Geelong Premiership Players visit Groote Eylandt.

Geelong Premiership Players visit Groote Eylandt.

Premiership players Travis Varcoe and Max Rooke recently visited Groote Eylandt as part of the AFL Club Partnership Program.

Under the AFL club partnership agreement between Groote Eylandt and the Geelong Cats, Travis Varcoe and Max Rooke visited some of the Territories newest wave of budding young footballers last week here on Groote Eylandt. Over the four day visit, senior and juniors players from Groote Eylandt were fortunate to rub shoulders with the premiership players who recently starred in the 2009 Geelong Cats Premiership win against St Kilda.

With the 2009/10 GEFL Wet season competition up and running, various activities were organized to up skill players and coaches with some of the skills needed to help throughout the season. Ron Watt, from Geelong’s player development department conducted specialised training sessions in each community. Assisted by Varcoe and Rooke, Ron identified some of the strengths and weaknesses relevant to each side, and tailored drills for them similar to those used by the Cats.

Coinciding with the visit was the soft launch of the new GEMCO School Cats Football Attendance Program. Under a new partnership devised by GEMCO, the Anindilyakwa Land Council, Geelong FC, and the AFLNT, the new schools program is aimed at increasing school attendances in the Anindilyakwan Region. Having the support from the most successful AFL Club going around has cemented the program, and will reinforce that through football, all sorts of goals are achievable.

Children who have a record of poor attendance will be targeted through the Cats football program. Boys and Girls of any school age will conduct training sessions prior to school, with behavior and attendance being closely monitored. If students attend school regularly, they will then be eligible to play in a ‘Football Friday’ competition, and will be rewarded with different apparel, as incentives for their commitment.

As part of the school cats program, the Geelong players conducted one of the morning training sessions prior to school in Angurugu, followed by breakfast at the school. Close to 20 young boys and girls attended the 45 minute session, with all involved clearly enjoying the chance to have an early morning kick with the Cats.