MORE than 450 primary school students from around Bass Coast received top footy tips and loads of encouragement when players from Melbourne Football Club hosted a few super clinics last Tuesday.
Thirteen stars from the Demons roster chatted with teachers and parents, signed autographs, answered burning questions from students and coached participants in various skill-building activities.
The first clinic took place at Wonthaggi Rec Reserve, where around 190 students from nearby schools enjoyed a 90-minute training session with the stars.
From there it was over to Phillip Island, where 260 students – covering Bass Valley, San Remo, Cowes and Newhaven Primary Schools – congregated at the Newhaven school oval.
Activities included handball at targets, tackling bump bags, sprinting, grabbing a mark from ‘speccie’ bags and enlightening question-and-answer sessions.
Curious students asked illuminating questions such as ‘What is your back-up job?’, ‘Who is the smallest player?’ and ‘Who do you reckon Melbourne’s best tagger is?’
At the conclusion of the Newhaven clinic, the school was presented with an A4 sheet full of signatures while players posed with fans for photos.
Chelsea Caple, football development manager for AFL Gippsland, said the clinics are a great way for students of all skill levels to have a go, even if they’ve barely touched a footy.
“It’s a fantastic chance for kids to test their skills and be taught by the best of the best,” Ms Caple said.
“Being told by an AFL player that you have a good kick is invaluable – you can’t get better than that.”