About Primary Sport

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 are represented at these meetings and contribute to decisions effecting policy and sporting structures. Teaching staff are essential to the program using their talents and sporting background to fill positions of sport conveners, coaches, managers, selectors and officials. 


Tuesday 30 January, 2024

4 - 6 pm 

Thursday 2 May, 2024

4 - 6 pm

Tuesday 23 July, 2024

4 - 6 pm

Tuesday 15 October, 2024

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: 



Albion Park  Bowral
Bulli Camden - St Paul's
Corrimal Camden - Mater Dei
Dapto Campbelltown - St John's
Fairy Meadow Eagle Vale
Gwynneville Edmondson Park
Helensburgh Gregory Hills - St Gregory's Junior College
Kiama Ingleburn
Milton Mittagong
Nowra Moss Vale
Port Kembla Narellan Vale
Shellharbour Oran Park
Shellharbour City Picton
Thirroul Rosemeadow 
Unanderra Ruse
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 NSWPSSA and ultimately national level in selected sports. See Pathways.  

Important note:
*Students turning 7 years of age in the year of competition are ineligible to compete at Diocesan events in Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics. There are no pathway opportunities for 7 year olds at MacKillop or PSSA levels where this rule is strongly enforced. Individual schools at a local level may decide to have 7 year olds compete, however, it is not an option for them to continue into the Diocesan level in these events.

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

Gala days in Soccer, Netball, Basketball and Cricket are also staged. The gala days are not for selection purposes or for qualifying for higher levels.

Teachers and parents are reminded that these gala days are not formal competitions. There will be no scores kept, no finals and no winners awarded.The gala day is designed primarily for student enjoyment of the sport, participation and for the promotion of exercise and a positive sporting experience. Adults and parents attending the gala days are encouraged to support this philosophy by encouraging students, respecting referees and enjoying the non-competitive nature of the day.

A Rugby Union knockout day is also scheduled with the winning team representing the Diocese against winners from other Dioceses. Catholic school invitation gala days organised by external sporting associations are also offered in Rugby League, AFL and Dragon Tag but these DO NOT form part of the Diocesan sports program. Schools will elect to enter these invitational days at their own discretion. 

All parents must be directed to Sports Publicity and Permission page on this site, prior to their children participating in representative sport.


Every student who competes as a member of a Wollongong team at MacKillop level must register for the sport they intend competing in. DO NOT REGISTER A STUDENT UNTIL THEY ARE SELECTED IN THE WOLLONGONG TEAM. (the only exception to this are in the sports of golf and diving). When selected in the Wollongong team, parents/carers will be required to register student details online at the Catholic Schools NSW Sport website - https://csnsw.sport/

This registration process will require you to log on, set up an account if you have not already got one or update your current account details. From there parents/carers can enter relevant details to register their child. Once on the website listed above click into the 'Register MY CHILD' icon for instructions on how to register.



Registering online will provide information about the MacKillop event, enable payment of the carnival levy and the ordering of any rep gear. It will also enable both the parents and school Principal to give online consent. This will mean that no money or consent forms will be required to be taken to the school office. 

All students who are selected in teams will receive a one-two page guide on registering for the next MacKillop pathway event.

The MacKillop region comprises of the following 5 Dioceses:  

  • Canberra/Goulburn
  • Sydney
  • Parramatta
  • Wagga
  • Wollongong

The Polding region comprises of the following 6 Dioceses: 

  • Armidale
  • Bathurst
  • Broken Bay
  • Lismore
  • Maitland/Newcastle
  • Wilcannia/Forbes

Teams representing both the MacKillop and Polding regions are entered in the NSW Primary School Sports Association (NSWPSSA) state championships. At this level, children from Catholic, Independent and Government Schools compete together.

Students 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.


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 associations, sport specific development officers and university students in supplying officials.

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

Casual relief for teachers to be convenors and team managers are distributed as follows:


  • 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


  • 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


  • 3 days for diocesan carnival - 3 days
  • 1 day each for team managers/officials for diocesan teams - 4 days

BASKETBALL Gala Days (X 4)

  • 2 days for each carnival (allocated for preparation and on-day release) - 8 days


  • 2 days for each carnival (allocated for preparation and on-day release) - 14 days

NETBALL Gala Days (X 2)

  • 2 days for each carnival (allocated for preparation and on-day release) - 4 days

CRICKET Gala Day (X 1)

  • 2 days for each carnival (allocated for preparation and on-day release) - 2 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.

No paid release is provided for teachers who manage their own school teams at Diocesan events.

To nominate for a convener, team manager or official position, teachers will be required to seek approval from their principal and then apply online through the CSNSW Sport website. This online application will generate an email to the Principal for staff approval.

All Wollongong team manager of official positions are covered by funded relief. 

School teams attending regional carnivals need to be accompanied by a supervising teacher. Where multiple teams are attending the one day schools may organise other adult support. In all cases adults must have a working with Children check and be approved by the school. Schools are asked to send a teacher/parent to act as an official to facilitate the running of the carnival (as outlined on the sports web). Individual schools must make their own arrangements for teacher release.


At major diocesan sporting events a teacher maybe 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.


Schools will be levied to participate in Diocesan facilitated events. These levies go to payment for venue hire, equipment hire, ribbons, trophies, first aid, external 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.

There is a levy of $14.00 per student for Wollongong Diocesan events in swimming, cross country and athletics carnivals.

Team Sports incur the following entry costs:

Netball $50
Football (soccer) $50
Rugby Union $50
Cricket $50
Basketball $100











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

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.

A team representing the MacKillop region is entered in the NSW Primary School Sports Association (NSWPSSA) state championships. At this level, children from Catholic, Independent and Government Schools compete together.

Wollongong team trial considerations:

Children wishing to attend trials must be highly proficient in the particular sport preferably with representative background. STUDENTS SHOULD MEET THE SPECIFIC SPORT CRITERIA SET ON THE CEDoW WEBSITE BEFORE CONSIDERING A NOMINATION. All students must be endorsed by the school sport coordinator and sport convener. Where required, nomination lists may be culled based on the background, experience and age of students. 
Schools may need to run their own school based trials to lower the number of students from the one school attending the Diocesan trials. If schools are unsure about the eligibility of students they are encouraged to contact the trial convener directly.

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 submitted online 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 in the first instance to trial conveners and then to individual sports coordinators shortly after the closing 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, Softball, Football (Soccer), Rugby League (11 years and 12 years), Rugby Union, Hockey, Netball and AFL. 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 20 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.

Conveners over the years have provided consistent feedback about these 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), boys 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:


  • Advertising trial dates and set criteria as outlined on the CEDoW 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


  • Ensuring criteria set for trials is clear and realistic to the level of students at rep level
  • Checking trial lists of all nominated students and contacting schools with any concerns
  • 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
  • Directing any parent/carer contact but to the school sports coordinator
  • Organising suitable outside expertise to assist with the selection of the Wollongong team
  • Organising appropriate, equipment and venue facilities for the trial


  • Only nominating their son or daughter when they clearly meet the set criteria
  • Ensuring that information provided to the school 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 sorting through positions and background information. This will be advertised on the original nomination form if this is the case. Tennis also is restricted in the number of nominations being accepted as all players are placed in pools and must play every player before cross overs. In this case background information is significant in terms of selecting final trialists.

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. 

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.


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/trial 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 through the CEDoW Staff Gateway. The completed document should be provided to the school principal prior to submission to the CEDoW.

  • 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.


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 company's 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. Any other payment options will need to be approved by the CEO finance section.

Child Protection Requirements/considerationS

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. In all cases volunteers must have a working with children check.

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:


  • always act in the best interest of children
  • take all reasonable steps to protect children


  • 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.


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 an online application which will require approval by the school Principal.

MacKillop positions are advertised via the https://csnsw.sport/. 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 NSW Department of Education Sports Site

All applications need to be approved by respective school Principals. If a convener or team manager withdraws a replacement teacher must gain permission from their Principal to fill the vacancy.


  • 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. 
  • Concussion. The management of sport related concussion in children (aged 5 to 12 years) and adolescents (aged 13 to 18 years) requires special paradigms suitable for the developing child. Children have physical and developmental differences - less developed neck muscles; increased head to neck ratio; and brain cells and pathways that are still developing. Children and adolescents may have greater susceptibility to concussion, they may also take longer to recover and they may be at risk of severe consequences such as second impact syndrome. Managing concussion in children and adolescents therefore requires different standards and a more conservative approach. Children typically take longer to recover from concussion than adults (up to four weeks).
  • Any athlete with a suspected concussion should be IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM PLAY, and should not be returned to activity until they are assessed medically. Athletes with a suspected concussion should not be left alone. It is recommended that, in all cases of suspected concussion, the player is referred to a medical professional for diagnosis and guidance as well as return to play decisions, even if the symptoms resolve.
  • 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




School Improvement Services Specialist Support

Ph:  42 509316

Email:  john.sparks@dow.catholic.edu.au

Kathryn Preece

School Improvement Services Specialist Support

Ph:  42 509316
Email:  PreeceK01@dow.catholic.edu.au

Grace Dalli

School Improvement Services Specialist Support

Ph:  42509304
Email:  DalliG01@dow.catholic.edu.au