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Sydney Swans visit a big hit with kids

Jack Hiscox gives the kids a workout at Inverell High School. PHOTO: By Warwick BedfordTHE AFL arrived with a flourish last week and infected many Inverell youth with enthusiasm and excitement about the sport.

Sydney Swans players Callum Sinclair and Jack Hiscox arrived on Monday evening and put some younger players through a series of skill tests and support in a clinic, then stepped it up a notch with an hour of play with the Inverell Saints.

“The visit was an outstanding success,” AFL NSW/ACT development manager Matt Crawley said.

“The volunteers had done an enormous amount of work to ensure the club’s after-school session was well attended,” he said.

Matt felt the dinner at the RSM Club was a great time to engage the pros with the locals, even though they all turned up a little late.

“The reason for that was because Callum and Jack were having such a great time coaching and training with the Inverell senior squad, I couldn’t get them off the field,” he said.

“Lucky the club was just over the road, otherwise the kitchen would have been closed by the time we arrived.”

Inverell AFL publicity officer Sonia Martin agreed the visit was a success for all ages.

“I think it was probably different for the older kids and the bigger

I know my kids were just so excited to meet real footballers,” she laughed.

She said the younger children enjoyed the series of exercises the players set them.

“(They were) patient, approachable, made it very easy for the kids to get along with them,” she said.

She said the players gave the older children and teens more challenging skill drills with great success.

“They really gave them more serious pointers, whereas a lot of fun with the little kids,” Sonia said.

The players did a school tour on Tuesday morning, adapting the message of healthy living and embracing sport as fun at Inverell Public School, Holy Trinity and Inverell High.

Auskick committee member Warwick Bedford said he was impressed with the Swans’ ability to offer targeted messages and skills to different age groups.

He said after the more fun, simple primary presentation, the Swans had a more mature message for the high schoolers.

“They did a lot of talking about themselves, about goal-setting,” Warwick said.

“You know, sharing their journey with the kids to help them set achievement goals. Really good; really top stuff.”

For more information about the coming AFL junior action in Inverell, contact Sonia Martin on 0417 139 557.

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