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australia
Day 7
Monday, 4th July, 2005
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Report: Ailbhe McNeela (Hockey Team, 4th Year 2005)

In my opinion this is when the whole tour really began, this is what we were here in Australia for, to play sport. We met at Forest Lake College, still half asleep. But as we sat on the bus we all began to wake up and the nervousness hit us. As we arrived at the State Hockey Centre Stadium I began to feel sick, I had no idea what was to come. Changing into our new gear, our spirits rose as we focused on the game ahead.

Our first match was against Tawa College from New Zealand. They looked just as nervous as we did. Once we got out onto the pitch that all vanished and we all became confident. I was in at left back. I was really excited to be playing and it all felt very professional. After a draw from that match we felt really good, that we had a chance. We ate lunch in a big circle making new friends with girls from other teams.

At 12.40 we played Brisbane Womens Hockey Association, the local team. Unfortunately we lost, but we gained a whole new group of friends who we stayed with throughout the week.

That night was a cultural night for all of the athletes (girls and boys!) to come together and show a part of our culture. It took place at Brisbane Boys College. We heard songs, saw dances and best of all saw the haka performed. Our girls did an Irish Dance and I think everyone was very impressed with it.

ailbhe and pals

Me and new friends

ailbhe at seaworld

Sharks, here I come!