THE EMERGING Warriors are already generating excitement and a new-found sense of community in the city's south-western growth region.
New Ballarat Football League club Woady Yaloak Warriors hosted its first come-and-try registration day at Haddon with club president Adam Liversage hoping to raise a bit of interest. Mr Liversage was rapt with almost 80 youngsters getting into action for football skills and netball drills on Sunday morning.
Most parents who spoke to The Courier said if it had not been for the Warriors, they would have thought twice about signing their juniors up to football or netball this season - but this club was right in their neighbourhood and a great chance for friends to play together.
"We want to offer more sporting opportunities for the kids across this whole region. This club takes in Smythesdale, Ross Creek, Scarsdale, Haddon, Delacombe and Winterfield," Mr Liversage said. "It's great for parents too. I've already met so many other parents and made friends in the region through this club."
The Warriors will field an under-9 team in the BFL this upcoming season with the aim to grow the junior program season-by-season. This builds on a strong Auskick program that has grown to more than 60 children, including a big contingent of girls. The Warriors will also launch netball starter program Net Set Go for girls and boys aged five to nine.
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In a community-driven program, the Warriors aim to complement Woady Yallock athletics club and the region's badminton program. Club founders felt a lack of a football-netball club, particularly in the wake of the Smythesdale demise, left a hole in the community.
Golden Plains Shire has supported the club from the outset for social and health benefits in the shire's northern region.
Warriors Auskick dad Ryan Davies could hardly believe the number of cars parked by the Haddon oval for the junior clinic day. Mr Davies was quick to sign on as a major sponsor with Prestige Denture Clinic and looked forward to the turn-out for the club's first match.
"This is good for the community and to represent such a big area in the one team, especially with such a big school like Haddon here," Mr Davies said. "My boys have done Auskick and because of this club, will now stay for football."
Mr Davies said the alternatives for his sons to play junior football close by at such a young age were limited. Netball mum Rheannon Mann agreed. Her daughter would otherwise need to travel into Ballarat to play.
"She's wanted to play netball for years. As soon as a local club came up we signed her up," Ms Mann said. "It's so important to have a club here for everyone...She's got lots of friends already here and it's a wonderful way to get more kids out and active."
For details, visit Woady Yaloak Football Netball Club on Facebook.
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