November 9th, 2023Going Ga Ga at Clunes
Words & images: Eve Lamb
For those of us who’d never heard of a “Ga Ga Pit”, the special ribbon-cutting occasion at Clunes Primary School last week provided a quick learning curve.
For the school’s students, though, it was the culmination of some fairly impressive lobbying to get a Ga Ga Pit of their own.
For local members of the Historical Commercial Vehicle Club of Australia (Ballarat Branch) cutting the ribbon on the brand new Ga Ga Pit was a particularly satisfying experience after they’d earlier donated $5000 for it to be built, courtesy of their annual truck show held over the March Labour Day weekend at Clunes Showgrounds. The Local’s Eve Lamb headed to the school to find out more and snap a few photos.
Above: Clunes Primary School students demonstrate how Ga Ga ball is played in the new pit that was purpose-built by school council members using the $5000 donation from the club. Turns out Ga Ga is a game played by children and big kids alike, a fast-paced form of handball or dodgeball played in a hexagonal or octagonal pit, with its own set of rules.
“Ga Ga is a Hebrew word that means Hit Hit and it’s been played all over the world,” school principal Sonia Jardine said, providing the uninitiated with a crash course on the finer points of the sport that’s recognised as especially valuable for building motor skills, fitness and social skills. “In Victoria they started through the YMCA camps.”
Below: Club committee member, Clunes’ Jon Paine cuts the ribbon on the Clunes Primary School’s new Ga Ga Pit. This year the club also donated $5000 to the Male Bag Foundation for prostate cancer, and another $5000 to help tackle motor neuron disease.
“Every year for the past 14 years the club has held its annual truck show at the Clunes showgrounds. We are a not-for-profit and all of the proceeds go to good causes.”
Below: From left, Clunes vintage truck enthusiasts Janet Braithwaite, Lorraine Hogan and Ken Corney (who rolled up in his 1929 AA Ford Truck) with club committee member Clunes’ Jon Paine.
Below: Clunes Primary School principal Sonia Jardine tells all assembled for the Ga Ga Pit launch that receiving the donation from the club was a wonderful surprise.
“When the club secretary presented me with the cheque I nearly cried,” she said. Ms Jardine said
students had earlier embarked on a persistent campaign to get a Ga Ga Pit for their school, after
sampling one while on camp at coastal Queenscliff.
“They’ve written me persuasive texts…it’s been a very compelling argument and the decision was
made that we would listen to the voice of the students.”