WJFC Year 7 Melbourne Footy Trip
Friday 5 August - Sunday 7 August 2016
This season our team embarked on the annual Year 7 WJFC Melbourne Footy Trip. The trip is made possible by way of fundraising activities by volunteer parents from the year group. The largest undertaking is managing and running the canteen each Sunday. The canteen caters for all the Auskickers' and teams playing at home at Wembley Oval each week of the season. Managing the canteen is a huge but rewarding undertaking and Paul and Tasmin Foster did an outstanding job ensuring our budding footy stars were fed each week. The egg and bacon rolls were a huge hit as were the little lolly bags!
The fundraising does not stop with the canteen efforts. In order to accrue the funds required to get our 17 boys and parents to Melbourne we also ran a raffle. The raffle prize was a trip for two to the AFL Grand Final including flights, accommodation, AFL pre-game breakfast and Match Day tickets. Many Wembley families supported our raffle and we were able to raise funds to support the trip. Craig and Shuan Ginbey ran and administered the raffle and made a huge success of it. A family in West Leederville won the prize!!!
We had the opportunity to run a silent auction at the infamous Bogan Bingo evening. Our team parents were generous with their donations and the Bogan Bingo players were just as generous with their purchases on the night. (Maybe not as generous as they were over the bar that night!). The proceeds from the silent auction augmented our other fundraising activities.
Our boys were decked out in great branded windbreakers and team bags for the trip and this merchandise was generously sponsored by New Choice Homes and Brealey Quill Kenny Accountants. Thanks again to Craig and Shuan Ginbey for their efforts with sponsorship.
Our itinerary kicked off on the 6.00am Virgin flight out of Perth. The boys were excited and the parents were drinking lots of coffee. We had our first appointment at the MCG for a grand tour of the facilities followed by a walk through the MCG Museum. This is a not to be missed experience even if you don't have an interest in footy. The MCG is iconic and the history of the place is extraordinary. The museum offers lots of fun activities for kids with interactive zones. It's really cool.
We were back at the MCG, only a short walk from our serviced apartments, for the Collingwood vs Richmond Friday night match. The boys had the opportunity to eat meat pies, drink coke and watch the antics of local Victorian team spectators. There was a crowd of about 45,000 all yelling out "ball, ball, ball" for four quarters. What's that all about!
Saturday was an early start and after a quick breakfast for a a few of the early birds in Degraves St we were off to watch the boys for an AFL performance test. They did speed, flexibility, agility, strength and standing jump tests and their data was recorded on an AFL database. Apparently Nat Fyfe holds the speed record for the AFL. Considering the boys had a very late night on the Friday evening after a very early start they performed really well in the tests and had great fun.
After the performance tests we boarded our team bus to Princess Park, the home of the Carlton Football Club. The boys kicked the footy with the Carlton players after their light morning training session. Jack Silvagni, son of Stephen and grandson of Serge, was a big hit with the kids. We met the Carlton Coach Brendon Bolton who advised us to keep our chins up after telling him our season win/loss record and we proceeded to get a club tour of the inner sanctum with Perth boy Patrick Cripps. Carlton seems to have a very embracing culture with the public and give fans good access to their players.Our boys loved it and some of them became Carlton supporters on the spot. Needless to say their merchandise sales went up whilst we were there.
We were lucky enough to be invited to the North Melbourne Football Club at Arden St for lunch and a skills session with a couple of the players - Sam Wright and Aaron Black. Our boys ate like they'd never seen food before and then went out onto the ground for a one hour skills session followed by a scratch match. No one threw up! After the physical stuff we all got to walk through the admin section, the gym, the change rooms and the inner sanctum. We felt like real shinboners for a couple of hours.
The Saturday evening game was at Etihad between Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne. We caught a tram to the ground and sat right on the boundary next to the players boxes. The boys could hear exchanges between the players and the runners and physios, etc. Majak Daw was on and off the ground all night and impressed the boys. A few more of them are doing regular push up and sit ups after seeing him.
By Sunday morning we were all "footied out". We started the day with a team breakfast and then had some free time. Some went to the Vic Markets, some went to Luna Park. It was amazing that there were Pokemon everywhere we went!
Our team would like to thank Jo Parker our trip organiser, Scout Entertainment and Peter Alexsander our tour company and guide, Andrew Caldow WJFC Treasurer for helping us arrange the funding, Scott James WJFC President and the WJFC Committee.
It was a trip of a lifetime for our boys!