North Melbourne players, officials arrive for community camp

NORTH Melbourne players and officials will gift Ballarat with more than football on their sixth annual community camp today, city leaders say.

North Ballarat Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said the players were also role models with positive messages to impart.

“We are very fortunate to have North Melbourne here on an annual basis,” he said.

“The major benefit is having access to really high quality role models and never underestimate what that can do.

“To have a positive message about how to live your life from such public footballers leads to really good outcomes for everyone.”

The North Melbourne Football Club party arrives early this morning before a civic reception at Ballarat Town Hall.

Then they head to primary school clinics before training sessions with senior clubs tonight.

The players return tomorrow for a range of community visits before a superclinic at City Oval at 2pm.

Mr FitzGerald said Ballarat was fortunate with its North Melbourne connection.

“Ultimately, in time we can look towards bringing a capital city experience to our city and perhaps one day AFL will be played in our city,” he said.

City of Ballarat mayor Joshua Morris said Ballarat was proud to welcome the players and officials, who would be fanning out to a range of community activities, including accompanying Ballarat’s Meals on Wheels volunteers on visits and reading to kids at the Ballarat library.

“We look forward to welcoming the club and players back to Ballarat for an NAB Challenge match against Carlton at Eureka Stadium on February 15,” Cr Morris said.

Sport, page 48