The Sapphire Coast AFL is in safe hands despite the departure of coordinator Jarrod Moore.
Mitch Wallis has taken on the AFL ACT/NSW role to head the local competition and he’s already working to build both the junior and senior ranks.
After heading up Auskick centres in Canberra, while playing as part of the Giants Academy and the Queanbeyan Tigers, Wallis said it had been a culture shock to return, but he was keen to grow both facets of the game.
“It has been an interesting one from playing juniors for Pambula and then coming back [after Canberra] - it's tough in the role to promote juniors, but also build up the senior game,” he said.
However, there are some early plans on the table to see growth in the young ranks, and also see a return to what Wallis said was “game day culture” for senior matches.
Wallis recalls the days of his Dad coaching the Pambula Panthers and the “packed crowds” for senior games, and now is he is keen to try and rebuild the “game day experience” for everyone.
“And in terms of juniors we’ve been in talks with John Dyball to increase participation across a number of areas and there has also been a lot of talk about trying to build our visibility in high schools as well.”
Critically, Wallis is keen to ensure youngsters can play any code rather than trying to pluck players out of other sports.
“For me, we don’t want to take kids away from another sport, but rather give them an extra opportunity to play with their mates.”
“We really want to build a massive family culture within SCAFL.”
He said recent exposure for the area like Aaron van denBerg at the Demons, while Kel and Tarni Evans were making waves in Canberra were all good stories for the area.
“We want to build the game days back up,” he said. “Dad used to coach the Panthers and the crowds were packed - we want to see a return to that game day experience for everyone involved.”
The first cab off the rank will be a non-contact mixed Nines social draw to be held in Pambula soon.
“The Nines is an awesome social thing,” Wallis said. “It’s mixed nine-a-side on a modified field and it’s non contact so a fantastic way to actually learn footy.”
Anyone over 14-years-old is welcome and all teams are required to have females on the paddock.
Junior football sessions will also be held before play with the Nines to run from 6pm on Fridays.
“It’s a great Friday afternoon and all-inclusive for the whole family.” To register or for more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org.