IT took less than 25 words for Emily Partridge to convince Port Adelaide great Russell Ebert that the school program he has fronted for 20 years needed to visit her school.
On Tuesday, another Port Adelaide great, Robbie Gray, joined past player Alipate Carlile and other staff members of Port Adelaide’s not-for-profit community arm, Power Community Limited (PCL), in a visit to Emily and her year 5/6 classmates at North Haven Primary School.
Emily won a competition put on by PCL which earned her school a $500 sports voucher and a kick and catch with Gray.
She had to explain what she wanted to be when she grows up and why, with her entry selected from more than 1000 entries.
The 11-year-old said she wanted to be a football player because she loves the sport and hoped that by playing in the AFLW she could encourage other girls to do the same.
Emily had a chance to showcase her skills when the team from PCL and Gray turned up to her school.
“My favourite part was doing the exercises with the heart-rate monitor,” Emily said.
“It was interesting to see how they changed with the different exercises.
“It was really great to have Robbie Gray come out - I really enjoyed it. We did a lot of football skills and had a lot of shots at goal.”
The school visit was the last for the Community Youth Program (CYP) for 2019 with schools about to break for the Christmas period.
Across the year the program engaged with approximately 25,000 students from 90 schools, travelling over 12,500kms in the process.
Port Adelaide players take part in a series of school visits to educate primary school students about healthy lifestyles.
In its 20th year, CYP has expanded to also include a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focus as part of a partnership with Naval Group.
Port Adelaide legend Russell Ebert said the program has come a long way since its inception.
“I didn’t want us to just go out to schools and wave the Port Adelaide flag, it was about educating the children,” Ebert said.
“We really structured the Community Youth Program to be in the classroom, with some activity to be done after spreading the important lessons.
“In 2009/10 we formed Power Community Limited, which is an incorporated entity that allows us to go out independently from the footy club and gain sponsorship and grants.
“We then took it a step further by incorporating two components of Power Community Limited - one being Youth and the other being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
“It has worked really well and we are extremely proud of the work we do in the community.”
If your school would like to be involved in CYP in 2020, limited places are available.
Contact Youth Program Officer Will Northeast at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Power Community Youth Program is an initiative of the South Australian Government and the Port Adelaide Football Club and is proudly supported by major partner Naval Group.