Grassroots footy support for regional Western Australia
Elders is supporting the next generation of country kids to take their dreams to the next level with a series of regional football clinics led by ex-AFL player, Troy Longmuir.
Held in regional towns across Western Australia each school holidays, the clinics are a chance for young players to strengthen their skills and have fun on the field together.
Troy established his football academy this year in Perth to help serious and competitive young players improve all aspects of their game.
“I grew up in Koorda on a wheat and sheep farm, so I know how much footy means to country kids,” he said.
“Taking my program to the country is a great opportunity for these kids to get some specialised coaching, test their skills and develop their game in a competitive and safe environment.”
Elders came on board to support the regional clinics in the winter school holidays, with two-day clinics held in Northam and Narrogin.
The clinics were run for boys and girls in two age groups, with a 10 to 12 year age group and a 13 to 15 year age group. The sessions were limited to 20 kids per session and concentrate on fundamental skills like kicking, handballs and marking as well as decision making.
“I speak to the kids about what it takes to get to the elite level, and while talent is important, it’s not the most important thing,” Troy said.
“To get to that elite level at whatever you choose to do, you have to put in a tonne of practice, around 10,000 hours worth, and you have to enjoy what you’re doing.”
Troy’s path to AFL level started with his father, Ian, who coached him through primary school.
“He was a pretty good footballer himself and played 350 games of country footy. He realised the importance of the fundamentals of football skills and, of course, we had plenty of space to make football grounds and goals on the farm.”
Troy’s football skills developed further at boarding school before he was picked up by West Perth in the WAFL. He went on to play for Melbourne, Fremantle and Carlton.
“I was fortunate enough to play nine years of AFL footy and I had my fair share of ups and downs in that time,” he said.
“There are challenges in life whatever you do, it’s not all easy street, so part of what I do with my coaching and clinics is to help kids develop resilience and self-belief to go on and do their best when they get to those tough times.”
Partnering with Elders was an easy choice for Troy.
“We’re both looking to give that grassroots support to regional communities and our values align. It helps that my parents were Elders customers for 40 years and my sister works for Elders in Broome, so I know that Elders is all about supporting the community.”
Nick Fazekas, General Manager – WA at Elders, said Elders was proud to be supporting regional communities through the program.
“A lot of the time, it is sport that sustains rural communities and brings everyone together,” Nick said.
“We are passionate about giving back to communities and the younger generation and this sponsorship is a great way for us to give country kids a boost.”
Nick said Troy was coming along to the Dowerin field days at the end of the August, where he will be hosting a kicking competition to test the skills of young and old.
Two more regional clinics are planned for the spring school holidays with locations to be announced in the coming weeks. You can register your interest via the Troy Longmuir Football Academy website.
Learn more about how Elders supports local communities through their Community Partnerships program.