IT wasn’t all training for the Matildas with a visit to Urquhart Park Primary School last Thursday. Excited children welcomed Matildas co-captain Clare Polkinghorne, coach Alen Stajcic along with players from Ballarat’s women’s soccer team to their school, as well as Deputy Mayor Cr Belinda Coates. School Principal Janet Hillgrove said she was overwhelmed that the Matildas had made the effort to come to the school.
“It’s really inspiring for our students to meet the Matildas but also to have them as part of opening our new soccer arena is also extremely exciting for our community,” Ms Hillgrove said.
“What it does is bring everybody together.”
Ms Hillgrove added that the new soccer pitch was built in just a couple of weeks, with the goal to have it finished for the Matildas visit. “We haven’t allowed any of the children to play on it yet because we wanted it opened by the Matildas,” she said.
Cr Belinda Coates added that it was lovely to see how much effort the students and school had put in to get the Matildas to come and visit them.
“They are so proud and pumped to have them (Matildas) here,” Cr Coates said.
“And it’s terrific to have it tied in with this space here very good timing.”
Coach Alen Stajcic said Thursday’s visit included the best reception they have ever had.
“It really makes you appreciate how well the team has done in recent times and the school has gone to some much effort to much us feel welcome,” he said. “The length and effort they have gone to to show their respect for the team is enormous.”