AFLX hits the North Coast with the Clontarf Foundation
The wet weather in Port Macquarie couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the boys from the Clontarf Foundation when they took part in the North Coast’s first foray into AFLX.
Teams from the Clontarf Academies at Kempsey High, Melville High, and Hastings Secondary College came together to try the new format, and it proved to be an absolute winner!
Although many of the boys were playing any form of AFL for the first time their natural athleticism came to the fore, aided by skills learnt in other codes. Before long Zooper goals (10 point) rained down even more heavily than the drops falling from above!
In addition to the teams from the three Academies a composite side, the Mid North Coast Dockers, was also formed which saw the four teams battling it out across two rectangular fields. Teams played each other once in a round robin format, before semi finals and a Grand Final decided the overall winner.
All teams performed strongly across the day, with no team going through undefeated. In the Grand Final, the superior experience of the Melville Academy boys prevailed over the Mid North Coast Dockers in a quality encounter.
Prizes of Sydney Swans gear were awarded to the player in each team who best displayed the Clontarf spirit of sportsmanship, teamwork, and fair play. Several players were identified by AFL NSW/ACT staff from Sydney for potential inclusion in the Adam Goodes Talent Program, whilst a number of boys expressed an interest in playing club footy in 2018.
The Clontarf Foundation exists to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and by doing so equips them to participate meaningfully in society. The vehicle for achieving this outcome is football. The Foundation uses the existing passion that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys have for football to attract them into school and keep them there.
Plans are underway for this event to become an annual affair.