The following article appears in this week’s Hornsby Advocate. Click here
to view the article, and the photos of Knox Prep boys in action.
The Sydney Swans travelled to the rugby union stronghold of Wahroonga this afternoon to run a clinic with 150 excited year 5 students at Knox Grammar Preparatory School.
Swans players Brett Meredith, Josh Kennedy, Ted Richards, Jack Lynch, Mark Seaby and Daniel Hannabury put the boys through their paces in goal-kicking, hand-passing and ball-running drills, introducing them to the basic skills of the game.
James Cannon, 10, of Wahroonga is already a convert to AFL and was keen to encourage his mates to sign up to his St Ives side.
“I’ve played AFL pretty much my whole life,’’ he said.
“I was born in Melbourne and love kicking the footy around in the backyard all day with my father - that’s the best part of it, just kicking footies.”
His friend and team mate at St Ives, Jack Puncher, also 10, of East Lindfield agreed.
“It’s got a lot more variety than other games - in soccer you can only kick the ball, but in AFL you can touch it with your hands and do a lot more,” he said.
The clinic was something of a homecoming for one-time Hornsby resident Jack Lynch, who took up AFL while he was a schoolboy at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, in Lane Cove.
“What I love about the game is the freedom of it - it’s a game for all players, tall and skinny, big or small, there’s something in it for all shapes and sizes,” he said.
“I’d encourage kids to try everything and see what suits them, but I hope this convinces a few to take up AFL.”
The clinic is part of an aggressive push by the AFL into parts of Sydney traditionally dominated by the two rugby codes.
Sydney’s second team, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, take on the Swans in the new club’s inaugural AFL match on March 24 at ANZ Stadium.