Sport

Under 15’s bag flag

Warrandyte Junior Football Club experienced an emotional day at Victoria Park in Kew last month with one out of two teams tasting victory in their respective Grand Finals.

The U15s side put on a masterclass to defeat Macleod comfortably by 44 points, but the U14s were left heart- broken after falling to Banyule by a solitary point in the final minute.

A hefty crowd of red and white were present to watch the young Bloods go into battle, kicked off by the Under 14s side.

Warrandyte got off to the best possible start, kicking a goal within 10 seconds of the first bounce. Slightly scrappy play ensued from then on, but the Bloods were able to hold steady and take a seven-point lead into the first change.

Banyule was sharper throughout the second term, but the Bloods found some spark with a high mark and goal to star player Chase Wallace. Brady Poole kicked a much needed steadier right before half- time to keep Warrandyte close, trailing by just a point.

Whatever was said at halftime to the Warrandyte forwards obviously had effect, because the Bloods rattled off two quick re goals right after the long break to regain control of the game.

Wallace continued to put on a show and Warrandyte looked in the box seat with a 15-point lead going into the final term.

What followed was one of the most frantic quarters of football of the season.

Banyule hit back to draw the margin to within a goal with just six minutes to play, before eventually wrestling the lead back with just three minutes on the clock. Warrandyte was unable to muster a clearcut chance and despite playing a terrific game fell agonizingly close, losing 9.8.62 to 10.3.63.

Thankfully for Bloods fans, the Under 15s side was able to record a terrific victory in their Grand Final to bring home silverware for the club.

Jack Boyd was the star of the show kicking five goals to lead the attack. Boyd was ably supported by Leo Garrick in the middle, while Lachie O’Reilly and Sam Martini were defensively sound and hard at it when it counted.

Most impressive was the professionalism and brilliant mental performance from the outfit, keeping their cool throughout in the 12.11.83 to 6.3.39 victory.

“We trained well, we kept our emotions in check, we didn’t get ahead of ourselves. We had some assistance from the Colts during the week, we understood how they (Macleod) play and we executed perfectly,” coach Eugene Hansen told the Diary. The Bloods broke Macleod down by the 15-minute mark of the rst term and from then on continued to put in a full four-quarter performance. All players were contributors, some kicked flashy goals, while others performed crucial one percenters to ensure Warrandyte was out on top when the siren sounded.

“Everyone had an equal opportunity and everyone contributed, and some of the boys probably played 15-20 percent above their usual level. Typical of that was probably Thomas Mckenzie who kicked a goal up forward, he’s not renowned for kicking goals and the celebration after that was amazing,” Hansen said.

Equally as impressive was the turnout from the Warrandyte faithful to support both sides, with Hansen noting a historical significance to the crowd that others may have missed.

“It was fantastic to see life members from the footy club there, I think around 30 years ago I was involved with winning a flag at the same age group and maybe eight or nine of that premiership side came down to watch,” Hansen said.

For both sides, making the final alone was a tremendous achievement and it seems Warrandyte Football Club has some stars in the making over the coming years.

Warrandyte junior footy teams chase flags

LOCALS are urged to put a few hours aside this Sunday to lend their support to two Warrandyte Junior Football Club teams who have made it through to the grand final in the Yarra Junior Football League.

The two teams are the Under 14s (above, celebrating a recent victory) and the Under 15s (below), who both will play at Victoria Park Lower at 12.30pm and 2.45pm respectively, which means the Red & White army of supporters can set up camp at the one venue and watch the two Grand Finals in a row.

Both teams have not only made the big dance, but are red-hot favourites and had the luxury of a weekend off after smashing victories last Sunday week.

The U15s finished their year second on the ladder with an impressive nine wins from 14 matches. They came into their semi final full of confidence after winning their last three matches of the season.

In the first week of the finals the Bloods travelled to Bundoora, who finished on top of the ladder, only losing four matches all year. Our boys dished out an impressive performance and gave the home team a lesson as they smashed Bundoora 14.14.98 d 5.4.34. The win meant the U15s could progress straight to the Grand Final and have a week off.

bloods 15s

Eugene Hanson, coach of the U15s, spoke passionately about how the boys were ready to go and had the potential (playing at their best) to win the Grand Final but had to learn to control their emotions.

“I told them don’t think about the game itself, it’s very important to make the build-up as normal as possible,” he said.

“We have been training to manage and help the players understand the emotions coming into the game. The boys lost a grand final in the U10s competition five years ago and some of them have a fear of losing, so we want to make sure their emotions don’t get the better of them.”

The U15 boys will go into the Grand Final clear favourites as they do battle with Macleod at Victoria Park Lower in Kew at 2.45pm this Sunday (August 28). The good news is our Bloods have beaten Macleod twice throughout the season by comfortable margins. A flag is looking good.

On the same day the U15s rocketed into the grand final, shortly after the U14s followed suit, giving Doncaster no chance of even a sniff of victory as they ran over them 13.5.83 to 5.12.42.

The U14 team’s road to the finals was solid as they finished the regular season on top of the ladder, winning 11 of their possible 15 games, including only one loss in the last 11 (to Preston who was bundled out last week). What made the U14s semi final win even more impressive was that Doncaster finished second, also on 11 wins, with only percentage separating the two teams.

Warrandyte will battle it out with Banyule in the Grand Final after the Bears beat Doncaster in the preliminary final by one goal on Sunday.

U14s coach Andrew Wallace says he is very confident and reckons if the boys “stay strong and work as a team” and “keep their heads up until the final siren” they can pull off a win.

Warrandyte’s U14s will play Banyule at Victoria Park Lower, Kew, at 12.30pm this Sunday (the match before the U15s).

Both coaches and the rest of the WJFC urge Warrandytians to head down to the grand finals this Sunday and support our young Bloods as they hunt for flag glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Junior Bloods’ flag tilt

Any fly on the wall at the Warrandyte Junior Football Club would be in for a real treat over the next few weeks.

With as many as five of the Bloods teams set to play in the Yarra Junior Football League finals, there’s going to be the full gamut of excitement, nerves and the pure adrenalin that comes from performing on the big stage. And, with a bit of luck, the euphoria that only a premiership victory can bring.

“It’s pretty exciting,” says Warrandyte Junior Football Club president Sarah Drew.

“As a club this is the best thing that can happen and we’re really happy for the boys.”

“The Colts [Under 16s] have been relegated into their comp with four losses and they had to make it up to get into finals. They’ve all been training hard and listening to their coaches, so it’s very exciting.”

Warrandyte has a junior side for each age division between Under 8s and Colts. As of recent competition rule changes, the Under 8s, Under 9s and Under 10s do not have official results or ladders.

Round 15 was played on Sunday to close out the home and away season before finals begin this Sunday.

With 11 wins from 15 matches, the Under 14s finished on top of the ladder to be the most successful Bloods team in the home and away season while the Under 11s ended up in second position with 10 wins and a draw from 15 games.

The Under 13s and Under 15s have also booked finals tickets. The Under 13s finished third on the ladder with nine wins for the season, while the Under 15s had a thumping 104-point victory in the last round to finish second and claim the double chance. The Under 12s had a solid year but finished eighth. The Colts scraped into the four and play finals Sunday.

The senior club will support the juniors this weekend. WFC president Peter Hookey says the senior players are excited at the prospect of inspiring the young Bloods through their finals campaign.

“We’ve sent a couple for seniors down to the Colts and Under 15 training to give a bit of leadership and education,” says Hookey. “We’re hoping they’ll see the professionalism that’s expected at a senior level and the desire to improve their football skills.”

Should kids lift weights?

YEARS ago, a video emerged showing Tiger Woods driving a golf ball like a pro. The only catch: he was just two years old at the time.

The message to parents: if you want your kids to excel in sports, you need to start them young. Of course, beyond developing specific skills—such as throwing, kicking, and swinging—improving strength, power and speed are key components of sports performance training. Which leads many parents to wonder, should my child lift weights? Some experts warn weight training at a young age can damage a child’s growth plates. And that concern has merit. There are dangers to growth plates found at the end of long bones.

The issue is, however, these injuries are almost always the result of using too much weight with the wrong technique. Smart strength training is absolutely acceptable as long as the right exercises are chosen and that the youth has an appropriate level of base strength and mobility.

Exposure to sports and fitness-based games is the best approach for younger kids. But as they reach Year 5 and 6 and high school age, you can start implementing more of a structured approach to strength training.

But we need to proceed with caution. People put too much focus on popular exercises like the bench press and start piling on weight even before a child can do 10 good push ups. Before a kid ever touches a weight, make sure he or she can perform basic body-weight exercises with perfect form.

As mentioned, push ups are a great start, pull ups, overhead squats, dips and lunges are others that can be put into perfect practice.

Two pairs of metal dumbbells on the floor used by young sportswoman

FIVE RULES FOR KIDS:

  1. Master the basics first. Work on the two movements above – the push up and overhead squat – until they can be completed correctly. (Check YouTube for video help)
  2. Focus on compound, multi-joint movements. Choose exercises that emphasize the upper back, core and hips. Less benching, more rowing. Smart exercises to include: stability-ball leg curls, inverted rows and reverse flys with light dumbbells.
  3. Stay away from most machines. Many gym machines – such as the leg extension, leg press and chest fly (pec deck) – force kids to work through unnatural movement pat- terns that have little carry over to sports and activities of daily living. (Cable machines are the exception).
  4. Watch the weights. Poor form and excessive loading are the reasons kids wind up injured. Once they’ve mastered their own body weight, start with a resistance that allows for 12 to 15 repetitions with perfect technique. Just one or two sets per exercise is fine initially, working up to a maximum of three once strength and endurance improve. Be sure not to take any sets to the point of muscular failure.
  5. Use a variety of strengthening equipment. Medicine balls, bands, and cable-based machines allow for three-dimensional movement. These are ideal because they offer kids variety, while training balance and stability just like free weights.

If your kids are keen to improve their skills and strength, improve their performance on the netball court or football ground, get them started correctly with some perfect- ly performed strength and functionality training exercises.

Born to run: Warrandyte River Runners

The Warrandyte riverside is often a hive of activity, frequented by strollers, dog walkers, cyclists, duck feeders, romantic lovers and families.

The odd runner is not an unusual sight either, but if you go down to the riverside on a Saturday morning, and you go down there early enough you are likely to see a small contingent of runners, running up and down the riverside path between Stiggants Reserve and the bridge.

These are the Warrandyte River Runners, a local running group.

Started in January 2010 by a local couple, Rob and Jodi Clark, who have now moved on, the River Runners are now in their sixth year.

“The first run had nine starters and we average about the nine to 10 mark most weeks,” says Paul, a regular Warrandyte River Runner and chief organiser of the group.

“Over the six years, we have had nearly 170 that have had at least one run with us,” he said.

They meet almost every weekend and run a course that is split into four distances: 2km, 3km, 4km and 5km. The 2km is just for fun, but the longer distances are part of the group’s seasonal competition.

“The three, four and five kilometres are all handicapped so that runners should end up about the same time. This gives some fun endings to the run, when several runners come in at roughly the same time,” Paul explains.

The goal of the run, whatever your distance, is to run the course as close to 30 minutes as possible.

Each runner is therefore given a handicap calculated on the difference between 30 minutes and your PB for your nominated difference: for example, I have run with the River Runners a couple of times and can run a 5K in about 24 minutes, so my handicap is six minutes, which means I start six minutes after the official start of the weekly run.

“I think the handicap system is great,” exclaims Jozica Kutin, a regular runner with the group.

“I found it really complicated to begin with, but once I understood it, it was great, because you can then compete against other people who are really good runners and it’s basically all up to the finish line.”

The year is broken up into seasons, at the end of each season the runner with the most points receives a prize.

Although the bite size running seasons and promise of spoils for the winner add a level of competitiveness to the runs, it seems that was never Rob Clark’s goal.

“He was someone we aspired to; I aspire to run like him (Rob),” says Nada, a fellow Warandytian and River Runner of about three years.

But when asked what she got out of running with the group she said: “Friendship, commerardary, motivation, support.”

Then after a gentle prod by another runner.

“Trophies, chocolates and wine!” she says with a smile and a laugh, “I have been fortunate to have trophies, chocolates and wine.”

Even in social active groups, especially in an activity like running, the competitive nature is hard to avoid, as I experienced on a recent run: I spent my entire 5K chasing down the run’s winner Jozica, who pipped me at the post by about 30 seconds in the end.

She was able to celebrate her 100th run with a PB and a race win.

If you are a keen distance runner and the idea of merely running 5km is not very appealing, Paul says: “Many people will join us as part of preparing for longer distances like 10km, half-marathons and marathons.”

This bears all the hallmarks of a regular running club, but the River Runners do not see themselves that way.

“I think the thought of joining a running group is daunting. It puts people off,” says Jozica. “But it’s not like that with this group, four of us did the Geelong half-marathon, it was great to go and do extra training runs during the week, we all went together … it’s much more relaxed.”

The Warrandyte River Runners were instrumental in the organisation of the inaugural Run Warrandyte back in 2012.

“Many have even been involved as competitors and/or officials in the annual Run Warrandyte event,” says Paul.

One of the younger Warrandyte River Runners, Alicia Callahan, was first female in the 12-17 category at this year’s Run Warrandyte.

Alicia was last season’s Warrandyte River Runner runner-up in the kids category. The winner of that season, Tessa, is near the the top of the current season’s standing.

I asked teenager Tessa what she gets out of running with the River Runners.

“It’s really relaxing to do it. Like, if you’ve had a stressful time at school or something, it’s just like you just run and when you’ve finished, you feel really great and you can do whatever you want because you are not stressed anymore and you feel really relaxed,” she told the Diary.

Peter from Warranwood adds: “I find I actually run more now to keep my number of runs up – for the participation, the competition. I ran professionally, so the competition is good, because it fills that void to some extent… but the exception is this lady (Tessa) bloody always tries to beat me.”

A bit of rivalry is healthy and it binds the group together.

“The handicap system that we use to make it competitive gives everyone, sort of, equal opportunity to be involved and to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve,” says Peter, “it’s a great spirit and, for me, one of the best things I’ve ever been involved in.”

The group meets most weekends. All the group ask is that you give it a go and provide a gold coin donation for the pleasure.

“Come along and try it,” says Nada. “If you connect with us, we’d love to see you again. If you don’t. Well, you’ve given it a go”.