Tathra Sea Eagles focus on junior growth

Ready to play: Excited to promote junior Aussie rules are Jarrod Palmer, David Howard, Luke Taylor, Cymmon Parker, Sharri Manning, Tarni Evans and (front) Jack Taylor.
Ready to play: Excited to promote junior Aussie rules are Jarrod Palmer, David Howard, Luke Taylor, Cymmon Parker, Sharri Manning, Tarni Evans and (front) Jack Taylor.

The Tathra Sea Eagles Aussie Rules Club will jumpstart the junior season with a registration and planning session on Monday. 

The club’s new junior Aussie rules coordinator Dave Howard says the aim of the Sea Eagles in two words is “family and fun”. 

“If you look at Tathra, we’re an inclusive and close-knit community, the footy club is just a smaller reflection of that.”

Howard has signed on to the committee to grow the club’s junior sides and help incorporate them alongside the senior players. 

The registration will feature the chance to speak with committee members and discuss opportunities for the season before finishing off with a free barbecue. 

“Basically we’re after boys and girls, parents and anyone interested in volunteering to come along,” Howard said. 

The club is looking to launch renewed focus on Auskick programs for six to nine-year-olds as well as host sides in the junior league for players between 10 and 16. 

“This year we want to go a step further with our junior programs,” Howard said. 

“At 5pm on Thursdays we’ll have the juniors come on the same night as the seniors, so while they’re warming down the seniors will be running out.

“That’s what we really want is everyone getting to know each other, it’s become the family game.”

The club has already signed it’s coach for the under 11s, which Howard said was a momentous occasion as the club’s first-ever female coach. 

Cymmon Parker has jumped on board to help guide the juniors with the club offering up a built of assistance through senior stalwarts Luke Taylor and Jarrod Palmer. 

Howard said Ms Parker will be the first member of a soon-to-be-formed junior committee. 

“We want to get the coaches and team managers all working together to build the future,” Howard said. 

Kids are more than welcome to take along a footy and have a kick during the session on Monday. 

The club is also raising funds to improve infrastructure at the club rooms given the rise of junior and women’s football. 

The Sea Eagles will look to invest in it’s shower blocks and club room amenities as junior and women’s AFL blossoms. 

Club secretary Peter Cross has done a successful application to secure a $10,000 grant through the State Government. 

“The money has come from the Building Community Partnership Fund supported by Bega MP Andrew Constance and we really want to thank Andrew for that,” Howard said. 

“We’ve got some grandiose plans, but we need the infrastructure to match those.”

Upgrades include a shift away from the open locker-room type showers to private cubicles with frosted glass and better security. 

“We’re also looking at changes we can make in the kitchen and lighting and working closely with the Bega Valley Shire Council on those issues and maintenance,” Howard said. 

There is also interest in moving the Lawrence Park play equipment closer to the ground, so that parents can watch the game, while still keeping an eye on their young ones. 

Howard said some of the upgrades will help distance the club from the “blokey” perceptions of the past and move to the current goal of putting kids first. 

“Like I said, it’s now the family game and all about putting the kids first, we’re all about that and having fun.”