It was a great year for the Westbrook Australian Football Club ! Here is a summary of the milestones achieved.
One thing we have done well at Westbrook is setting goals, and the direction we set is paying off. Record numbers, record teams, record umpire representation, record finalists, and very few conduct issues. However, one goal wasn’t achieved: handing on the President’s reign. Succession management is very important to a club going places and if more people are prepared to take ownership of our club and keep our values true, we will become one of the super clubs of Sydney Harbour. Currently we punch above our weight, we take a lead on many initiatives and we are creating our future, our environment and our community.
Creating our Future
#UpgradeGreenwayPark: We did it! We have funding for our social space and improved facilities. A central ‘heart’ or home is needed not only for the practical requirements of our sporting club, but also to bind and connect the wider local community. Thank you to Julian Leeser MP, Federal Liberal Member for Berowra, for his hard work and commitment to our community.
Active Kids: The NSW Government is helping kids get active with the Active Kids program. From January 2018, parents, guardians and carers could apply for a voucher valued up to $100 per calendar year for each student enrolled in school. The voucher was able to be used with Westbrook registrations to allow participation for all our current and new members.
Youth alliances broaden: Our partnership with our neighbouring clubs is working well to ensure that the objectives of participation and development are available for all players. We had 6 Northern Lights teams play in the youth age groups, with Hornsby-Berowra Eagles our partner in all age groups, and Pennant Hills Demons in our Under 17s age group, helping to build a bridge to senior football.
Girls getting stronger: We now have 6 teams under the North West Lightning brand, an alliance between Westbrook, Pennant Hills and Hornsby. We introduced Under 10s this year and an U18s team that included players from St Ives. In a series of firsts, we had a few girls reach 50 games and our U15YG/1s became our first Girls team to play in a Grand Final.
The Environment We Create
Pink Ribbon: Despite the cold, we were thrilled to host so many teams and clubs on our special Mother’s Day round Saturday evening. We extended a big welcome especially to the Girls teams, with many players making their way to Mike Kenny Oval for the first time. Westbrook and the visiting teams showed fantastic community spirit raising around $2000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Awesome effort!
Representative & Development Days: An enormous three days of competition with 70 teams competing in over 150 games of fantastic footy. From AFL Sydney Juniors: “A massive congratulations must go out to the management team at Westbrook for their delivery of the event. From the canteen staff, to the field managers and officials, they have been extremely accommodating to the footballing cohort”.
Trivia Night—a great celebration: Close to 100 club members donned their favourite club colours and put their brains to the test. Thank you to our organising committee who created a fun event for the club, and to the support we received from several businesses and people to ensure some additional funds were raised.
Sponsors & Fundraising: We simply cannot deliver on our promise of providing a great experience without prudent management of expenses and the goodwill of sponsors. In the current climate it is hard to find Gold level sponsors, but what we do have is many businesses whose combined contribution have made a difference to our events and general running of the club. Westbrook JAFC would like to express their gratitude for all the generous sponsorships and donations to our club.
Additionally, thank you to Janelle Murdoch who led our Chocolate Drive over the last couple of years, raising valuable funds for our club.
Club Administration and Running: As we grow, we need to ensure our club structure is ready to support our needs. This year we reviewed some roles to ensure we keep a balance between volunteering, work-life balance, club control and external assistance. We now reinvest some of our funds into Canteen management, Ground management and Administration & Volunteer coordination. This will mean our key personnel can spend their valuable time on strategy, and perhaps with their own kids a bit more.
Things don’t magically happen: We are where we are today because of the hard work of some terrific people we are proud of. Some treasured club stalwarts are moving interstate. To the Gricks and Mardling families: you have made this club better for being a part of it — on behalf of the club and from me personally, thank you for your contribution.
As some of our other members enter their last year in juniors, a changing of the guard is starting and is needed. The club will be stronger with your contribution.