With Matildas like Sam Kerr, Hayley Raso, Caitlin Foord and South Australians Charli Grant and Alex Chidiac inspiring the next generation of players, it was a ‘no brainer’ for St Joseph’s to join the hundreds of schools around the nation that have already signed up to be part of Catholic Mission’s annual school engagement program.
Charli and Alex also have a connection to Catholic education in the State, with Charli completing her primary education at Emmaus Catholic School at Woodcroft, and Alex studying her early secondary years at St Mary’s College in the city.
In the lead up to the launch of Socktober 2023 on August 1, Adelaide Archbishop Patrick O’Regan and Bishop Karol Kulczycki SDS from the Port Pirie Diocese joined students from St Joseph’s at the nearby Coopers Stadium to soak up some of the atmosphere of the World Cup venue.
Bishop Karol, who was raised in Poland, said he had always been an avid fan of the game and grew up playing football.
Until recently, when injury intervened, he was still putting on his boots and playing in a seven-a-side competition in Port Pirie.
Both he and Archbishop O’Regan said they would be cheering on the Matildas throughout the tournament.
Diocesan director for Catholic Mission in Adelaide, Tony Johnston, said the number of schools participating in Socktober had been steadily increasing since the program was introduced four years ago.
“We’ve been really pleased with the uptake from schools and there is no doubt having the World Cup in Australia this year has heightened awareness and interest in the world game,” he said.
“Socktober is a fun activity where students are able to kick goals and at the same time learn through Catholic Social Teaching how their actions can make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children around the world.”
In line with the theme ‘Hearts on Fire, Feet on the Move’, the program invites students to make a ‘sockball’ like those found on playgrounds around the world – using old socks, T-shirts, bubble wrap and a plastic shopping bag – and participate in penalty shoot-outs at their school. Some schools also run additional fundraisers as part of Catholic Mission Month in October.
Money raised goes towards funding 265 projects in 41 countries and 14 parishes in Australia that are supported by Catholic Mission. This year’s focus will be a medical clinic run by the Salesian Sisters in Timor-Leste.
Schools throughout the State are still able to sign up to be part of the Socktober program which runs until the end of October. A video has been produced by Catholic Mission to help spread the word about the program and how to ‘kick goals for good’.
For more information go to socktober.org.au or contact Tony on 8210 8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org