Demi Mant, 9, Charlotte James, 9, Lotu Lata,10, Hampden St school students are gearing up for the school's traditional marble season. Photo: Sinead Ogilvie.

Kids still marbles over old-school classic game


Remember bombers? How about queenies, steelies and kingies? Hit one get them all? Well it’s marble season and from the first day of term, hundreds of Hampden St School students will be taking part in the traditional game.
Hampden St School kids lose their marbles over the game every year and it just doesn’t seem to die out says deputy principal Katherine Barris. She says marble season snowballs in popularity and she expects it to do the same this year, with the beginning of the season announced at a school assembly on Friday.

“Normally on the first day you’ll have two or three groups playing, then all of a sudden we’ll have the whole school out there playing marbles.” She says in spite of more technologically advanced toys available to kids, the old school game continues to maintain its popularity among students.
“They love it. It’s a simple, basic toy that is affordable for everybody.”
Prinicipal Don McLean says marble season is “part of the fabric of the school” and is mostly self-governed by the students, with guidance from teachers.
“It’s a fun activity that most kids can access easily. It also teaches children about winning and losing.”

Hampden St kids aren’t alone, with long time Henley School teacher and deputy principal Eric Gardner saying he can’t remember a time during  his spell at the school where students didn’t play marbles.
Because marble season for the school includes just the last week of each term, Eric believes they are a bit of a novelty which has aided in the longevity of the game. “It’s a novelty, they’re like a collectable and it’s fun, it’s different, it involves everyone. There are juniors right through to seniors all playing marbles together.
“I would say on a good day you’d have half the school playing and in our school there are over 500 students.”