Last year really proved to me how important sport is to the health and wellbeing of the commodity. Amidst a global pandemic, we were able to get out onto the field and provide some relief for both children and parents. I have never seen the kids so excited about playing. And it wasn’t hard to see how lucky they were. You only have to look at our Victorian cousins, who had the entire season wiped away to realise how dire it could of been.
So we head into this season with hope that we will be even closer to a normal season. At this stage there is no reason to doubt we won’t be able to conduct a full length season for both Auskick and Juniors. Of course, we have to remain mindful that this could all change if we go through another outbreak. But we have certainly learnt to be nothing but nimble over the past 12 months.
Due to the late finish of the 2020 season, summer sport such as cricket will finish later than normal as well. Therefore, our 2021 season won’t be started until after the upcoming school holidays (and Easter). The exact dates are yet to be confirmed, but we are still planning on a 15 round Junior season, and a 12 week Auskick program. Once these dates are confirmed, we will send them around.
This will also create issues with our preseason training for Juniors, with access to field severely restricted. However due to the close working relationship with the Lane Cove Cricket Club, we have been able to gain access to the Steve Chisholm Oval on Wednesday’s. While some cricket teams will be training, we are allowed to utilise the areas that are not being used. Please refer to your coach/coordinators for more information about when specific training will commence.
With some normality returning, we are planning to initiate some programs that were in curtailed last year. One of them is our Friday night specialist training sessions. We are planning to invite experienced coaches to the club to undertake training for players who wish to further their development. We will also use the session to conduct one-off carnivals if numbers are great enough.
We are also looking to taking the final steps towards the formation of a new youth club. The close working relationship with North Ryde will be formalised into the creation of a youth joint venture club for age groups U13 to U18 later this year. We have had several teams (such as U14 and U15 last year) already play under a joint venture arrangement. However the plan is for both clubs to feed into this structure on a permanent basis.
Data has shown that clubs with at least two teams per age group have been more structurally sound, and provided a better experience for the players. It would enable us to enter teams in higher divisions for players looking to compete against the best. However, it also provides opportunities for kids who just want to have a kick with mates in lower divisions. Keep an eye out for some new name and playing jersey for this joint venture club in coming weeks.
We also know how powerful word of mouth is. Therefore, we ask that you and your children spread the word about Aussie Rules at the Lane Cove Cats. Any friend that is curious about Aussie Rules and the club can “try before they buy” by coming along with you to a pre-season training session. Please let you coach or official know.
If that person registers with the club, as a reward you will receive some Sydney Swans or GWS Giants merchandise, include hats, scarfs and small accessories. To be eligible, all you need to do is ask the new member to list your name under the “Referred by Friend” section on the registration form.
Of course, we are always looking for people you help us out at the club. This is a volunteer organisation, and only runs off the hard work of some dedicated people. We understand that not everyone has time to be a coach or look after the equipment store. But if you have 30mins a week to spare, we have some very small jobs that will go a long way to helping us provide the best experience for the kids. If you want to get involved, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We will be holding some season information sessions for both Juniors and Auksick in coming weeks. These will most likely to be held over Zoom/Skype to enable as many people as possible to attend. Please keep an eye out for announcements of dates for these sessions.
I look forward to seeing you all out of the field in 2021.
President, Lane Cove Cats
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