Academy Girls Visit Shepparton With Essendon Football Club

Two Youth Girls Academy members from the 2009 brigade were selected to participate in Essendon Football Club's Community Camp in Shepparton last week.

Berwick's Rebecca Pearce and Wyndham Vale's Jess Heath made the trek to Shepparton last Thursday to spend the day helping the EFC deliver a variety of programs as part of the AFL's Community Club program. The purpose of involving the girls in the camp is to give them a better understanding of the role of an elite football as a role model, and the experience of a sports development manager in delivering such a program. Although hampered by poor weather, the girls were grouped with EFC's players and visited schools, community groups and hospitals.

A new initiative in 2010, the EFC will offer at least one eigteen year old girl from the previous year's Academy squad the opportunity to participate in their annual Community Camp.

Read below for a report from the Rebecca and Jess.

Rebecca Pearce
The day was divided into three sections. Each providing support and education to the community. 

We started the day by visiting schools. We split up into groups in order to cover all the schools in the area. I went to McGuire College, where we ran a clinic for the school football team then we talked to some of the students about football.

Our next visit was to the Academy of Sport Health and Education (ASHE). ASHE uses participation in sport to undertake education and training within a safe and trusted, culturally appropriate environment, particularly for indigenous students. There major courses offered by the academy include the Certificates II and III in Sport and Certificate IV in Community Recreation. After students have completed their course ASHE help to find them job placements in the community.

We finished the day off with a Question and Answer session and Autograph signing at Rumbalara Football Club. 

It was a good experience to spend some time with the players, they were very down to earth. It's good to see the AFL club's giving something back to the community. 

Jess Heath
It was a great experience to work together with the Essendon Football Club and players on Thursday at Shepperton for the EFC’s Community Camp. I was fortunate to be selected along with Bec to represent the Youth Girls Academy. The first half of my day I was sent to Dookie Football Club with Jobe Watson, Tom Bellchambers, Leroy Jetta, Bachar Houli, Alwym Davey, Kyle Hardingham and Marcus Marigliani. The eight of us ran a clinic with 8 different stations, I was allocated marking and had fun teaching the school children a chest mark and how to mark out in front, unfortunately it started to rain and we were sent inside for Question and Answer and autographs. Because I was wearing academy gear, which is red and black, most of the kids asked me for my autograph.

After this Bec and I were sent to ASHE, a TAFE College for indigenous and under privileged people, this was also cut short, as they don’t start until next week and we didn’t have a very big turnout. We went to Rumbalara Football Club for more Question and Answer as the weather cancelled the super clinic that was scheduled.

This experience showed how much elite players mean to the community as the whole of Shepperton and neighbouring communities organised the day for everyone to meet the players.


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