Erin was thrilled to meet new Melbourne draftee Billy Stretch during the Demons’ visit to the Bass Coast Specialist School.
THE Melbourne Demons visited South Gippsland for two days last week as part of the AFL Community Camps.
On Wednesday, groups of players visited local schools for the ‘Read Like A Demon’ literacy program, with Demon players demonstrating the importance of reading to students during the visits.
The players introduced themselves to the students at Wonthaggi Primary, Wonthaggi North Primary, Powlett River Primary, St Joseph’s Primary Wonthaggi, Kongwak Primary, Inverloch Primary and the Bass Coast Specialist School, before answering an array of questions from students.
Following the school visits the players ventured to the Meeniyan Recreation Reserve where local children were treated to a free clinic with the players. It was a chance for the Demons to pass on tips and help develop the budding footballers’ skills.
At Tarwin, another group of Demon players ran a session with the Gippsland Power Under 15 Squad.
Local Demons fans were invited to a dinner at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club on Wednesday night alongside players and coaches, with 150 guests in attendance.
Bass Coast Shire CEO Paul Buckley was MC for the night and guest speakers included Melbourne captain Nathan Jones, vice-captain Lynden Dunn, new draftees Christian Petracca and Angus Brayshaw, and Melbourne development coach Brett Allison.
On Thursday morning, groups of players started the day with a leadership program and women’s forum at Wonthaggi Secondary College, and a leadership program and clinic at Leongatha Secondary College.
Players also visited Bass Coast Health in Wonthaggi and Seahaven in Inverloch. The club held three clinics on Thursday including a clinic for Inverloch Primary School at the Inverloch Recreation Reserve, a clinic for Leongatha Primary, Mirboo North Primary, St Lawrence’s Primary and the South Gippsland Specialist School at Leongatha Primary School.
At the Korumburra Showgrounds, Korumburra Primary and St Joseph’s Primary Korumburra were treated to a clinic.
AFL Gippsland football development manager Chelsea Caple said the camp was a great success.
“The amount of access to players that the community, schools, hospitals and local clubs get has been successful, allowing the players to have the influence they have as role models on everybody,” she said.
“We saw kids as young as preppies being influenced, then at the dinner we had people who had supported Melbourne since the 1930s, so it’s captured a lot of people in the visit which is good.”