field. Even on rainy days students want to stay on the pitch.
“In the Matildas, we see the truest description of inspiration,” he said.
Tiny Timbumburi Public School, near Tamworth, has run its own World Cup this week with students playing in the teams of Australia, Netherlands, Japan and Sweden in the knockout competition.
At Bonnet Bay Public School in Sydney’s south, students are today researching the Matildas team players. Each class from Year 3 to 6 will be working in groups learning about the Women’s World Cup – all in their green and gold, of course.