Story courtesy of the Mackay Mercury (photo by Tony Martin)
National NAB AFL Auskick Ambassador Shane Crawford visited Mackay to take part in an Auskick super clinic and pay tribute to those volunteers who helped bolster this district’s numbers.
Crawford teamed up with Gold Coast Suns player Jesse Lonergan to work with kids on their goal kicking skills and ability to take a high mark.
However it would be hard to say who was more excited by Crawford’s appearance – the kids or their parents.
The clinic is an introduction to AFL for boys and girls aged four to 12 years.
“It’s about giving kids the opportunity to work out what they like,” Crawford said.
“If they have a love for it like I do, hopefully they’ll go on and want to play it when they get older.
“I was lucky enough to play (in the AFL) for 16 years.
“It’s very hard to really compete with it from a supporter point of view, playing point of view, from a friendship point of view.”
Lonergan agreed. He began playing because his mates were, and it has created a path for him.
The Mackay district has about 1300 Auskick participants, which is the highest in regional Queensland, according to AFL Queensland’s Mackay development coordinator Dion Obst.
Crawford said Mackay’s David Armitage was a great inspiration for other Mackay AFL aspirants.
“Hopefully we’ll have more AFL players from Mackay and around the region,” he said.