Monday, July 17, 2023

Women’s World Cup fever arrives; Northern hemisphere heatwave; History is made at Wimbledon; and the surfboard stealing otters.


Surfboard munching otter:

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Have you got your cheering pants on? Are you ready to barrack as loud as you can for some of the greatest female athletes on the planet? Because the entire nation is about to fall under the spell of the FIFA Women’s World Cup which kicks off later this week with matches in Sydney and Auckland.

Players from 32 countries around the world are already in Australia – training ahead of the tournament which kicks off this Thursday and runs right through to the final in just over a month’s time. 

In sporting terms, it’s the biggest event to hit our shores since the pandemic – and Aussies have already shown how excited they are with most games sold-out around the country.

The Matildas – the Australian women’s national team captained by the world’s number one female soccer player, the remarkable Sam Kerr – have already gotten things off to a great start, beating France 1-0 in a pre-tournament friendly on Friday night – with an epic goal from Mary Fowler.

And while they stand like giants now on the international stage – it’s worth remembering that each one of the Matildas began their sporting careers on suburban pitches much like the one you might have played on this weekend.

Sam Kerr only gave football a go after she wasn’t able to play in the local Aussie Rules boys’ team any more … Cortnee Vine started playing in her brothers’ team, Aivi Luik decided to travel to the United States to play professionally – and Clare Polkinghorne decided she wanted to play after watching her brother – and with no girls’ team to join, she signed up to play with the boys.

Proof that where there’s a will – and with a whole lot of determination – there’s always a way. 

And if you want to dive a bit deeper into the FIFA Women’s World Cup – and the remarkable history of women’s football, which goes back a lot further than you think – then keep an ear out tomorrow for our excellent Squiz Kids Shortcut on the subject. You’re welcome…



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Europe and North America …. where temperatures this week are expected to climb to as high as 48 degrees celsius as the northern hemisphere is gripped by a heatwave.

Authorities from Italy to Spain to Greece and right across the United States have been warning their citizens and the gazillion tourists who are visiting to keep hydrated, to keep cool and stay out of the blazing heat of midday as much as possible as temperature records tumble all over the top of the globe.

A red alert has been issued for 16 cities in Italy, including the popular tourist destinations of Rome and Florence – with the island of Sicily to the south expected to bear the brunt of the summer blaze.

And the worst is still to come – with weather forecasts predicting the height of the heat will occur later this week. 

Wildfires are burning across Canada while in California, in the United States, in the appropriately named Death Valley – temperatures this weekend were expected to reach as high as 53 degrees celsius.

Aye carumba.




 A little bit of history was made at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London at the weekend when Czech player Marketa Vondrousouva became the first unseeded player in the history of the tournament to come out of nowhere and win it.

Unseeded means she went into the competition not ranked as one of the best players. 

Vondrousouva is ranked 42 in the world – which is no small thing. But thanks to a recent wrist injury that required surgery – she wasn’t expected to go quite so far at Wimbledon. 

Speaking after the match, the 24 year-old said she couldn’t quite believe it herself – and that tennis was a crazy game. Crazy indeed, Marketa.  



Surfers in Santa Cruz on the California coast are on high-alert after an otter took a liking to their boards and started biting chunks out of them.

Yep – you heard right. A surfboard munching otter. Sounds like a less scary, much cuter version of the The Meg …

There’s a funny video doing the rounds of social media showing the otter latching on to a surfboard – with its owner still on it – and gnawing away at it – not the least bit bothered by the surfer’s attempts to shoo it away.

I’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes. 

Otters love chowing down on crabs in that part of the world – so they have teeth and jaws that are no match for a humble surfboard. And while the coast guard has issued an alert and warned surfers to stay away from the hungry otter – I’ve got to say I watched the video and it looked to me like she just wanted to have a go at surfing. An otter hanging ten … why not?



A little message to welcome back the kids, families and classrooms who are just returning from school holidays! Hope you had a whale of a time. A little message too to let you know that from the start of this school term – and thanks to the feedback we received in our most recent audience survey – Squiz Kids will be dancing to a whole new tune .. with a brand new schedule ..

The daily news pod, Squiz Kids Today will now drop Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays …  every Tuesday you’ll get a Shortcut or a Squiz The World –  and we’re bringing our super fun Kids v Adults Weekly News S’quiz forward to Fridays – so you can test who’s been paying the most attention to the week that just was. 

Same cool Squiz Kids content, still absolutely, gob-smackingly free – just delivered differently.  You’re welcome. Again. 


This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. Which tennis competition did unseeded Marketa Vondrousouva win over the weekend?
  2. What sort of animal is terrorising surfers in California?
  3. What’s the name of the captain of the Matildas – Australia’s national women’s soccer team?





It’s July 17 –  here’s a fun fact … 17 July is the date displayed on the calendar emoji – don’t believe me? Take a look. Why? You may ask. Because 17 July 2002 was the day that Apple unveiled its calendar app … so there you go.


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today and tomorrow … Renette and Annika from Woongarrah, Beau from Paraburdoo, Owen from Flagstaff Hill, Ella from Clairvaux, Eden from Denmark (WA), Liam from Plumpton, Claire and Harry from Carlingford, William from Middle Harbour, Tom from Leopold, Hamish from Forest Lake, Noah from Mernda, Arlo and Piper holidaying together in Thredbo, Angel from Forster, Leo from Cannon Hill, Aaliyah from Orange, Oscar from Semaphore, Seth from Gulgong, Noah from Matong, Piper from Pyrmont, and Caitlyn listening over in Fengyuan,Taiwan.


A belated birthday shout out goes to … Charlie from Echuca.


Also as a note: if you’re just tuning back in after the school holidays, we did lots of belated birthday shoutouts in last week’s podcasts – hate for you to think you missed out. 


Classroom shoutouts today go to … classes 5B and 5W with Mr Michelle and Mr Coy at Villa Maria Catholic Primary School in Hunters Hill, Miss Fahy’s class at Oran Park Public School, year 4 with Ms Beard and Mrs Robertson at St Joseph’s Primary School in Narrandera, year 4 with Miss Schwartz at Maitland Lutheran School, class 4G and Mrs Chan at Epping West Public School and lastly to the classes with Mrs Smith and Miss Huntly at Estella Public School in Wagga Wagga. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Wimbledon
  2. Otter
  3. Sam Kerr