Ex­mouth ju­niors out un­der lights

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

Ex­mouth’s young foot­ballers ran out un­der the bright lights of a much big­ger field than usual on July 22 when they played dur­ing the half-time break of an AFL match at Su­bi­aco Oval.

Some 43 chil­dren from the Ex­mouth PCYC Aus­kick foot­ball pro­gram flew to Perth and played a star­ring role in the round 18 Fre­man­tle and Hawthorn game, pro­vid­ing the half-time en­ter­tain­ment in front of a crowd of about 30,000 peo­ple.

Ex­mouth PCYC cen­tre man­ager Lau­ren Ram­pling said the half­time game was an op­por­tu­nity of­fered to all WA Aus­kick groups ev­ery four years, with Ex­mouth last tak­ing part in 2013. She said it had been an ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for their young foot­ballers.

“We had the best seats, we were right by one of the goals and re­ally close to the oval — it was un­be­liev­able,” she said.

“It was so dif­fer­ent to play­ing on our lit­tle oval that we have here.”

“There were so many more peo­ple, and they had their fam­i­lies in the au­di­ence watch­ing them and be­ing part of it.

“They thought they were go­ing to be on the TV as well, play­ing a game they love.”

The cen­tre spent 18 months fundrais­ing and raised about $40,000 to­tal to cover costs, in­clud­ing a $10,000 do­na­tion from Mrs Mac’s, a golf-ball-drop fundraiser and par­ent con­tri­bu­tions. The group made a week­end of it by fly­ing to Perth the pre­vi­ous Thurs­day, vis­it­ing their part­ner WAFL club South Fre­man­tle on Fri­day and vis­it­ing the West Coast Ea­gles on Satur­day be­fore the young­sters made their de­but on the big stage.

“There were a lot of good parts of the trip, but when we asked the chil­dren what they en­joyed most, ev­ery sin­gle one said play­ing on the oval was the best part,” Ms Ram­pling said.

“I think it’s some­thing that will stay with them for a long time. They were buzzing.” The chil­dren all re­ceived cer­tifi­cates of par­tic­i­pa­tion at their PCYC game last week.

Pic­ture: Matt Gates

Ex­mouth Aus­kick foot­ballers were ex­cited to play at half-time dur­ing the AFL match be­tween Fre­man­tle and Hawthorn at Do­main Sta­dium last month.

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