Latest News

Aboriginal coaches lead the wayMonday, July 10, 2017 - 10:52 AM

Share |

The West Australian Football Commission runs more than 70 programs that cater for Aboriginal and multicultural participants right across the state. WA has an outstanding record of producing high quality Aboriginal coaches and last year recorded 93 accredited Aboriginal coaches. 

Hear from six Aboriginal coaches on how they got involved in the sport, and where it has taken them.

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian Bartlett – Level 1 Youth

2017 Kickstart AFL Male U15 National Diversity Championships Coach
How did you get involved?
My local Colts team didn’t have a coach, so thought I’d give it a go, I was only 20 then and learned a lot.
What challenges have you faced through your coaching journey?
Low numbers has been a bit of a challenge, but I am starting to see these numbers climb.
What’s next?
I am looking to do my Level 2 coaching accreditation at some stage, but I am really enjoying coaching Junior grades.
What words of encouragement do you have for aspiring Aboriginal coaches?
Get your accreditation, and maybe assist an experienced coach to get the feel of coaching and to help get your confidence up. Make sure you utilise all the resources available, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
 

Antoni Grover – Level 2 Coach
2013 Kickstart AFL Male U15 National Diversity Championship Assistant Coach
How did you get involved?
It has been a natural progression since my playing days in the AFL came to an end.
What challenges have you faced through your coaching journey?
Work commitments and having a young family have been the major barriers. Also at an elite level (AFL) in WA there are limited opportunities as it is a two-team town.
What’s next?
I want to continually challenge myself and set new goals to achieve.
What words of encouragement do you have for aspiring Aboriginal coaches?
Do your accreditation and get involved!! There are opportunities at all levels of football. It might be coaching your own children at junior level or challenging yourself at higher levels of football. You can be a great role model for the community.

 

Barry Lawrence – WAFC Coaching Program
2017 Boomerang Team U15 (All Australian Indigenous Boys Team) Coach and participated in this year’s AFL Coaches Association Next Coach Program
How did you get involved?
I started off playing football as a young kid and then got involved in development coaching at Mandurah Centrals Junior Football Club. After two years at the club I became an Assistant Coach for Peel Thunder’s Reserves and an Opposition Analyst Coach for their League side.
What challenges have you faced through your coaching journey?
The challenges I’ve faced within coaching is seeing young aboriginal players finding it hard to adjust to the high level of professionalism. The one thing I’ve seen work really well at Peel Thunder is having Cam Shepherd who understands the aboriginal player and has the ability and willingness to be educated and work on issues that come up.
What’s next?
I want to progress as a senior coach at some point within the WAFL competition and my ultimate goal would be becoming a development coach for an AFL club or player welfare coach.
What words of encouragement do you have for aspiring Aboriginal coaches?
Be strong in what you believe in. Have a voice, soak up as much information possible and latch onto experienced coaches or mentors to become a better coach. Always ask questions and don’t be afraid if you’re not right, because life is all about learning.


Cassie Davidson – Level 1 Senior Coach
2016 Kickstart AFL Female National Diversity Championships Assitant Coach
How did you get involved?
I've always had an interest in being a role model to kids, and in particular being a coach. Elly Lambkin the WAFC Development Officer for Peel District reached out to me one day and lined up a few primary school football clinics in the Peel Region for me. I haven’t looked back!
What challenges have you faced through your coaching journey?
My coaching career is very recent, and I haven’t come across a lot challenges. I have coached multiple teams at the Inaugural Kirby Bentley Cup and I think getting girls together who haven’t played in a team together for the cup event was a small barrier I’ve come across.
What’s next?
I would like to get a Level 2 coaching accreditation in the near future, but my focus right now is on the playing aspect after I was recently drafted to the Fremantle Dockers Women's Club.
What words of encouragement do you have for aspiring Aboriginal coaches?
Just get out there and be a part of it! There are so many opportunities for multicultural coaches. I just think it's fantastic to see so many different people from diverse backgrounds coaching or assisting in some way. 
 

Courtney Ugle – Level 1 Youth Coach
2015 Kickstart Female U15 National Diversity Championships and 2016 and 2017 Woomeras U15 (All Australian Indigenous Girls Team) Coach
How did you get involved?
I was taking football clinics at schools in the Swan District and I was approached by a WAFC Development Officer who asked if I wanted to coach a team in the Kirby Bentley Cup. I have since taken on a number of coaching opportunities, and got my Level 1 coaching accreditation.
What challenges have you faced through your coaching journey?
The only barrier I have faced has been the doubt I received from a few people about my coaching ability because of my age and experience.
What’s next?
I would definitely like to progress my playing career first before I get serious about coaching. Once I have ticked all my boxes in terms of playing football, I would most definitely like to give back to the community in a coaching/mentor role.
What words of encouragement do you have for aspiring Aboriginal coaches?
I think it is very important for people from diverse backgrounds to put their hand up for coaching roles, especially for our young Indigenous and multicultural youth coming through. You never know what you can bring to the table or the positive impact you may have on an individual as a coach. 
 

Jermaine Davis – Level 1 Senior Coach
2016 Kickstart AFL Male U15s National Diversity Championships Coach and 2016 Boomerangs U15s (All Australian Indigenous Boys Team) Coach
How did you get involved?
It was always a passion of mine to give something back to the game that has given me so much over my time playing Aussie rules. It all started when my son started playing footy and I decided to coach his junior football team and it progressed from there.
What challenges have you faced through your coaching journey?
I had to work to gain trust and prove myself.
What’s next?
I am looking to progress to the next level of my coaching accreditation.
What words of encouragement do you have for aspiring Aboriginal coaches?
You should simply give it a go. Give something back to the game, especially if you have a football brain.