The Bega Bombers Australian Rules Football Club says family involvement has been key to their growth.
“Three years ago when the club elected to concentrate on the development of its juniors we had trouble fielding full teams,” says Club President Stephen Nicol.
“This year we’re confident enough to enter two new teams in the competition – an under ten team and under 16 boys.”
Mr Nicol says when he studied the club’s playing lists he was surprised to see whole families – brothers, sisters and sometimes mothers turning out in the red and black for the Bombers every week.
“Our younger teams play in a mixed-sex competition so it’s not unusual to see a brother and a sister playing side by side in the same team, this means that families can travel together as a family each weekend and play sport as a family,” he says.
In part, the Bombers also credit the club’s development to the promotion of the NSW Government’s Active Kids Policy. The policy allows parents to claim $100 or every school-age child to cover the cost of playing sport.
“We’re a club of families, many of us are raising three or more children so we know exactly how expensive it can be for kids to play sport,” Mr Nicol says.
“We’ve structured the club so that, using the Government Grant, kids play free. The club provides shorts, socks and a jumper and we even have a box full of recycled boots.
“A family of four could turn up, be fully outfitted and not have to pay a penny.’
The club’s growth has come not at the expense of other codes in town, “but because we’re making it possible for more kids to play,” Mr Nicols believes.
The Bombers will field mixed-sex teams in under ten, under twelve and under fourteen age groups this year.
They’ll field an under sixteen side for young men, young women over the age of fifteen will play in the club’s dynamic women’s team.
Families are invited to come and register this Saturday (February 9) at the Roy Howard Oval, under the Bega Bridge between 10 am and 2 pm.
There’ll be a BBQ and coaches will be on hand to meet parents and new players and play some family fun games.
“Experience isn’t necessary just the decision to have a try,” Mr Nicol says.