KANGAROOS star forward Drew Petrie couldn’t resist a chance for a quick paddle on Lake Wendouree, balanced precariously on a canoe.
Petrie admitted it was probably the first time he had been out on his hometown lake for about 15 years – the first since a very brief appearance in the St Patrick’s College year 7 rowing program.
The North Melbourne vice-captain enjoyed the paddle in the Premier’s Active Families Challenge, a program encouraging Victorian individuals and families to do 30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days over a six-week period.
This followed a chance to get out on the water with teammates Ben Cunnington and Cam Richardson for some serious paddling in the Dragons Abreast Ballarat boat with breast cancer survivors.
“It’s good fun but a lot harder than it probably looked,” Petrie said.
“We think we’re strong, fit footballers but these ladies are strong in other ways.”
North Melbourne Football Club wrapped up two busy days yesterday of community and school visits for the club’s two-day AFL community camp.
This is the fifth year the Kangaroos have based their camp in what players have come to feel is a home away from Arden Street.
The Kangaroos finished with an intra-club match at Eureka Stadium last night, home of the club’s Victorian Football League affiliate.
Petrie, who was happy to be in his hometown, has been dubbed an ambassador by his teammates for the Kangaroos’ time in Ballarat.
But he said all players enjoyed the trip to Ballarat – and the first real hit-out on the field that always drew strong Ballarat crowd support.
“The guys always tend to go back to visit the same places and remember the people they’ve dealt with – I always hear glowing reports,” Petrie said.
“Our first matches are Friday week so it’ll be good to put into practice what we’ve been working on.
“The alignment we have with the Roosters for a great many years now has shown results in premierships.
“And the coaching staff the Roosters have are good teachers and offer good communication for our club, too.”
More than 1300 Ballarat people have registered for the free active challenge Petrie was promoting.
The YMCA continues to offer prize incentives, including 20 YMCA passes, 15 per cent off at Rebel Sport and one hour free tennis court hire at Melbourne Park for those who join.
YMCA chief executive Mal Healey said the program was a great way to improve health and fitness and did not have to be complicated.
It could be as simple as parking that little further from work, walking the dog or jumping on the trampoline with your
children, he said.
For more information, or to register, visit betterhealth.vic.gov.au/challenge
Intra-club match report, photos
pages 48 and 44