Last week GOTAFE Sport & Recreation students were given a special treat when asked to assist the Collingwood Football Club on their community camp in Wangaratta. Given the workload on the players AFL Victoria’s Zac Guilffoyle approached Sport and Recreation to assist in the drills with Hundreds of primary school children. GOTAFE students worked alongside the Collingwood elite across two days which saw them utilise coaching techniques and strategies taught during their Diploma of Sports Development course. GOTAFE teacher Richard Mallows says that students weren’t daunted by the task and excelled when working together their AFL role models.
In reciprocation for their work students were treated to a Q& A session with four of the players in the classroom at HP Barr Reserve after the Wednesday Morning session. Players Included Shepparton’s own Steele Sidebottom, 2nd year player Tom Phillips, High flying Melbourne recruit Jeremy Howe and former Murray Bushrangers ruckman Max Lynch. The Q & A session was also attended by the football media, which included Fox Sports and Channels Seven, Ten & Nine, who also conducted a press conference at the Barr Reserve. Students gained a valuable insight of the day to day life of an AFL player asking questions that related to fitness, pre-game preparation, psychology, diet and what the players do in their past time. Players also spoke of their own paths to the top level and the demands of the modern game. The evolving Woman’s AFL competition was also discussed, Steele Sidebottom suggesting that it was great for the game in general. Many GOTAFE students commented that how down to earth the players were and stayed around for a casual chat after the activities.
GOTAFE teachers Richard Mallows, Sharlene Wohlers and Lisa Purcell say that the experience was fantastic for students as it gave a rare insight into the preparation of elite athletes and how high profile people handle themselves in the community. The Teachers went on to say that students taught during the Diploma of Sports Development will have a greater understanding of elite sport given this rare opportunity. The opportunity reaffirms the strong links that GOTAFE Sport and Recreation have with industry such as AFL Victoria.