Huge turnout for Auskick carnival

From the Armidale Express, 02/04/2008
Australian rules football was locked in as one of the region’s fast emerging sports at the annual Armidale Auskick carnival on Saturday.

More than 100 kids from a range of age groups and skill levels turned out for the carnival to participate in drills and practice matches at Bellevue Oval.

The players were split up into three groups, where they went through a number of handball and kicking drills, then small matches.

The older kids also participated in a number of contested marks drills.

Numbers were up at this year’s carnival, with almost double the players from last year attending.

“The number of kids there just blew me away,” Armidale Auskick co-ordinator Craig Collins said.

“We had about 130 kids there for this carnival.”

Collins put the increased numbers down to the participation of the Inverell clinic at this year’s carnival.

“This year is the first year they have taken part in the program. To have them in with Armidale and Tamworth is just massive,” he said.

Collins was astounded at the amount of emerging talent in the region’s young players.

“The talent out there is incredible,” he said.

“Some of the players in the 10-12 years have enough talent to play in the under 14s competition.”

A number of carnivals are on the horizon for the younger players of the sport, starting with the Coffs Harbour carnival on June 8.

“There will be clinics there for under 12s and 14s players,” Collins said.

The Tamworth carnival is on July 19 and the Inverell carnival is on August 16.

The Armidale players are also looking forward to a trip to Sydney in two weeks time, where they will play a match during the half time interval at the Swans and Richmond game.

Collins said that match is a highlight for the youngsters.

“They get to play in front of a packed house at the SCG, they always get a buzz out of that,” he said.

“In the past two or three years we have taken nine kids down, but this year they have allocated us 27 slots for the game.”

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

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