Young footballers learn from Cats legend

Gary Ablett with some of Winchelsea young football stars. (Rebecca Hosking) 279635_01

Ash Bolt

Junior footballers in Winchelsea got the experience of a lifetime last month, as Geelong champion and former Brownlow medallist Gary Ablett lead training.

Eastern Reserve was filled with junior footballers on Friday, April 22 as Ablett made an appearance at Winchelsea’s Auskick sessions for children between six and eight years old.

“It is especially fantastic to be in Winchelsea and see the young talent in the area and for the club to encourage the kids to get together each week to practice, but also put on a meal for those who need it,” Ablett said.

Ablett’s visit was part of an initiative from the RACV, which sponsored the Winchelsea Football Club’s weekly ‘Bus to the Hub’ dinner.

The program provides a meal to Winchelsea residents who need it and a bus to ferry them to and from the dinner.

Surf Coast Shire Winchelsea Ward councillor Adrian Schonfelder said it was great to see the kids enjoying Ablett’s visit.

“It is excellent to see RACV further support the Winchelsea community by sponsoring the football club’s dinner and getting Ablett Jr down for the evening,” he said.

“The club prepares around 200 meals each week, and Football Club volunteers entirely cook it, and other volunteers from the local Lions Club drive the bus service.

“It is a huge community effort, and many people benefit from the meal and the local connection.”

The dinner also served as a celebration of the reserve’s new solar panel and battery, which RACV installed at no cost to the community as part of its $1 million Solar in the Regions investment program.

The program aims to improve safety for regional towns by adapting community buildings, giving them a reliable solar power supply when the grid goes down, and can play a role in recovering after weather events and bushfires.

The solar installation at Eastern Reserve includes 14.43 kilowatts of solar and 21.7 kilowatt hours of battery storage.