School Ambassadors of the Year announced

A group of 90 teachers gathered at the Gabba recently to celebrate the announcement of Queensland’s Coles School Ambassadors of the Year for 2013.

Across Queensland there are approximately 500 teachers who are official Coles AFL School Ambassadors and promote AFL at their school and within their community through coaching, administration, classroom lessons, interschool sport and more.

The teachers enjoyed a pre-game function and mingled with their peers before heading to their seats to enjoy a Brisbane Lions’ victory over St Kilda.

AFL Queensland Game Development Manager Troy Clarke was on hand to officially welcome the teachers, while Brisbane Lions players Marco Paparone and Jordan Bourke dropped by to chat with the teachers and award the ‘best dressed’ prize to the best dressed Lions fan.

Kenmore State High’s Heidi Thompson took out the award, winning a Brisbane Lions match ball signed by the entire squad.

The big announcement of the night was the state winners, with Brisbane’s Michael McInerney from St Paul’s School at Woodridge taking out the Primary category, and Townsville’s Ricky Sullivan from Kirwan State High taking out the Secondary category.

It is the third year in a row that the Secondary winner has come from Townsville, showing they have some great Ambassadors in the region assisting grow the game in Northern Queensland. Ricky Sullivan continues the push for AFL in a tough rugby league-dominated school, making large inroads and giving up a lot of personal time in the process.

Michael ‘Macca’ McInerney has been the Deputy and AFL Ambassador at St Paul’s for two years. St Pauls is over 60% multicultural students and over 10% with Indigenous students and when Michael started at this school they had no involvement and knowledge of AFL at all. Within two years Macca has made this school into an AFL school with the students learning our game every day and loving it.

The annual prize for our Ambassadors of the Year is much sought after: a trip for two to the first week of the Toyota 2013 AFL Finals in Melbourne with flights, accommodation and tickets to a finals function and match included.

A brief bio on Michael McInerney, St Paul’s School:

o   Full school Auskick for the first time Term 3, 2013

o   Sport Education for Years 4 to 7

o   AFL Clinics for Prep to Year 3

o   Ran Lion Hearted Leaders at the school

o   Girls and boys teams in Brisbane Lions Cup for the very first time in 2013

o   Personally drove students to the Logan District trials, with six boys selected in the team.

o   Boys attended Met Eat 12yrs trials (Michael personally drove a student to every training session, organised payment for his uniform and levy, organised a family to take him in for the carnival)

o   Entered teams in the Multicultural Schools Cup (boys team won and girls came second)

o   Continually out at lunch time with the kids playing AFL to encourage them to love a sport and to stay out of trouble.

o   Entered teams from St Paul’s in the Logan District Competition for the first time ever.

o   Ran AFL activities at school community events such as Parish Fun day, school fete, etc

o   Met East U12 coach and Lytton District coach.

A brief bio on Ricky Sullivan, Kirwan State High School:

o   Coaches Kirwan High AFL excellence program

o   Coaches Suns Academy program

o   Assistance Coach of Townsville Under 16 team at the Country Championships

o   Trainer for Under 15 North Queensland side at the State Schoolboys’ Championships

o   Hosted and organised for Gold Coast Suns players to visit Kirwan High

o   Instrumental in organising Gold Coast Suns academy training venue at Kirwan High (playing fields, gym and pool)

o   Currently organising AFL goal posts to be put up at Kirwan High

o   Organised and coaches open boys team to travel to Cairns for the North Queensland Secondary Schools competition

o   Extra development work with talented school players to enable them contacts with Mt Gravatt football club and Queensland under 18 selection.

The Coles AFL School Ambassador program would not be possible without the support of Coles, who enable us to offer Ambassadors access to subsidies for resources, classroom and curriculum resources, and more.

AFL School Ambassadors’ assistance each year is invaluable to growing our game and ensuring more students get access to playing AFL. Without their help we would not be able to run the programs we do and we thank all Ambassadors very much for their ongoing support.

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