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Saturday, November 28 2020 @ 01:35 pm ACDT

Teaching footy to the kids in Canada

North AmericaCan Australian Football be the next biggest thing for Canadian kids? Emile Studham is betting on it, mate.

The 30-year-old transplanted Australian is founder of Aussie X, a sporting program for kids that teaches the rules of Australian-rules football, or “footy” for short. "Kids love the accents, and we ham it up. If they want us to say ‘crikey’ like the Crocodile Hunter, we will. Sometimes it’s just a laugh riot,” Studham said.

Studham started a chapter of the Australian Football League’s childhood program in Toronto in 2003 called Auskick to bring the fun of footy to Canadian kids.

After getting the program rolling, Studham relocated back to Australia to become a school teacher. His love for Canada brought him back to Toronto in 2007 to build off of Auskick’s success with Aussie X, a wholly self-funded venture to take footy on the road to reach kids directly.

Aussie X instructors go directly to schools and day camps to offer seminar-style footy sessions for large groups of kids. Aussie X offers camp programs in half-day, one-day or two-day packages while school programs generally include three to five days of instruction.

In just six short months there have been 11,000 participants in schools and camps across southern Ontario. Studham is working on a collaborative program with the Toronto Police that would give at-risk students from needier schools and community centres access to the program.

Full story at Canada's Metro News
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