Auskick at Glenferrie Oval
On a Saturday winter morning, as some of us are slowly waking up to the weekend, AFL Auskick programs are swinging into action across Australia. Glenferrie Hawthorn has its very own Hawthorn Auskick Centre at Glenferrie Oval Saturday 9:00am - 10:30am. The sports program teaches boys and girls from Prep to Grade 6 to play AFL in a fun and safe environment. Hawthorn Auskick is one of the largest in the country and plays a major part in the Glenferrie Hawthorn community with the involvement of over 300 local kids from Glenferrie Primary, St Joseph's Primary, Hawthorn West Primary, Auburn Primary and other schools. The program is run by volunteers, parent coaches and support- ed by local traders. Only a small part of the $95.00 registration fee for the program goes directly to local Auskick programs. This leaves fundraising and trader sponsorship to play an important role in the success of the annual program.
Fortunately, our Hawthorn Auskcick is generously supported by local trader sponsorships including cash donations from Jellis Craig, participant voucher prizes from Grill’d and Boost Juice, snacks of oranges during practice and bread for the canteen from Coles, sausages, bacon and eggs from Glenferrie Gourmet Meats and bread rolls from Bakers Delight. Money donated and funds raised from the weekly volunteer run canteen go towards Hawthorn Auskick operational costs of sports equipment, volunteer coaching courses and uniforms. Hawthorn Auskick doesn't just stop at providing a great local community activity, since 2010 it also supports an Indigenous Exchange program in conjunction with Hawthorn Football Club (HFC). They partner with the Northern Territory Football Association and bring a group of six Indigenous. children and two carers to Melbourne for up to a week. Funds raised through the weekly canteen and annual Pie Night make this possible. The visiting children come from remote closed communities that are inaccessible in the wet season. They are chosen based on certain criteria such as their interest in football, school attendance and good behaviour.
While in Melbourne, the children stay with Hawthorn Auskick families and visit their host sibling school. Being from NT they are not always prepared for the cold Melbourne weather, so are decked out in warm winter clothing along with full HFC gear! They participate in Hawthorn Auskick, attend the annual Pie Night, check out a HFC training session, meet AFL idols and play at half time on the MCG. You may see them playing at the G and forming a guard of honour for the players at Sunday’s Hawthorn vs Richmond game (6 August).
Among all the great things about Hawthorn Auskick, mum Midge explains that one thing she enjoys is that 'it gets kids active and parents involved, playing and interacting with their children'.