I hit the Pacific Highway on the morning of Monday 25th November, headed up to Forster for a brief trip to visit some of the Kick-Off sites running throughout the Mid-North Coast Region. I think it is fair to say the last few weeks have been really tough on the whole region, with terrifying bushfires ripping through the area and leaving a long-lasting trail of destruction in their wake. The football community always bands together in tough times though and this trip only served to reinforce that fact.
My first visit was to the Taree Kick-Off site and champion coordinator Ben Sedlen on the Monday afternoon. On the bright side of things the rain also paid Taree a much-needed visit, though with difficult smog like conditions this meant that the scheduled Kick-Off session for the evening had to be postponed due to air quality and an impending storm. After a quick chat with Ben, I decided to call past Taree’s famous “Big Oyster” and add it to the ever-growing list of “Big” landmarks that I have visited on my travels this year (along with Coffs Harbour’s Banana and Ballina’s Prawn).
On Tuesday afternoon I made the short trip across the bridge from Forster to visit the Tuncurry Forster FC’s club Kick-Off Program. I got the chance to meet club legend and Kick-Off coordinator Lance Fletcher. Having been involved with the Tigers for most of his life, Lance is still working hard to ensure that the club succeeds and that the local kids have a chance to play as much football as possible. It was great to have a kick with the boys and grab a quick squad photo as yet another evening storm rolled in with some more rain! I would also like to give special mention to the whole Tigers club, who have been sending truck loads of essential goods – not only to people who have lost everything in the fires, but also to the brave firefighters who have been tirelessly working to save lives and properties. Be sure to check out their Facebook Page to see their fantastic efforts!
The trip was rounded out with a fun-filled visit to the Nabiac Kick-Off for Girls program on Wednesday afternoon. Kick-Off Coordinator Christal Pearce a.k.a “Pearcy” and her coaches put on a great session for the girls, with plenty of skills, goals and even more laughter! Christal and the team at Wallamba FC have been laying the foundations at their club to ensure that local girls have a pathway to play football for the long term. It was really nice to see the girls have so much fun together, given some of their families have only just been allowed back into their houses after two weeks of fearing the worst. Thank you to Christal and the team for having me along for a kick and keep up the great work!
Alex Lowe – MiniRoos Development Officer