Every year almost 200,000 of children take part in NAB AFL Auskick clinics across the country.
The run, play and laugh as they learn the basic skills of AFL in an environment that can be described in one simple word; fun.
And while Summer-Skye is one of those children, her Auskick journey has taken on a greater significance.
Here, mum Tamara tells us why:
My daughter Summer-Skye (4) attends Birkdale State school and for the past 8 weeks or so has participated in the Auskick programme. Both my husband and myself have been nothing short of impressed, in fact we have both been so touched by the kindness, acceptance and inclusion of our little girl that we both felt strongly enough to want to write and let you know just how much it has impacted her.
Summer-Skye started prep this year, as one of the youngest in her grade, but also having moved mountains to be able to start regular school like a regular kid this year. A year ago she had little to no formal language, didn’t have the confidence to participate in many things and the idea of a big group of children all playing amongst each other would have been overwhelming to say the very least – they could talk- she couldn’t.
To a young child building her social skills life was often a little overwhelming for her. With a tremendous amount of work this last 12 months we have seen our daughter shine and she desperately wanted to play Auskick so it was with a little anxiety (ours) we let her join.
What I can tell you is that eight weeks later we have a daughter who insists that her football stay on the bed with her at night, a girl who completely came out of her shell, a girl who was no longer intimated by a big bunch of kids that she didnt know- and older kids also, a girl that tried her hardest for eight weeks, and most importantly a girl who loved the experience entirely.
As a person who has grown up around AFL clubs and who’s brothers have played at all levels I have seen first-hand the impact that good coaches make, and not the impact on teams themselves but on players and in our case our daughter.
I would like to tell you just how wonderful all of the coaching staff that attended the Birkdale State School clinics have been, and I truly mean it. Each went out of their way to make sure Summer-Skye was included, when she needed extra help they gave it willingly – and not because they were asked.
Both my husband and myself would especially like to thank one of the coaches by the name of ‘Taylor’, he went above and beyond what we expected as parents, he always ensured that she was involved and better yet genuinely cared. It is because of people like your Auskick staff – each of them who participated at Birkdale that our daughter cannot wait to join in her next sport.
to find your nearest Auskick centre head to www.aflauskick.com.au