A handful of trophies, shields and certificates were passed to a range of talented AFL Academy students at Park Ridge High this October 10, a program that offers elite coaching for students looking to excel in football.
Director of AFL Excellence Zac Mclean says the night recognised a range of achievements from the students, including a best and fairest player for each of their four teams.
“It was a fantastic night. We weren’t able to have the awards night last year due to restrictions so it was great to have the night back and see over 250 people there,” Mr Mclean said.
“We awarded our team of the year which out of the four teams is the team that performed the best throughout the whole year. We also named an all star team where we picked the best performers from each team into a team form.
“We also gave an ACS award out for a junior and a senior, which goes to a person who adheres to our program values the most.
“Then we honoured our Year 12 departing students with a service medal.”
Mr Mclean says that the AFL awards were also about acknowledging the students’ hard work in areas other than sport.
“You know, we are about sports and AFL excellence, and making sure we are developing students as best as we can. That’s really what those awards are about is recognising those students,” Mr Mclean said.
“We also had awards for people adhering to our values the best. So we are trying to produce good leaders out of our program as well as people who are upstanding citizens.
“We also recognise the academic students within the program, by putting them on an honour roll. So, not just the athletes, but focusing on how we conduct ourselves on the field, but also off the field and in the classroom as well.”
Mr Mclean says it is heartwarming to see the students’ rewarded for their accomplishments and hopes awards can continue to be held each year.
“I was very proud. It’s awesome seeing the students in their element and seeing them get the recognition they deserve for their efforts throughout the year,” Mr Mclean said.
“All the coaches that were there were very proud to award those to the deserving students.
“It was a good night for the program and for the culture of the students as well so we had a fantastic night and really looked forward to putting more of these events on.”
Park Ridges AFL Excellence Academy is a professional coaching program run at the school that has trained Jade Ransfield, a current Brisbane Lions player and seen visits from former Lions player, Simon Black.