Friendship wins the day

In its seventh year, the Baringa School Friendship Games has been named the Latrobe Valley’s community event of 2015.

The soccer tournament held on the first Friday of September welcomes special school students from across Gippsland and beyond.

“We think it’s an absolute honour to be given the award,” Baringa assistant principal Kelly Mether said.

“It’s something we provide for our kids that they otherwise don’t get.”

Ten schools now take part in the games, including some Melbourne schools and the Wangaratta Special School.

“It’s something our students look forward to every year,” Ms Mether said.

“When they train, they’re talking about the Friendship Games.”

The Moe school began the event after a similar Melbourne-based tournament ended.

Ms Mether said the games brought the broader community together, with Lowanna College students refereeing and each of the local power stations providing sponsorship and volunteers.

“We’re very proud of the school, it’s a big team effort to get it going every year.”