Gaga is a fast paced, high energy sport played in an octagonal pit. Dubbed a kinder and gentler version of dodge ball, the game is played with a soft foam ball, and combines the skills of dodging, striking, running, and jumping, while trying to hit opponents with a ball below the knees, perfect for school yards.
In 2016, Jorja and Joel from St Leonards Primary School attended the GRIP Student Leadership Conference and heard about a Gaga ball pit at nearby Clifton Springs Primary School. The eager St Leaonards’ students organised a meeting with Clifton Springs Principal, Brent Richards, who showed them the Gaga ball pit and the sounding school yard.
The St Leonards’ leaders applied to the City of Greater Geelong for a community grant and their local Men’s Shed helped with the costing for the a successful application.
The project was completed in 2017 after which students learnt how to play the game during their weekly PE lessons.
“It is rare that a day goes by when the pit is not used.” said St Leonards staff member, Chris Layley. “In fact we have to roster classes so that everyone gets a turn.”
“Over the last summer the Mens Shed volunteers then worked on beautifying the area linking the Gaga ball pit with the remainder of the school grounds and they have landscaped and created an area that was basically a giant patch of dirt” Ms Layley explained. “At the end of last term, we held a tree planting celebration to thanks the Men Shed volunteers for all their work.”