Our sporting teams give us hope and athletes inspire us, but it is what we do beyond the playing fields and courts where sport can teach us to be a leader. In Melbourne, Australia, North Melbourne Football Club established The Huddle in order to leverage the power of sport with a goal to improve education and employment outcomes for young people.
“The Huddle was born out of the role and value of sport and the influence the North Melbourne Football Club plays in connecting people from diverse backgrounds to build upon their strengths, increase their ability to participate in society and contribute to more socially inclusive communities.” Cam McLeod | The Huddle CEO
Today, The Huddle works with some of the most iconic sporting clubs in the world to help young people learn, grow and belong. Their award-winning programs have engaged more than 100,000 young people from over 160 different cultures across Australia.
The impacts of COVID-19 have increased the risk of more students disengaging from school and sports, significantly impacting their health and mental wellbeing.
In 2021, the Victorian State Government allocated $7.3M to the NMFC to develop a modern facility that bridges the gap between Australian Football League facilities as well as upgrades that will transform The Huddle into a world-class education facility integrating cutting-edge technology to help strengthen the engagement of at-risk and vulnerable young people in the classroom.
Today, the North Melbourne Kangaroos have officially launched Game Day, The Huddle’s newest education program. Throughout the Game Day experience, students will work in teams to complete STEM challenges which will require teamwork and resilience to solve problems and learn how to win. Innovative technology will be used to create an atmosphere where students feel like they are part of an AFL game.
In order to achieve a fully immersive audio experience, The Huddle partnered with Spatial, a revolutionary 3D audio software suite that provides nearly limitless options for designing, creating, and deploying interactive immersive experiences in real world environments.
Students can experience Spatial in the first learning space outfitted with 21 channels of audio including six in-ceiling speakers and 15 sidewall speakers placed above and below the LED screens. The audio interactivity is driven by Spatial which connects with QSC to output triggers to coordinate with the visuals on the seven surrounding screens. The storytelling comes to life through visual and audio cues that drive a completely interactive educational experience at The Huddle.
Spatial’s creative team was able to work with sound files recorded during AFL games at the NMFC’s Marvel Stadium, bringing authenticity to the sound experience for Game Day. Halfway across the globe, Spatial delivered all audio associated with the creative including syncing ‘EGO’, a voice associated with the ‘Simulation Stadium’.
“From the start of production on The Huddle’s Game Day project; the words community, inclusion, and diversity kept coming up in conversation. I think the North Melbourne students invited to the “Simulation Stadium” classroom will immediately understand that the experience was created specifically for their schools and diverse cultures”
Ken Felton | Spatial Lead Audio Designer
The Huddle’s Game Day opens on September 21, 2022.
What does it cost schools to participate in Game Day?
Game Day is free for schools.
What can students expect?
Students can expect a fun and memorable day where they are required to think critically and
work collaboratively to achieve STEM challenges such as building a pendulum to kick a ball through the goals. Students will explore concepts such as artificial and emotional intelligence, grit, and mindset as well as identify their own characteristics that will support students ‘to win’ throughout life.
How long does Game Day go for?
Game Day is divided into four 45 minutes “quarters”.