We would all agree that the main benefits of any sport is for young people to learn new skills, meet new friends, have fun, keep fit and learn about winning and losing and being able to accept that graciously.
However, whilst the focus is on the young men because it is senior sport, it’s our view that it can also provide benefits for their families. Whether it’s being involved in an official capacity, helping out when asked/rostered, being reminded that winning isn’t everything or meeting new people, sport is an integral part of the period in our lives as our young men are growing and involved in sport.
In addition, sport and sporting clubs are important parts of the community, particularly for providing the benefits listed above. The benefits of various community groups within society is well documented and are probably more important today than ever before, as our lives get busier and more is expected of everyone.
However, it’s our view that football clubs (both junior and senior) create their own communities and environments, better than any other sport does. I’m yet to see or hear about another sport that goes out of its way to create environments that encourage people of all ages to come together and have the opportunity to feel welcomed, as well as football clubs do.
Each training night or Saturday game there is an opportunity to meet other parents, have a chat about your day, your kids (why your teenager son is acting like a Neanderthal too…and all along I thought it was only mine !) and life in general. It’s an opportunity to get involved with the coaches, helping with running the games or a volunteer role at events and functions and doing something that is totally different to your daily job. The benefits are huge and well proven.
Coming down on a Thursday night and being fed dinner for as little as $12, Supporting the teams on game day or making the effort when asked to pitch in, creates opportunities to have time out from your normal routine, it lets you meet different people, maybe some with like interests (people at footy clubs do actually talk about other stuff, not just football), potentially hearing about employment opportunities, watching your sons run around with their friends in a safe environment, having them meet new ones and everyone relaxing and taking some time out.
Life is hectic, everyone works hard and families are stretched many ways and football might be seen as just another activity that needs to be fitted in, but through a footy club it is more than that, it is an opportunity. An opportunity to connect with your sons, connect with other adults, feel welcomed and supported and appreciated. I’d like to think that we do that at the Devils as well as anywhere. Whether you’re a single parent, step parent, guardian or grandparent and live close or have to travel, everyone is welcome. As your sons grow, you will see the benefits for them and you of having been part of a community and one that cares like we do at The Devils.
Steve Draper – President – Wantirna South Devils ( Senior Club )
Kevin van Grondelle – President – Wantirna South Junior Devils