Life after the first quarter (of 2011) - heading up AFL GB
Wednesday, March 30 2011 @ 06:41 am ACDT
Contributed by: Adam Bennett - AFL England President
We all love getting on the pitch and hip-and-shouldering our opponent. We all love the social aspects of the sport which bring us together, making new friends that last a lifetime. We all enjoy the endless banter about the shot we missed and the superman block you accidentally tripped into. What pushes a person to sign up for more work than they already have in their already busy life, organising the footy so that others have the opportunity to play?
Love of the game.
My name is Adam Bennett and in November 2010 I was voted in as the President of AFL GB at the 2nd annual national conference. There were numerous changes in the AFL GB committee and I'd like to recognise up front the massive contributions from Glen Ocsko - the previous President who helped steer the organisation onto the path; Kat Wheeler - one of the most passionate supporters of footy growth and development I've ever had the pleasure to work with; and Sam Percy - who continues to be a stalwart of the sport in London, spending untold hours supporting the sport.
Taking up posts on the AFL GB committee were a group of experienced and focused individuals who are now looking to take footy to the next level and drive a sustainable and consistent growth in the sport.
Taking over as President, I come from a 15-year background of playing for, managing and administering local sports clubs. My footy career started in 2004 and 7 seasons, an EU Cup, 2 International Cups and precisely 0 domestic goals later, the fire burns even more brightly to develop, promote and enjoy this wonderful sport.
Rick Shrowder takes on an advisory role assisting those interested in Junior Development. Rick has spent several years developing successful schemes in the north east and is keen to share his experience with others.
Andrew Jones, a Sydney native now living in England is making great strides in setting up an Umpires development path.
Don Eastwood continues on in the role of Treasurer, as well as accepting the nomination of President of AFL London.
Mark Pitura and Rob Fielder are in the process of preparing the GB Bulldogs for the forthcoming International Cup in Sydney and Melbourne, as Head Coach and Assistant Coach. With fantastic sporting pedigrees in professional footy and international alpine slalom ski-racing respectively, they form an ideal partnership for developing the skills, experience, fitness and conditioning of the squad.
All of these people share a common value - a passion for the sport which accepts personal sacrifice to ensure that the sport is played and enjoyed by others. The same situation occurs in every walk of life, in sport, charity, work and family. I was impatient to move from my first training session onto the pitch. Hooked after my first quarter marking an Aussie. And in for the long haul when I came to realise the scope and potential that exists for this sport, not just in my local town, or my country, but around the world.
Travelling to the International Cup in 2005 and 2008, seeing the explosion of footy outwards from London from 2006 across England, Wales and Scotland and now putting myself in the position to directly influence the development of the sport, are all some of the most exciting experiences of my life. Love of the game keeps us turning up to training and battling our opponent. Love of the game drives us to ensure its continuation and growth, building a legacy that will benefit countless others long after we hang up the boots.
Where is your love of the game taking you?