Something for everyone

COFFS Harbour’s NAB Challenge match between the Sydney Swans and St Kilda on Saturday is being promoted by the AFL as a community event that the whole family can enjoy.

To celebrate the first elite-level AFL match to be played in Coffs Harbour in eight years, footy fans will have a big opportunity this weekend to interact with players and coaches and participate in pre- and post-match activities.

Children will be able to access the NAB AFL Fun Zone from 4pm, where they will find plenty of AFL games, as well as face-painting and give-aways.

While the children are enjoying the NAB AFL Fun Zone, parents can bring their picnic baskets and set up on the hill as they watch the future stars of the AFL play in the curtain-raiser to the main fixture.

Two representative matches have been scheduled between Mid North Coast and the local AFL North Coast under-13 and under-15 teams from 4.50pm onwards.

North Coast QBE Sydney Swans Academy players will be treated to a rare opportunity to join the red and white on the ground during quarter-time to hear coach John Longmire’s address to the players.

Similarly, level one coaches will join the St Kilda huddle to hear from successful Saints coach Ross Lyon.

This will be an invaluable experience and something coaches can take back with them to their clubs, after hearing first-hand from the coach that has led the Saints to the grand final for the past two years.

As well, three Coffs Harbour junior umpires – Josh Corlis, Jacob Corlis and Nick Bailey – will join the AFL’s professional umpires during the NAB Challenge match.

The promising umpires will get the chance to meet the match umpires and participate in their preparation for the game, including an on-ground warm-up.

Budding AFL juniors will show off their skills during NAB half-time Auskick.

Indigenous students from Orara High School will take to the field as part of the AFL’s and Australian Government’s Learn Earn Legend program.

After the NAB Challenge match there will be an opportunity for all footy fans to run on to the ground for a kick of the footy.

Also at the stadium will be a Play AFL registration tent, where people of different ages, shapes and sizes and abilities can find a club to join for the season.

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