When Boatman and I got engaged, it was on one proviso. That I reneg my sworn allegiance to the West Coast Eagles and devote myself solely to the advancement and support of the Adelaide Crows.
I had my reserves; mostly based on the fact that West Coast has been my team since I spent a holiday in Perth with my cousin, and he let me wear his west coast hat. Although I had never watched a game of AFL, they were my chosen team and it is unAustralian to not have one.
Obviously Boatman won out, and a good thing too, since our honeymoon to Perth and a visit to said relatives included a withdrawal of the photo album, and a pic of me smiling.
Wearing a Perth Wild Cats hat. (A basketball team for those of you with no idea.)
From that moment I had no problem declaring myself an avid Adelaide supporter.
Over the years, not only have I found myself watching the game with Boatman, but I have learnt to embrace footy culture. I have a guernsey, and a hat. I know what to yell at the screen, and when to scream it appropriately.
I have a secret desire to be a goal umpire and wave flags ceremoniously though the air.
I’m yet to see that dream realised.
I have, however, achieved the next best thing.
I’m an Aus-Kick coach.
Now if you’re reading from across the seas, or perhaps an
incompetent Australian Rugby Supporter, you may not be aware that the Australian Football League is dedicated to grass roots training.
In other words, they encourage a love and
obsession passion of footy from the time kids are four to five.
The NAB AusKick program is a fantastic program that is affordable and great value for money. The kids love it and it suits our family down to the ground.
One of the reasons for its success is that it relies heavily on the support of volunteers.
Like yours truly.
Now at this point, you may be wondering ‘what on earth qualified you for the job?’
Pretty much the fact that for one wild moment, I thought I could actually do it, and put my hand up.
Oh, how wrong I was.
Now I have managed to fool…. Well no one, but I have tried.
I listened very intently when learning all the technical speak, and know all the right things to teach.
I wear my two shirts and whistle with extreme pride.
I even have tiny little four year olds, calling me coach.
But the fact of the matter is that I am pretty sure most of the parents, upon signing up their kids, handing over their money and getting their free back pack and drink bottle, when they see me, have this reaction.
I am the worst AusKick coach ever . It’s quite hilarious.
I tell them all to get a football, when they only need one between two.
I can’t keep them in a straight line for longer than…. I can’t keep them in a straight line at all.
Today’s attempt at playing footy was like watching a Collingwood and Essington Derby.
A glorified games of stacks on.
Occasionally with members of the same team all fighting over the ball.
And me, with my broken toe, a toddler on my hip screaming ‘no football mummy!’ delayed whistle blowing, and forgetting what anything was called. (To be fair, ‘holding the ball’ really had little meaning in this game.)
However, in my defense, I’m working with four year olds. They require the strictest of instructions; even a simple game of stuck in the mud is completely above their heads.
I can’t really justify it that way to the parents though:
‘Oh yeah! You think I suck as a coach? I don’t suck! Your kid sucks!’
I probably wouldn’t get to volunteer next year.
But what I lack in talent and know how, I make up for in raw enthusiasm.
I have those kids eating out of the palm of my hand.
They may even, with their complete lack of any kind of previous experience, view me as the best coach ever.
And even if they don’t….
At least I still have my whistle.
Would you send your kids to my AusKick class?
How awesome is my whistle?