Australian Football growing in London’s schools


 by Laura Frazer 

Laura is a PE teacher and Aussie Rules in Schools Ambassador from Australia who is currently working at Preston Manor. She has found a way to combine her love for the sport and teaching by introducing the game to her classroom.  This was the first clash between two high school girls teams in London- a great step forward for the growth of the sport. 

On Wednesday July 9th, Preston Manor hosted an all-girls game of Australian Rules Football against Alec Reed Academy. The girls had been training for the last five weeks – both in class and after school – learning the game and also the skills and rules involved.

The game consisted of two twenty-five minute halves, played on the back field at Preston Manor High School. The teams were briefed as a group before the game began and congratulated on their hard work leading up to the game. The captains from both sides met in the middle of the ground- Jada Blake and Kaydene Dacas representing Preston Manor and Chloe Matthews from Alec Reed Academy. We were also lucky enough to have Adam Bennett from AFL England umpiring the game and Gaelle Hazimeh from AFL Europe in attendance also.

Alec Reed won the toss and chose the scoring end as both teams took the field. The first half was a struggle for both teams to clear the ball – but did not disappoint in the level of intensity the girls competed for the ball. When given space, both teams were able to show off varying levels of skill, running with the ball and delivering it to surrounding team mates. Jada Blake and Kaydene Dacas were excellent for Preston Manor across the half back line, successfully locking the ball in Preston Manor’s forward half.

Halfway through the first half, Preston Manor got on the board, kicking a behind in a very congested forward line. With five minutes to go in the first half, Tori Doughty managed to put the ball through the goals to give Preston Manor a seven point lead going into half time.

In the second half, Alec Reed came out with a refreshed attitude and looked to take the game on. The ball was down Alec Reed’s end for the majority of the second half, with Preston Manor struggling to clear the ball out and Alec Reed locking the ball in really well.

With ten minutes to go, Renaise Lewis from Alec Reed kicked a goal, making it one point the difference. No more scoring shots were taken, with the ball spending the majority of the second half in the midfield.

At the end of the game, Preston Manor came out victorious, winning by just one point. The umpire awarded a best on ground medal for both teams, with Kajanthiha Kanagaratnam from Preston Manor and Debbie Slack from Alec Reed receiving the medals.

The coaches would also like to acknowledge the following players for outstanding performances on field – Kajanthiha Kanagaratnam, Chantelle Henry, T’mari Smicle, Xheni Dedja, Rianna Nurse, Jada Blake and Kaydene Dacas from Preston Manor and Debbie Slack, Karthika Sriskantharajah, Renaise Lewis and Chloe Matthews from Alec Reed Academy. We look forward to the next game!


Preston Manor: 1.1- 7

Alec Reed Academy- 1.0- 6

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On the 11th July St Agatha’s Catholic Primary School and Reigate Priory School played a match in Kingston-Upon-Thames. Each school was represented by two teams with the following scores, first match St Agatha’s 3.3.21  Reigate 2.2.14.  Second game St Agatha’s. 1.2.8 Reigate 6.2.38.

If you are interested in developing the game in schools please get in touch with Tia at