Sport early days memories

Sport at Marcellin - Len Jerrems

Sports Offered:
Swimming, Cricket, Football, Athletics & for a while (I think) Tennis.

Internal School sports competition were House based. Houses were Joseph (Red), Champagnat (Gold), Aloysius (Blue) & Benedict (Green). Originally, boys were placed in a different House each year, but later stayed in the same House for all of their school life.

Participation in House competitions was generally compulsory, except for boys playing in the inter-school competition at the same time.

Inter School Competition:

the School was in the Associated Catholic Colleges (St Bede (Mentone), CBC Victoria Parade, North Melbourne, St Kilda & Essendon & St Joseph (East Brunswick) competition. The main sides were Under 15’s & Open age (under 20 years?), with training (at least for football) on a Monday (after School), cricket & football practice matches on the weekend (generally Saturday) & cricket & football competition matches on a Wednesday afternoon. Sides & their captains were selected by their coach without any consultation. 

Cricket bowling & batting averages came from game performances, but football best & fairest's were  determined by a side’s coach (I believe). We obviously had scorers, but I can’t remember whether these were volunteers or not.

Sport Facilities:

Cricket – there were 8(?) Cricket nets at the western end of the school yard, all concrete pitches. Originally, except for 'batting cages' (wire netting), the nets were of cord, but later were replaced with wire netting. I think the nets could be, & were, removed during the football season. Nets were allocated on a school class basis. Bats & cork balls were provided by the School & for sometime balls were painted different colours & allotted to nets on a colour coded basis. You queued to bat & bowl, but by-passed the queue if you bowled the batsman out. Boys were supposed to retire from batting after facing a certain number of balls.

During the season, cricket was played at each recess, before (& sometimes) after school. House games were played at a number of external venues. Under 15 matches were played on concrete wickets, with home matches being played at Anderson Park. Open age matches were played on turf wickets with home competition matches being played at Rathmines Rd Oval. Any practice was at the School’s nets.

Football – on a daily basis was kick to kick in the school yard (various areas were allotted on a school class basis). House matches were played at a number of external venues, including Howard Dawson Reserve (South Camberwell) & Deepdene Oval. Under 15 & Open age competition home games were usually played at Rathmines Rd Oval, then Camberwell Sports Ground. Inter school competition home practice matches were played at various venues, including Howard Dawson Reserve.

Sports Education:

There were no sports scholarships, professional or dedicated sports teachers or coaches (Except for Brendon Edwards as Open age football coach in 1960). I think a Brother was nominated as Sports Master & generally ran the various sports programs & each inter school competition side had a Brother appointed as coach, but this was an ‘extra’ to the Brother principal role as a teach of School classes. 


The School was numerically small, plus in the early years did not go to Matric (possible no inter school competition cricket &/or football was played until Matric was offered). Consequentially, picking & filling a competition side was fairly difficult so many boys played well above their age group. This started to change in the later 1950’s as the number of older boys increased & groups of boys gained greater experience playing in competitions outside of the School.

Transportation, Equipment etc:

The school did not have its own transport facilities & both house sports participants & inter school competition players got themselves (public transport, walked or rode) to home matches & football training. Buses were hired for inter school football competition away games.

The School provided all cricket equipment for inter school matches (boys could provide a certain amount of their own equipment if they wanted). The school also provided footballs for home games. Boys provided their own cricket & football uniforms.