Feature member: Auskick family

Matt with Anthony Grover from the Fremantle Dockers.
Matt with Anthony Grover from the Fremantle Dockers. 

Jacqui's family started with Auskick in 2008 when their eldest, Matthew, was in Pre-Primary.

The Auskick Co-Ordinator in the area called into the school for a bit of a demonstration and gave all the kids information sheets on how to find the local club.  Matt was keen and said he wanted to have a go as did most of the boys in his class.

The best parts of the season are the round robin days that are organised to play other teams within in the district.

Matt is now competing in his 3rd season.  Next season Jacqui's second boy, Josh will be playing as well.  Josh joins in with Matt’s training sessions on a Friday afternoon and has filled in for the team four or five times this season when one of the teams have been short on numbers.

The best parts of the season, says Jacqui, are the round robin days that are organised to play other teams within in the district. "The Bulldogs of the Future competition that is held each season at Fremantle is excellent.  It’s well organisd, the kids have a great time playing against other teams from various suburbs.  There is a sausage sizzle at the end, all participates receive a certificate and there is usually a couple of the Fremantle Dockers players hanging around to have a kick as well," says Jacqui.

Prior to Matt signing up with the program, Jacqui's husband would watch AFL  games most weekends, and occasionally attend WAFL matches.

Now the family assists the team coach on training days. "Our club does training on a Friday afternoon, so we pitch in to assist the coach with drills.  There is a team roster throughout the season so all the jobs of setting up/packing away/washing the jumpers/oranges/after game snack is all taken care of and not ever just lumped onto one person," says Jacqui, who has also helped out in the canteen and at the uniform shop as well.

"There are club committee meetings every second month. Hubby and I take it in turns to attend those so we know what is going on and we have helped out with fundraising sausages sizzles on the weekends and selling raffle tickets."

Jacqui has found that participation in Auskick has strengthened friendships that she had already made through the school community. "It always makes it easier if you get stuck with ill siblings and can’t make training that there is someone to step in for you and vice versa.  It is a friendly club," says Jacqui.

As for the challenges in being involved with Auskick, Jacqui names 8am starts on cold winter mornings. "But the enjoyment the kids get out of it makes it all worth while," she says.

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