Seagulls out to get kids fitter
MARK McDowell will help bridge the gap between North Shore and the community as coach of the Seagulls.
President Dale Purcell revealed McDowell, who signed a three-year contract on Wednesday, would also play a pivotal role off the field.
“He’s a northern suburbs boy right from the start, and he’s got family history here, but the club wants to do more things with the community,” Purcell said.
“And with Mark’s standing at Waterworld and the people he knows out here, it all ties in, not just with football, but with all the community programs that we’re going to try and bring to the club.
“That was one of the reasons we went for ‘Macca’. He knows the area quite well and he’s well respected out this way, so that was one of the main reasons why he was at the top of the list.”
He said the club was working with Steve Lewry and Northern Bay College to get more children in the northern suburbs active.
“We’re trying to get out amongst the schools to try so get them to play sport, whatever sport that might be,” Purcell said.
“It doesn’t have to be football and netball that we run, but we just want to get kids healthy. “We’re trying to get parents to see the advantages of kids playing sport. It’s a big thing and we believe we can drive it here with some programs.
“We’re trying to get the government behind us, and with where we are located and the facilities we’ve got here, we can run a few things.
“We do a few things with the kitchen on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and we’re going to branch that out now. We want our club to be the main community hub in the area, 3214.”
McDowell will also have a significant role on the field for the Seagulls, lifting the struggling club up the ladder.
But he has the backing of Purcell and the current board, who are eager for him to lead the club long term.
“Three (years) is the start, and the way we’ve been talking, it could be more,” Purcell said.