West Coast Ea­gles come to town

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

City of Kar­ratha chil­dren and adults alike had the chance to meet some of their foot­ball he­roes last week when a con­tin­gent of West Coast Ea­gles play­ers flew in for their first Pil­bara com­mu­nity camp in years.

For­mer long-term play­ers turned coach­ing staff Adam Sel­wood and Mark Ni­coski joined young play­ers Tom Lamb, Tarir Bayok, Kurt Mu­timer, Tom Gorter, Fran­cis Wat­son, Paddy Bro­phy and Mal­colm Karpany and team schools and com­mu­nity co-or­di­na­tor Kim Han­nah for the busy two­day tour on Thurs­day and Fri­day.

School skills clin­ics, coach­ing devel­op­ment ses­sions and pre­sent­ing at a Sportsper­sons’ Night at the Kar­ratha Leisure­plex on Thurs­day and Lead­er­ship and Busi­ness Break­fast at Onyx on Sharpe on Fri­day were the main events on their pro­gram and drew plenty of ex­cite­ment and at­ten­tion from lo­cal foot­ball fans.

The play­ers also spent time visit­ing lo­cal hos­pi­tals and aged care fa­cil­i­ties, and stopped by a num­ber of small busi­nesses.

Sel­wood said the team’s an­nual com­mu­nity camps to dif­fer­ent parts of re­gional WA were al­ways an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity for coun­try chil­dren to in­ter­act with ath­letes they would oth­er­wise only see on TV.

“They’ve got role mod­els and idols who they look up to, who they see on the TV and they don’t get to see ev­ery day,” he said.

“What we do through here is spread the word about ob­vi­ously join­ing foot­ball but also healthy life­style choices, ex­er­cis­ing, what to eat, what to drink and hav­ing good re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple on the out­side.

“So there’s a lot of strong mes­sages we try to push, and it’s not just fo­cused on foot­ball.”

Sel­wood said re­gional vis­its were par­tic­u­larly good for de­vel­op­ing their younger crop of play­ers who could be the team’s up-and-com­ing stars of the fu­ture.

“The play­ers who are up here are not play­ing in the JLT se­ries . . . whether that’s through in­jury or they weren’t able to get a game,” he said.

“But (these camps) are all good for their devel­op­ment. It’s great for them to get out, ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing dif­fer­ent and see WA.

“And then in time hope­fully they’ll be the play­ers that are ac­tu­ally in the AFL game, and there’s al­ways that next group of play­ers and gen­er­a­tion com­ing through.”

The Ea­gles’ last com­mu­nity camp to the Pil­bara was about seven years ago and in­cluded then­new and rel­a­tively un­known re­cruit Nic Nai­tanui, who Fri­day break­fast event MC Sean Throssell re­called as shy.

WA Foot­ball Com­mis­sion Pil­bara re­gional devel­op­ment man­ager Vicki Agnew said it had been a busy but suc­cess­ful com­mu­nity camp for the Ea­gles.

She said she hoped to ex­pand it to in­clude other parts of the Pil­bara in fu­ture.

Pic­tures: Ali­cia Per­era

A Kar­ratha Pri­mary School stu­dent hand­balls to West Coast Ea­gles player Tom Gorter.

Kar­ratha Pri­mary School stu­dents were ex­cited to learn foot­ball skills with West Coast Ea­gles play­ers and coaches at Kar­ratha Leisure­plex Oval.

A Kar­ratha Pri­mary School stu­dent with West Coast Ea­gles player Tom Lamb.

Both the Kar­ratha Pri­mary School stu­dents and Ea­gles play­ers en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence.

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