Footy program linking schools with clubs

AFL Central Victoria has launched a new primary school football and netball program.

The Primary School District Program started last Friday with Bendigo divided into six districts and a seventh district located outside of Bendigo.

Each district has three to four primary schools in it and the district is aligned with local football clubs.

FOOTY FUN: Spring Gully's Connor Sheppard and Jackson Hufer with Quarry Hill's Will Crane and Nicholas Lamplugh. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

FOOTY FUN: Spring Gully's Connor Sheppard and Jackson Hufer with Quarry Hill's Will Crane and Nicholas Lamplugh. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The six districts inside Bendigo are  Bendigo South East (Quarry Hill, Spring Gully, Strathfieldsaye-based schools) Kangaroo Flat (Maiden Gully, Big Hill, Kangaroo Flat), Eaglehawk (St Liborius, Cal Gully, Eaglehawk North), North Central Bendigo (which includes Camp Hill, St Peter's and St Kilian's) and North East (White Hills to Huntly).

The seventh district is Loddon Cluster which incorporates Marong, Bridgewater, Inglewood and Lockwood.

"The schools play games against the other schools in their district, most likely on a Friday," AFL Central Victoria football development manager Rick Coburn said.

"There's no scores kept, it's all about fun and participation.

"At the end of the program each district plays a mini-carnival which will be hosted by the local club they are linked to.

"For example, North Bendigo will host a carnival day for St Peter's, Camp Hill and St Kilian's which is a good way for the club to make links with the school community.

"It shows the schools what the clubs have to offer and, hopefully, it will help the clubs attract some new people to get involved with their club in the future."

The program gives schools the opportunity to play three or four games of football and netball leading into the annual regional carnivals  in early term three at Catholic College and Golden City respectively.

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