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School Sport Guidelines – Diocese of Wollongong Sports Council

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The Wollongong Diocesan Sports Council is a body representative of the Catholic Education Office, Principals and Sports Coordinators from all Diocesan primary schools. The Sports Council meets four times per year to coordinate inter-school sports activities and facilitate the representative pathways open to our students and teachers. All schools should be represented at these meetings as important decisions effecting policy and distribution of information may impact on individual school participation.

Meeting Dates for 2017:

Thursday 31 January

4 - 6pm

Thursday 27 April

4 - 6pm

Tuesday 25 July

4 - 6pm

Tuesday 17 October

4 - 6 pm

Because of the number of schools in the Wollongong Diocese, schools are clustered into two regions for swimming, athletics, basketball, netball and football (soccer) carnivals. These regions are the Coastal and Western Regions as outlined below:



St Paul's (Albion Park)

St Thomas Aquinas, (Bowral)

St Joseph's, (Bulli)

St Paul's, (Camden)

St Columbkille's, (Corrimal)

St John's, (Campbelltown)

St John's, (Dapto)

St Mary's, (Eagle Vale)

Good Samaritan, (Fairy Meadow)

Holy Family, (Ingleburn)

St Brigid's, (Gwynneville)

St Michael's, (Mittagong)

Holy Cross, (Helensburgh)

St Paul's, (Moss Vale)

Ss Peter & Paul, (Kiama)

St Clare's, (Narellan Vale)

Star of the Sea, (Milton)

St Justin's, (Oran Park)

St Michael's, (Nowra)

St Anthony's, (Picton)

St Patrick's, (Port Kembla)

OLHC, (Rosemeadow)

Stella Maris, (Shellharbour)

St Thomas More, (Ruse)

Nazareth, (Shellharbour City)

St Francis, (Edmondson Park)

St Michael's, (Thirroul)


St Pius X, (Unanderra)


St Francis of Assissi, (Warrawong)


St Therese, (West Wollongong)



In the Diocese of Wollongong, primary schools are invited to participate in annual carnivals for Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics. These major events also serve as a selection process for Wollongong Diocesan teams. Children may progress from school level, to Diocesan, to Mackillop, to NSW PSSA and ultimately National Level in selected sports. (See pathways on CEO sports homepage –

Primary school children are also invited to attend trials for positions in Wollongong Diocese representative teams for the following summer and winter sports: Basketball, Tennis, Cricket, Touch, Softball, Football (Soccer), Rugby League, Rugby Union, Hockey, Netball and Australian Rules. These trials are held annually and link to the Mackillop selection trials.

Gala days in Soccer, Netball, Basketball and Cricket and are also staged. These carnivals are not for selection purposes but rather to encourage participation. A Rugby Union knockout day is also scheduled with the winning team representing the Diocese against other Diocesan winners. Catholic school invitation gala days organised by sporting associations are also offered in Rugby League, AFL and Dragon Tag.


The following arrangements need consideration:

  • The suggested number of officials (parents / teachers / secondary students) required to facilitate the running of carnivals are as follows:
    • Swimming (Coastal and Western Regions) – 25
    • Cross Country – 30
    • Athletics (Coastal and Western Regions) – 30
  • Parent volunteers and teachers released from schools are essential for the smooth running and success of the carnivals. Assistance is also sought from Local swimming clubs, Amateur Athletics Association, Sport Specific Development Officers and University Students in supplying officials.
  • Casual relief for teachers to be convenors and team managers are distributed as follows:
    • Swimming
      • 3 days for each regional carnival – 6 days
      • 2 days for diocesan selection trials – 2 days
      • 1 day each for team managers/officials for diocesan teams – 4 days
    • Athletics
      • 3 days for each regional carnival – 6 days
      • 2 days for diocesan selection trials – 2 days
      • 1 day each for team managers/officials for diocesan teams – 4 days
    • Cross Country
      • 3 days for diocesan carnival – 3 days
      • 1 day each for team managers/officials for diocesan teams – 4 days
    • Basketball (x6)/ Soccer (x6)/ Netball (x2)/Cricket Gala Days (x1)
      • 2 days for each carnival (allocated for preparation and on-day release) – 30 days
    • Individual Sort Trial Days
      • 1 Day per Convenor to facilitate the trial

Note: At times, the NSW Catholic Primary School Sports Council event organisers require the diocese to provide teacher officials. Under these circumstances, extra teacher relief provisions may be allocated.

School teams attending regional carnivals need to be accompanied by a supervising teacher. Schools are asked to send a teacher/parent to act as an official to facilitate the running of the carnival (as prescribed by the journal).  Individual schools must make their own arrangements for teacher release.


  • The number of days necessary for each diocesan team manager may vary according to the location of the event, as overnight travel may be necessary.
    • Eg. If the Mackillop Trials
      • are being hosted by Wagga, paid relief will include 1 travel day prior to the carnival and the carnival day itself.
      • are being hosted by Canberra/Goulburn, paid relief will include 1/2 day travel prior to the carnival and the carnival day itself.
      • are being hosted by Sydney / Parramatta / Wollongong, paid relief will include 1 day release for the carnival day only.


  • Where managers travel, reimbursement for the use of private vehicles and related meal expenses will be covered. Overnight accommodation will be covered for team managers who travel outside the Sydney metropolitan areas such as Wagga, Canberra/Goulburn or Wilcannia Forbes hosted events. Any variations to the above guidelines will need to be discussed with the executive officer. Team managers will be required to complete the private vehicle travel claim form (available on CEO infopoint) and provide receipts for any meal expenses. The travel form will be submitted to the school Principal, the meal receipts to the executive officer.
  • Release will also be paid to teachers facilitating Diocesan selection trials. The length of trials will vary from sport to sport, some trials may need to run over a full day, others may only need a half day. Requirements will vary depending on the number of nominated students. There is no allocation for diocesan team managers, above that stated in the Carnival Organisation / Allocation of Release Days, to attend diocesan carnivals.  Carnival/Trial convenors have the first option to manage selected diocesan teams.
  • No paid release is provided for teachers who manage their own school teams at Diocesan events.
  • To nominate for a team manager or official position, teachers will be required to fill in the appropriate paper work. This paperwork must be signed by the relevant Principal and returned to the Executive Officer.


At major diocesan sporting events a teacher will be employed as a sport supervisor to monitor and supervise both student and adult behaviour outside competition areas. The sport supervisor will also be responsible for venue risk assessment and work closely with the carnival convener and executive officer of the Diocesan Sports Council.


An Affiliation fee for secondary school sport has been struck by the Catholic Schools Sports Services (CSSS), a body representative of the council of Diocesan Directors and the Association of Catholic Schools Principals.

The levy is a means of financing the activities of NSW Catholic Primary Schools Sport Council which allows the access of our students and teachers into representative teams that compete at MacKillop, NSW PSSA and Australian levels.

The fee for 2017 affiliation has been set at $4.20 per student in years 3 – 6 (this includes the Director's contribution) Schools will be invoiced mid-February for this CSSS levy based on the August, 2016 census.

For Wollongong Diocesan events, a levy of $10.00 per student in the swimming and cross country and athletics carnivals. Team Sports incur the following entry costs:

Gala Days




Football (Soccer)


Rugby Union






These costs contribute to venue hire, equipment hire, ribbons, trophies, first aid, officials, convener relief and administration. Schools will be invoiced for activities they participate in at the end of each school term. Schools and team managers will not be required to bring money to carnivals. All school levies paid to the Catholic Education Office are GST free as indicated on the invoice sent to schools.


Conveners hosting carnivals will be required to send any invoices directly to the CEO for payment. These invoices must be Tax Invoices and clearly list:

  • The companies Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • The GST component of the total bill.

First aid providers (including St. John Ambulance) will be paid on receipt of an invoice. Payment of accredited officials (eg. NSW Athletics, NSW Swimming, approved UOW students etc) will occur only when each individual official has completed a Statement of Supplier form (These forms should be given to the Executive Officer after the carnival). Outside providers of sporting services will be required to send an invoice for payment.


Current System – Students selected in Diocesan teams will receive a permission note containing carnival information and consent forms. All cheques returned by individual students are to be made payable to the school. Schools will then arrange a transfer through the Catholic Development Fund/Catholic Education Office for the total amount. Within this transfer schools are requested to indicate the amount that is for the student levy (no GST) and the amount that is for uniform (GST applicable).

New System – It is envisaged that students who are selected in teams will receive a one page guide on registering for the next NSWCCC pathway event. This guide will provide instructions on registering online, paying the carnival levy, completing any required gear orders and making a total online payment. This will mean that no money or consent forms will be required to be taken to the school office. It is hoped the roll out of this online ordering and payment will take place mid term 1 in 2017.


The Diocesan Sports Council in organising events will on occasions use volunteers to assist as officials at carnivals or sporting trials. Schools are also required to supply officials at Diocesan events. These officials may be parents or come from sporting associations such as NSW Swimming, NSW Athletics or sporting organisations such as the AFL, Soccer, Rugby League or Basketball. The use of university students to assist at carnivals is also applicable in this instance.

Sporting activities are enhanced by the valuable role of parents who volunteer to help in various ways. Parents and schools have high expectations of how children will be dealt with and have certain rules that must apply. Schools are encouraged to talk with parents involved as volunteers in all diocesan events and highlight the following points:

When assisting the school with students:

Always act in the best interest of children
Take all reasonable steps to protect children

If a student misbehaves:

Refer the problem to the teacher or a school staff member who will take appropriate action
Always speak calmly to the student
Never take matters into your own hands and physically discipline a student

Volunteers should be suitable for child-related work (it is not appropriate for a person who has been barred from working with children to volunteer). Volunteers should treat children with respect, maintain personal boundaries and cooperate, at all times, with supervising teaching staff.


For all individual and team sports a Wollongong diocesan team is selected to participate at the Inter-Diocesan (Mackillop) Trials. The Mackillop region includes Wollongong, Parramatta, Sydney, Wagga, Canberra/Goulburn and occasionally Wilcannia-Forbes dioceses.

Parents of students selected in Wollongong teams will be required to register student details online through the NSW CSSS website ( This will require you to log on, receive a password then enter relevant details. Once on the website listed above click into the HELP icon for instructions on what to do to register.
A team representing the Mackillop region is entered in the N.S.W. Primary School Sports Association Championships. At this level, children from Catholic, Independent and Government Schools compete together.

Individual children are invited to participate in trials for the following Wollongong representative teams: Tennis, Basketball, Softball, Cricket, Touch Football, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Australian Rules Football, Soccer, Hockey and Netball.

Children wishing to attend such trials must be proficient in the particular sport and have their entry endorsed by the school Sports Coordinator and Principal or complete the online requirements for team participation. Schools may need to run their own school based trials to lower the number attending the diocesan trials. If schools are unsure about the eligibility of students to attend trials they will need to contact the sports/trial convener for clarification.

To facilitate the efficient organisation of such trials and to enable the best team to be selected to represent the Wollongong Diocese, it is vital that the school sports coordinator promote events adequately and ensure that nominations are sent to the relevant convener by the proposed date.

Teachers holding appropriate experience and qualifications are encouraged to apply to be trial convenors, managers or coaches of the above listed representative teams. Development officers from community clubs may be involved in team selection.

Teachers facilitating the Diocesan Trials may need to call on assistance depending on the number of trialists. This may require a specialist development officer or another teacher with expertise in this particular sport.

A list of nominated students will be circulated to sports coordinators shortly after the closed date.


Each year primary school children are invited to attend trials for positions in Wollongong Diocese representative teams for the following summer and winter sports: Basketball, Tennis, Cricket, Touch Football, Softball, Football (Soccer), Rugby League (11 years and Open), Rugby Union, Hockey, Netball and Australian Rules. These trials are held annually and link to the Mackillop selection trials. The selected Wollongong teams trial at Mackillop level against the Dioceses of Wagga, Canberra/Goulburn, Sydney and Parramatta. 

These trial procedures have been in place for over 12 years now and have provided great pathway opportunities for students and teachers to represent their schools. The Diocesan Sports Council constantly evaluates trial procedures in an attempt to provide fair and equitable sporting experiences for all involved.
Most sporting trials have specific sporting criteria which students are asked to meet before a nomination is forwarded from the school to the trial convener. This process has worked well with school sport coordinators providing background student information to the trial convener prior to the trial taking place.

Trial conveners over the years have provided feedback about trials. Some of their comments below:

  • Some students who attend the trials have been clearly unfamiliar with the sport including rules and simple skills related to the sport. These students should not be sent to the trials 'just for the experience'.
  • There is a need to give careful consideration to the level of skill of students before sending them to trials.
  • Some schools did not send nominations but had students show up – this can be a very difficult situation when teams or draws have been allocated. Tennis for example has a round robin draw and cannot simply add an extra student should one show up. Netball, on one occasion, did not receive nominations from 2 schools who wanted 9 students to trial – all in similar positions! 
  • Trial conveners need to be consulted if students are to withdraw from the trials for any reason so they can adjust draws or teams. Parents can assist here by advising their school of any withdrawal.

Generally the response from schools to trials is very positive with students attending in good numbers. Some sports are more popular than others and these sports can make the process of selection a little more difficult. For example, some sports have had close to 100 students trialling to be selected in a team of 10 or 14. At times there have been 10-12 students all trying out for a similar position, sometimes 4 or 5 coming from the same school.

Historically, the sports of boys football (soccer), rugby league (11 yrs and open), cricket and girls netball have traditionally attracted big numbers making it difficult to select a team in a given time allocation. As mentioned the other dimension to this dilemma is when a convener receives 10-12 nominations for the same position in the team. For example, a netball convener may receive 10 nominations for the centre position or a rugby league convener may receive 10 nominations for the half back position.

In order to address these issues conveners have 'tightened' the criteria to ensure the students who attend trials have a realistic chance of making the Wollongong team.

Schools and parents are encouraged to nominate students when they are sure they meet the set criteria and have spoken to their sport coordinator. If there is any doubt over the eligibility of students, sport coordinators may need to run a school based trial or discuss the nomination with the convener. Generally all primary teams are open teams (except the 11 yrs rugby league) and will in the majority of cases attract year 5 and 6 students only.

The success of trials relies on good communication from all parties involved. The trial process can therefore be promoted in the following ways:

Sports Coordinators can assist in the trial process by:

  • Advertising trial dates and set criteria as outlined on the CEO sports webpage
  • Liaising with trial conveners as to the suitability of students in question
  • Running a school based trial if needed at a school level
  • Advising conveners of any withdrawals

Trial Conveners can assist in the trial process by:

  • Ensuring criteria set for trials is clear and realistic to the level of students at rep level
  • Providing an emailed list of all nominated students to the executive officer within 2 days of the closed date
  • Being available by phone or email to discuss student nominations from schools
  • Directing any questions or concerns to the executive officer of the sports council
  • Organising suitable outside expertise to assist with the selection of the Wollongong team
  • Organising appropriate, equipment and venue facilities for the trial

Parents can assist in the trial process by:

  • Only nominating their son or daughter when they clearly meet the set criteria
  • Ensuring that information provided on the nomination form is accurate
  • Directing any questions or concerns to their school sports coordinator and not to the trial convener
  • Advising sports coordinators if their son or daughter is withdrawing from the trial
  • Organising transport of their son or daughter to and from the respective trial

In some circumstances (eg. boys football) a convener of a sport may decide to cull the nominations after soughting through positions and background information. This will be advertised on the original nomination form if this is the case.

The need for open communication is required between parents, students and schools in an attempt to make trial numbers manageable and fair to all participants. It is hoped that these guidelines will ensure the continued success of the selection process and ensure pathway opportunities remain a viable and important part of a student's education.

All students need to be given a fair and equitable trial with equal time to display their talents.

Selected teams will generally be announced on the day with distribution of an information letter. A convenor / manager may decide to announce the team at a later stage if deemed necessary.

Representative teams are selected on the basis of performances at diocesan carnivals and trials. Children selected to represent the Wollongong Diocese at the Mackillop sports fixtures are required to travel to venues throughout NSW. Parents must make their own travel and accommodation arrangements for their children. Any child unable to travel privately will need to contact their respective team manager or sports coordinator.

Team members are required to pay a levy to cover the cost of team uniform and carnival administration. An information and consent form signed by the child's parents and school principal must be completed and returned to the team manager for the child to be included in the team.

Children representing the Wollongong Diocese are expected to behave appropriately at all times. Any breeches of an acceptable code of conduct are treated seriously and may result in the child's exclusion from any further team selections.


Diocesan Convener and Manager positions for each year will be advertised at the term 3 and 4 sports meetings and via email to all schools.

Teachers looking to fill the roles at a Diocesan level as a convener, team manager or official must complete the application form and have it signed by their Principal.

Mackillop positions are advertised via the CPS website ( A MacKillop teleconference to finalise manager positions will take place either mid term 3 or early term 4 to finalise these appointments.

NSWPSSA positions are advertised via website (
All applications need to be signed by respective school Principal. If a convener or team manager withdraws a replacement teacher must gain permission from their Principal to fill the vacancy. 


Visit the CEO sport homepage will provide an up to date information including:

  • Sports News
  • Primary Sport – background, pathways and general information
  • Secondary Sport – background, pathways and general information
  • Calendars
  • Diocesan Events – All event information
  • Representatives – View lists of all representative students and teams
  • Results – Major carnival results in swimming, cross country and athletics
  • Archived Results – Previous event results for major carnivals
  • Meetings – Minutes of sports council meetings
  • Links – to major sites such as DET sport, CSSS sport and School Sport Australia
  • Sports Awards – Criteria and nomination forms for the annual CDF sports Awards
  • Documents – Sports risk assessments, representative letters, varied forms and instructions
  • Sun Safety – Tips and resources around being safe in the sun


  • All Diocesan sporting events will have first aid coverage from external and qualified providers. Schools are encouraged to bring their own basic first aid kits to carnivals to treat minor injuries for their own students. Injuries of a more serious nature should be referred to the first aid attendant who will be identified at the start of the day to all team managers.
  • At times, where the injury is of a more serious nature the first aid attendant will complete an accident report form and may suggest follow up consultation with a doctor or physiotherapist. A copy of this injury form will be made available to the school and executive officer.
  • If needed an ambulance may need to called to transport an injured student to hospital. School team managers/coaches should be made aware of these arrangements and make contact with the school and parent/guardian to advise of this situation.
  • The Wollongong Diocese has liability insurance for student accidents through the Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) and can provide some cover for the cost of any hospital treatment or other benefit if cost arises from an injury while engaging in a sporting activity as part of a school team. Please note that CCI is not a registered health fund and cannot pay all medical expenses
  • Parents can also make contact with their school office if they have questions around this claim process.
  • The following links will provide you with some information around the School Care policy and the process for making a claim;

School Care Insurance Information Sheet

CCI student claim form. *Please note that all claims can be made online through the CCI website


The following structure operates in NSW for primary school students.


The following structure exists in NSW for Catholic schools.


Sports Council


Past Results




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